"split their skulls open like the old days"
July 17, 2014 6:05 PM Subscribe
I need some help processing a disturbing and scary interaction I had today with someone.
I won't be able to convey what it was like to experience this in person, but I'll try. Today I was out at lunch sitting on a bench near the metro stop, just enjoying the weather and looking at my phone. A black man walked by me slowly and said "Hey." I looked up and he looked like he was going to ask me for me money so I looked back down without responding. He said "What, you can't answer me?" apparently indignant. I looked back up and said, "What do you want?" in a stern but not disrespectful way. He then went off on a heated diatribe most of which I don't remember. He said, "I just got outta prison. I was there for twelve years." He looked me up and down, sneering, I guess offended by my professional clothing, which is probably the reason he stopped in the first place. He said, "Man I'm tryin' to deal wit all the gentrification and shit goin' on around here. Motherfuckers like you comin' in wit all your fancy bullshit. Maybe we gon' have ta start splittin' skulls open like the old days. You motherfuckas piss me off." I said, "I don't even live here." He said, "I don't care, bitch. You're lucky I'm in my peace mode cuz otherwise I'd fuck you up right now." He walked away and back over his shoulder he said, "You stupid motherfucker," shaking his head and laughing derisively.
Like I said, I don't remember half of it. This guy was seriously angry. I was scared that he would attack me. I've never in my life had an interaction like that with anybody. Not even close. It really shook me up. It was really awful. I guess all I'm asking for from you all is some perspective. I understand that I'm a privileged white male (with apparently pretty thin skin), and I can understand his anger. But I just don't know what I'm supposed to do -- in that situation and in general. What should I be thinking? Should I have handled it differently? What are your thoughts on the whole thing? I'm just at a loss. Thanks everybody.