We’ve all heard and understood the saying about arguing with fools in theory, but as human beings, it’s not always easy to put that into practice. On January 14, my one-year wedding anniversary, Mr. Rocque and I argued with a fool who tried to attack who we are as people and our marriage. It almost ruined our day, but not quite, because our perseverance is a testament to how solid we are.
Mr. Rocque and I have been met with 99.9% positivity with regards to our union, but unfortunately, there are people out there who don’t like us—not only because we are married, but because we are married and Black. And a lot of this negativity comes from people who look like us, who hate themselves.
Most of this column is about our journey as newlyweds, primarily from my voice. I have written about a multitude of topics ranging from comedic to serious. Some of my most recent columns were about having anger issues and how Mr. Rocque has inspired me to be calmer in certain situations that frustrate me. Normal individuals would read said pieces and see the positive. An irrational quack might view my anger issues as me being an “angry Black woman,” figuratively based on the trite stereotype.
We were contacted by a radio show producer about making an appearance to “chat about my last few posts.” I won’t mention who the host is. I will say this Black Howard Stern wannabe reminded me of the freed version of Stephen from Django Unchained.
We had never heard of the man before, and based on the way the producer framed her email, we didn’t suspect foul play. One of the columns they wanted to talk about was entitled “Confessions of an Angry Black Woman.” The piece cited specific situations where I could have handled myself better and talked about how I’m learning from my husband to be more Zen. The purpose of the title was to be cheeky.
I was speaking as a woman who is a work in progress.
Said radio host took that quite literally for the purpose of propaganda. Our first mistake was not doing our research about this guy. As journalists, we should have known better. There’s no real reason why we didn’t, but at the same time, we also didn’t even announce to our network that we were doing the show, so that was probably the universe at work.
The call started out innocently enough. We were introduced, said our hellos… and then the host went into a pathetic attempt at trying to attack our spirituality because we don’t label ourselves as Christian (sue us), and asked me how I was able to learn anything because my husband was “incapable” of teaching me since he’s not the head of the household. (Side note: We’re vocal about being partners and that we play to each other’s strengths and weaknesses whenever necessary; there isn’t just one head for us all the time and it works out just fine. All that stuff about “you can’t have a two-headed snake” doesn’t apply here. Newsflash: life isn’t that black and white.)
We should have hung up but tried to give him a chance. Then it turned into an episode of The Twilight Zone where this dude and his cronies tried to railroad us. He was the passive-aggressive type who would say something offensive under the guise of “asking a question.”
I got upset when I realized what he was doing, and you could hear it in my voice. Hubby remained calm but I was going at it with them, pointing out their inconsistencies and nonsense. It’s still beyond me why I didn’t hang up. I never cursed or went off the way I could have, but I still gave them what they wanted: “angry black woman.”
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, Chicago-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.