Friday, January 05, 2007

Wesley Autrey: Hero Or Madman?

It's good to have a black man named Wesley in the news who isn't dodging taxes.

Y'all probably heard about Wesley Autrey, a construction worker from Harlem who dove onto the train tracks to shield a man from an oncoming train. He climbed on top of the man who was having an epilepsy attack and smothered him in the gap between the rails and the floor.

By the way, the saver was black and the savee was Jewish.

Peep the YouTube video,

Afterwards, Autrey was rewarded by strangers, celebrities and the city alike.

Both of his daughters were given scholarships, Trump gave him $10,000, Bloomberg gave him a Bronze Medallion, he got an all-expenses paid trip to Disney World, a free year of MTA travel (worth about $950) and untold gifts and rewards from anonymous strangers. (Last week I saw a scared white family in the middle of the Flatbush jungle andshowed them how to get to Brooklyn college before someone tried to bag their daughter. Can I get something Bloomberg?)

OK, now I'm as racial as they come. I see color in everything.
Shit, I get mad when people offer me vanilla ice cream. And don't even get me started on Neapolitan ice cream. (Why does the chocolate have to be in the middle?)

But I couldn't get on the racial vibe people tried to approach this story with.
I heard all types of variations on this story.

  • If Autrey was white he would have gotten more.
  • Autrey only got so much because white people love to see black people risk their lives to save them.
  • A white person wouldn't have saved a black person.
  • If the guy Autrey saved was black no one would care.
  • Etc...

Granted the dude was a little off to jump onto the tracks with his two daughters standing there, but if people acted sooner instead of standing around watching the man's epilepsy attack, the dude wouldn't have fallen in the tracks to begin with.

I'm going to look at this as one of those rare moments when a person transcended whatever bullshit notions of identity we hold and just acted out of his sense of humanity not that sense of "I ain't helping no _____ ass ______" that we all seem to hold.

If I'm wrong and this was racial, then I'll say this, 2007 is young. There is plenty of time for a white person to step up and save a black person.

White people, if you operate by the 2 train, let me know.
We could work out our own little rescue stunt and split the goods.


  1. i'm gonna go with transcending bullshiite for humanity.

    finally, news that made you feel good.

  2. I keep hear Dave Chapelle in my head. "I think those black guys are gonna try and save us."

  3. - I'm glad Vic is riding with me.

    - I didn't bring that Chappelle angle to it. That show has been off the air too long.