A message to a stranger

By Aarron Mondello


Yesterday I was the bus with my two young daughters (aged 11 and 8) and my brother. An indigenous man got on the bus not long after us. One of my daughters was sitting behind me and when I turned to talk to her he began abusing me and my brother for being racist and disrespectful towards him.

Let’s get this straight, as far as I am concerned, the colour of you skin means fuck all. I don’t care about your race, religion, background or past, of you’re a danger to my children I’ll seek to extract them.

Late last night I became very angry (and ashamed at myself if I’m honest) at the man who took it upon himself to terrify my kids and I and I wrote him a message.

This is not a racial slur or an attempt to vilify a race. This purely how I felt about what happened and the man involved.

A message to a stranger

You’re yelling at me about the injustice
Suffered by your kin
But here’s a thought and just for a moment
Maybe you could fucking listen
To the words of the people just trying to get by
The people who have done you no wrong
But no! Your to busy feigning to cry
And singing the the same rehashed song
As a hundred before you who were treated like shit
I get it you bloody mad
I would be to if I’d suffered like you
But wait a second, I have!
Beaten and ridiculed shamed and rejected
Reviled and then stepped upon
And here i sit and yes I’m pissed off
But only at those who did me wrong
It’s not my fault so many don’t care
You just singled me out of the crowd
I don’t even know why perhaps just because I was there
But your actions were oh so wrong
You terrified my kids
And if I’m being honest, I was pretty scared too
But take a step back and look at the picture
Because I have done nothing to you
I write this down the things I am feeling
Towards an abusive stranger
The angry young man who while I was I traveling
Made me feel like I was in real danger
I mean, seriously bloke look at yourself
Abusing a family just because you can
Just like you I can’t choose my skin tone
It’s not my fault I was born a white man
And my children! They have done even less than I
Innocent and learning with you as an example
Accusing me of teaching them to be racist
You’re lesson was more than ample
You think I’m the one teaching them to fear you
While unleashing your anger so pure
In those ten minutes you taught them more than I
And it wasn’t to respect you at all
Did I ask them to move away from your anger
Yeah I did but it wasn’t because of your colour
I would have got them to move out of your harms way
Regardless of your colour
How do you think they felt as you threatened
To kidnap them or beat up their dad
What kind of image do you think they’ll now see
After you leaned across them to slap my face
Is your hatred of me justified?
Hell no it isn’t
Because what harm have I actually caused
None to you or any of your people
We were just a family on the same bus
So you’ll never read this and I don’t care
The ether can have my message
Because the way you acted as I sat with my daughters
Has caused irreparable damage
To the way my kids now view your kin
You want to know why some of us fear?
It comes from people like you.

©Aarron Mondello2017



2 thoughts on “A message to a stranger

  1. Just found this. God, that’s awful, what a terrifying experience, especially for your daughters. You know, I was once accused of being racist by a black man who jumped ahead of me in a queue, and I just told him, “Hi there, you need to go to the back of the queue, like everyone else.” He started shouting “racist” at me, and it just happened to be the case that my partner at the time was black. So I told him, “I’m no racist; my boyfriend is black,” and he called me a liar, so I showed him a few photos of us, clearly me (white woman) with my black bf. Suddenly he was super friendly. It’s a terrible shame that any of this goes on, whichever way the hatred is going. There is no doubt that some white people are racist as hell, I’m sad to say that I know some, but they don’t represent all of us, and maybe the kind of behavior that you encountered is what they call reverse racism. Hopefully, by the time your daughters grow up, it will all be a thing of the past. So sorry for this frightening incident. Btw, I liked your intro written in prose.


    1. The man this day was not to be reasoned with.
      My oldest daughter, a very timid and emotional soul, is still thrown off by it.
      If an aboriginal person comes near us she curls her shoulders and drops her head, goes as small as she can and moves as little as she can.
      The way he had us pinned on the bus, he was right next her and leaned over her to slap me.
      And all because I turned around to talk to my other daughter behind me.
      I’m just glad it didn’t go any further than it did.

      Liked by 1 person

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