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Home > Secteur-English > General > Furious When I Fled ‘G.d’s House’ .By Veronica Maria Brown-Comegys

Furious When I Fled ‘G.d’s House’ .By Veronica Maria Brown-Comegys

Of course it was a set-up, and since I’m still not suspicious enough of those lacking melanin, I missed the red flag. I should have thought, I’m not a high-ranking African American, so why is a white, Jewish female treating me like I’m Oprah ? Normal behavior ? Not in the least. I was the sole black member of the congregation, but I’d been the “only one” in many places without similar reaction. My non-Jewish, white friends, including foreigners, were respectful, warm and supportive, and displayed rational control. However, this woman was desperately friendly, hugging, and patting me on the head. I thought, OMG, back off. My fan was the cantor (soloist and prayer leader). And although after one rehearsal I reported that the choir director wanted me gone, she insisted that I participate. At each rehearsal the choir leader snarled, “Do you have access to a laptop so you can hear the music ?”
By the fourth time I thought, Woeperson, I’m not a needy wretch. What is your problem ? Yet Cantor remained dogged. “It’s all in your head ; Abbbycadabby-Lilly said it’s going well.” A thought zoomed through my mind, they are livestreaming the services ; they want the world to see their diversity, and I’m it. However, two months earlier, I avoided being a lamb to the slaughter when the choir was scheduled to sing at a Protestant church. I examined the denomination’s website. The message said “everybody is welcome,” but all the believers in the photo were white. I hadn’t forgotten my attendance in a Catholic church in the 1980s, when a white man shouted, “She has no right to be here !” In addition, in the 1940s, my newly-arrived- from-Alabama mom abandoned the black church, when an African American pastor said, “ignorant girls from the South don’t have enough sense to do anything but wash white people’s floors.” Now, I considered the hate stares from non-Jews, who came to the synagogue for the Rabbi’s presentations. Therefore, when the other convert asked if I would participate in the concert, I thought, no way. I’m not singing at my own lynching. Consequently, I didn’t show up for the rehearsals. I wished them well, thinking, you’re white, you can sing your butts off anyplace. But, I must discriminate.However, this time I had no excuse. Since we would perform in the shul. But, I felt uneasy, and not only because the choir director hated me. Two years ago, as I walked the long driveway to attend the High Holy Days service, a thought popped into my head, someone could spray this place with bullets, and you would die with these people. Instead of death, I encountered the choir’s version of what Brazilian’s term “cordial racism.” That means you are smoothly and sweetly told, “you are lowly.” At one rehearsal a male smiled while chatting with a woman. She said, “I have two engineering degrees, but I’m going to enroll in law school.” The man, still looking at me, said, “You have two engineering degrees, and it’s good you’re going to law school.” In the winter, I had decided to abandon this shul ; nobody knew. But, my slobbering fan, Cantor kept bombarding me with invites to a picnic at her home. I was curious about her abode, which was in Birmingham, Michigan. At the outing, I felt as if I were in a whirlwind when the beer-bellied, retired professor, inventor, and alleged pal of Stevie Wonder assailed me with an endless list of his accomplishments. His intent was murder. I thought, he wants me to die a million deaths from envy. The convert announced her husband was “pure Jewish.” I thought, I’d be pure black if your tribe hadn’t raped my ancestors. Ponder that while you risk skin cancer to look like me. During the trip home, I heard, “I have two engineering degrees, but I think I’ll enroll in law school.” Abbbycadabby-Lilly chimed in, “I’d feel inferior in this crowd not having as much education as everyone else.” Next, she said, “Oh Veronica, look at the Holocaust Museum. Do you see the barbed wire around the museum ?” Nevertheless, I wasn’t feeling second-rate, but I could predict being allowed to “overhear” more chattering pointing to my alleged bargain basement ranking. I thought, I’m not hanging around for more of this zevel (shit). So, the synagogue received my “walking away” email this week. I had wondered why the Rabbi didn’t attend the picnic. However, I decided she had to keep her hands clean in order to keep a straight face as she composed a letter of apology in response to an emailed draft of my story. More articles by Veronica at TUDO JOIA –Everything’s Great www.facebook.com/VeroniWrites Originally printed in the Michigan Chronicle Newspaper.

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