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Yetti, The BMW, And The BS That Has Come From It

My name is Yetti, and last year I bought a BMW. Her name is Bella.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]o be honest, I’ve been really anxious about writing this post because writing this post means I’d have to share with the world that I own a BMW, which shouldn’t be a big deal, but as of late, shit has gone left. I’m very aware this post may come off extremely privileged sounding, and trust me I’ve done all that I can to rearrange the words and structure to make sure the overall message is still being heard. So if at some point you feel yourself rolling your eyes before you get to the end, exit the post. It’s clearly not for you.

For those of you that care, here’s the background story. I had been looking to buy a car for months, and anyone that knows me, knows that I love me a Honda. A Honda Accord to be exact. It’s all my father would drive up until he bought his recent car and I had one throughout college and before moving to NYC. I still kept her going until my annoying yet lovable, big, little, brother killed crashed her. So when searching for this new vehicle, I knew I wanted the same reliability that Putt-Putt (my Honda Accord) had provided me. But somewhere down the line of listing the features I’d like in a car , the need for all-wheel drive became a second priority.

Wanting all-wheel drive threw me into a different group of cars, and since I am not too fond of trucks, SUVs, or American cars, I decided to go luxury. I researched different brands, but after talking to my Uncle who has a BMW (and is pretty much a luxury car snob), I grabbed a friend and ended up in the BMW dealership. Now honestly, if it wasn’t for Sam, the salesman, who kept it pretty fucking real with me, I probably never would have not purchased Bella. But after four meetings, a couple of ‘No, I’m not paying that’ retorts, and one of his coworker’s daughter’s running up on me to hug and thank me for convincing her to stick it out in engineering 6 years ago, he came to a number and a vehicle I was comfortable with. I bought Bella the next day, and we began our love/hate relationship.

Love because she is pretty and she is fast. Hate because the racist comments make me want to flip tables and the judgement/assumptions from friends and acquaintances are driving me insane.

There have been 7 times a white person has questioned if my BMW is mine. The first time it happened, I was waiting on my car to be vacuumed and waxed. Clothed in a dashiki (thanks grass-fields!), a woman proceeded to have a phone conversation right next to me where she stated, “this off the boat chick is here with a new BMW that she probably can’t even afford.” I cussed her out. The third time someone made a comment was in the elevator building in my apartment, where yet another white woman boldly asked me how I could afford to live in this building and have a BMW. My neighbor cussed her out. The last time was at work while leaving the gym, a director asked me multiple times if this was my car… even though I had the driver’s door wide-opened, and then proceeded to defend his ignorance with, “because that’s not the basic model.” For the sake of my livelihood, no one was cussed out.

But it doesn’t just stop with caucasian people because last week Wednesday while making a mad dash after work to pick up Trader Joe’s plantain chips, a black man yelled at me, “You think you’re untouchable because you have that beamer?”

What in the entire hell does that even mean?

He then proceeded to call me “new money bitch,” “Uncle Tom’s bitch,” and “bougie bitch” all in one sentence before, yes, I cussed him out.

I know you’re all thinking, this chick is really on the internet complaining because she has a BMW. And I am complaining. But not about the car. I’m complaining about the unwritten rule society has etched into our minds. Not only does the thought of me owning this car confuse and anger certain close-minded white people*, it also seems to offend the people who bear the same hue that I do. So much that the hood of my car had to pay for it with an unforgivable scratch. And I can’t help but blame this on the fact that society has taught both sides of the spectrum that we, black and brown people, are not allowed to have or own nice things.

I hate that a few years ago at my parents home, I had to run out onto the lawn with pictures of my family to prove my brother and I belonged on the property. I hate when I wear my alma mater hoodie, people ask me if I know someone who went there. I hate that just because I have a certain car friends and family assume I don’t have bills to pay, or I don’t have a right to vent about anything financially. I hate that a few weeks ago when I stated that my friend worked for twitter, they assumed he was a white male. I hate that when I shared on twitter last month that I am finally debt free before 30, a salty individual had the nerve to comment back, “impossible.”

