Racial tension is tight in Brooklyn this morning. I decided not to report to my assigned job with the city welfare department in downtown Brooklyn this morning because I am the only white trash working as a custodian inside the state supreme court building and I feel vulnerable when black people feel Rodney Kinged.
On December 9th, two Caucasian emergency management technicians who were on a fifteen minute coffee break within the Au Bon Pain café at One Metrotech Center allegedly refused to assist a six-month pregnant black woman who had a seizure while working behind the counter.
“The EMTs just said we had to call 911. They got their bagels and left,” said a co-worker.
The Au Bon Pain café is just a block away from where the city has assigned me to work eleven hours every week for a $200 monthly food stamp supplement. Despite pending seizures of my own, I will not subject myself to the unspoken hostility that exists in the hearts of those who will apparently, forever, see themselves as the only victims in society, nor am I dumb enough, like the pregnant black woman, to take a minimum wage job at a place like Au bon Pain when there are billionaires in this city who can be taxed more so that people like me can stay off our feet and sit on our asses all day.
The story hit the New York Post yesterday. This morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on the news to criticize the city EMS workers under his command, who, despite being on an unpaid break from their full-time job, should have assisted the pregnant woman and her fetus simply because, according to Bloomberg, “They took an oath to help others when they became city EMS workers.”
I would have grabbed my bagel and left too, if I had been fortunate to have had a city job on December 9th. I’m a writer. I see people every day who inspire a story in me. I don’t just walk up to them and hold their tongue down with a spoon just because that’s my job. No. There is a time and a place for everything and when one is on a coffee break, one is entitled to relax a little.