The happiness of two Black bikers celebrating the summer in Michigan was interrupted this week by a white woman who chastised them for cruising around her town before yelling that she had “white privilege.”
Darius Bankhead Sr. and James Grisham, both from Muskegon, took their motorcycles to Grand Haven to enjoy the annual Coast Guard Festival, but the fun was ruined when a road-rage Karen allegedly harassed them on the road.
In an interview with The Daily Beast Friday, Bankhead said he was supposed to be meeting with his girlfriend on Thursday to reserve a spot to watch the fireworks. However, it started raining, so he and Grisham rode their bikes to get his car. That’s when they noticed a woman aggressively driving behind them.
“She was behind us at the red light,” Bankhead said. “I could see through my peripheral her car was super close to us. It kept speeding up and slowing down, like they was rushing us to go.”
He said when he turned around, he noticed the woman flipping them off in the 25 mph zone.
“We were going the speed limit,” he said. “And she did it again. She sped up. And then after she sped up, she went around us in a no-passing zone. She’s going around us, she’s honking her horn, and flipping us off.”
They were near the beach, so he said the woman couldn’t get far with all of the traffic from the event. Bankhead said he and Grisham pulled into a nearby parking lot to get a photo of the woman’s license plate and call the police, but the woman followed suit.
“That’s when she had got out her car, and that’s when she got in [Grisham’s] face. That’s when I started recording,” Bankhead said.
In the video, uploaded Thursday by Bankhead on Facebook, Grisham explains to the woman that he’s from Muskegon.
“Don’t worry, I got the police on the way,” Grisham tells the woman.
“Fuck the police,” the woman slurs. “No, you guys are fucked up. You guys think you can ride your big ol’ bikes.”
The woman argues with Grisham that she wasn’t driving recklessly. Then, she walks back to her orange Jeep that she parked in a handicapped spot.
“Just remember,” the woman calls out the window before driving off, “I’m white privilege!”
Grisham told The Daily Beast that his phone didn’t have service so he couldn’t get through to the cops right away. He said when the woman got out of her vehicle, she was initially recording them.
“And then she started walking towards me, and she was just saying stuff and she was like, ‘You guys come down here on your big ol’ bikes,’” he said.
He explained that as soon as he told her he was from Muskegon and had ties to Grand Haven, the woman started to back down.
“I knew what she meant when she said ‘you guys,’” Grisham said. “‘Your color’…is basically what she was saying.”
Grisham reported the incident and sent the video to Ottawa police on Friday.
“I really don’t care how people view me, but I don’t want to be viewed as a bad person on a motorcycle,” Grisham said.
Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for more information Friday.