Why is it that we are not allowed to own anything or having anything of value?
Why are our accolades questioned?

It’s to the point that I sometimes avoid buying certain items, or sharing different milestones in my life because judgements and off-hand comments don’t do well with my anxiousness and angry black woman tendencies. And though I’m working to ignore it and “live my best life” out loud and unashamed, I still am very much so bothered by the shitty circumstances that will come with it.

This is unfortunately our norm. But that’s life right?

*no, I do not mean all white people. go away if you have come to comment with this stupid ass assumption.

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8 Comments

  1. First of all, you are totally allowed to complain about this. This isn’t about a BMW: This is about racism & bullshit, plain & simple, about white folks & Black folks both not recognizing & respecting Black people – women, especially – who have built success for themselves. This is about cruelty & stereotyping & misogyny, full stop. You are FULLY ALLOWED to be mad as hell about this. I am so sorry.

  2. Girl, the higher up you climb, the more you will confuse people, especially those that have limited capacity in their brains to comprehend that it’s possible for a young and talented black girl to have nice things. Sometimes it’s not their reality because they will never achieve greatness so they don’t understand it. Sometimes they are just plain ignorant. Either way keep being yourself, and be proud. We are breaking barriers all around us and we can only hope that one day we will be the norm and not face questions/scrutiny!

    If it makes you feel better I often get mistaken for a receptionist in my firm, and people are always thrown off by my accent. lol.

  3. Girl. GIRL!!! THIS!!! Don’t apologize for complaining about these terrible and unfortunate scenarios. You’re owed the apology. I’ve dealt with this so many times. Honestly, the comments from strangers are easier to deal with than ones from family. It’s a sad, shameful reality.

    I hope you keep doing you and living your best life. I totally get not wanting to buy certain things and sharing accomplishments to avoid the headache. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to avoid those headaches. But don’t ever stop living your life for anyone else’s comfort. It’s not worth it.

  4. What’s crazy is that I face a lot of the same BS where I live. In oil, it’s rare to see a successful female, let alone one who like you is debt free and taking advantage of a few luxuries. IDK where we went wrong as a society to get to the point where ridiculing those who have clearly done well for themselves is a normal and accepted behavior.

    All I can say regarding your post is to keep being you. You deserve the best out of life and screw anyone who says otherwise.

  5. You have worked hard for what you have..don’t let anyone make you question, your decisions on anything. Don’t dim your light…their ignorance not yours…I know its easier said than done but maybe you will inspire some of them to step up their game and work hard and have the things they want!

  6. Now…you know reading this, my big sister hands started to shake. You have earned each and every thing you have. No one has the right to tell you otherwise however…this world is filled with haters and ignorance and frankly, there’s nothing we can do except hold our heads high and tell those who are to ignorant to know better…to fuck off. As a young black woman in this world, we are made to think we don’t deserve anything…that is a LIE. You bust your tail, you work hella hard, you give your all to your career and you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Don’t let anyone tell you different or try to make you feel anxiety because they cannot reach the heights you have. that is THEIR cross to bear…not yours. FUCK ‘EM. flaunt that big brain of yours, bat those gorgeous eyes and use your words to reduce them to cinders. You got this hunny. you got this.

  7. As a BMW owner I have had those experiences back in 1990. Didn’t know shit like this still goes on. . . “When they go low you go high”. . . . Now I am driving my 4th BMW no one cares. Enjoy your Life!!

  8. Welp. This is easy. I live in Park Slope and even when I tell black people that I live there the immediate response is – how? White people on the other hand are another animal. They have taught us to love their wealth and hate ourselves so when we disrupt the narrative and assault all of their assumptions it puts them in a state of silent panic. The logic is – she can do well but not better than me. I say ” assault and disrupt away”.

    Jesus came so you could have life and have it more abundantly. Not so white folks (and even some black ones) could feel better about their mediocrity at your expense.

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