Dear PoPville – “Racially charged biker/driver incident at 14th and Florida Ave, NW”

Photo by PoPville flickr user [email protected]

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to pass on an unpleasant experience that happened on my bike ride to work this morning at about 8:15. I was biking west on Florida between 13th and 14th Streets NW, right next to Booker T Washington Public Charter School. The light at 14th and Florida turned red, and as there was no room for me to bike between the stopped traffic and parked cars on the right, I waited in line behind the stopped cars on Florida for the light to turn green.

The driver behind me, in a light-gold newish Cadillac, laid on his horn and waved his hands at me from inside the car. I gave a shrug to say “what do you want me to do?” There was no room to pass the stopped traffic on the right, and I wasn’t going to dart out against traffic in the eastbound lane of Florida just to save a few seconds. The driver got out of his car, and we had the following conversation:

Driver: “Get your cracker-ass off the road, I’m trying to get my kids to school!”

Me: “Give me a *ucking break, there’s a red light, where do you want me to go?”

Driver: “On the *ucking sidewalk, you’re lucky my kids are here, or I’d beat your ass.”

The driver was ready to continue this conversation, but at this point, the light had turned green and I was on my way. This exchange left a particularly sour taste in my mouth. Yes, I realize I did not respond in a way to diffuse the situation—that’s just what came out at the moment. I’ve been mulling this over though, trying to figure out what it’s about. Did the 4 feet of space of Florida Ave that me and my bike take up seriously delay this guy from dropping his kids off at school?

Was it really necessary to resort to a nasty racial slur (and in front of his kids)? I try to play nice with cars, and was surprised that in this case, a biker following traffic laws and avoiding unpredictable behavior actually resulted in this confrontation. I’ve biked in DC for about two years, but this is the first time I’ve encountered anything like this. I’d be curious to hear whether other readers have encountered similar instances of verbal assault from drivers, and how they have handled them.”

283 Comment

  • Welcome to DC.
    A model for tolerance.

  • Am I the only one who read “gold new-ish Cadillac” and thought about the recent incident with the cyclists on the GW Parkway?

  • I was once called a white cracker b*tch for riding in a traffic lane on my way to work. I try to ignore these types of drivers because I don’t think there’s a way to reason with someone who has this type of attitude. I’m more afraid of cars who tail me and start honking furiously until I pull over and let them ahead of me.

    • I’ve been called a cracker while walking around Columbia Heights…on more than one occasion. While I could chime in about the biking aspect of this (and applaud the OP for his manners on the road) but I think the fact that this guy is willing to use such language in front of his kids is part of the reason why so many kids in the area can be heard using the same words. It’s bothersome on many levels.

      • Yeah, I’ve gotten f-bombed much more than being called a cracker.

        Although once on Capitol Hill I got called a “honkey.” Haha, that was a fun one….

        • The ‘preacher’ who hung out at 8th & H NE used to favor ‘white devil’. One day I went into the rite-aid on the corner and bought a box of ice-cream sandwiches, then came out and gave them to the kids standing around the bus stop while saying “free ice cream from the white devil.” The kids thought it was hilarious.

  • This guy might be the only bicyclist in all of Washington DC who actually follows the law. And look what it gets him.

    • Yeah, I was thinking that it has been years since I’ve seen a cyclist actually stop at a light and wait until it turned green.

      And unfortunately it has only been about 4.5 hours since I last had to slam on my brakes in the middle of a heavily trafficed signalized intersection to avoid hitting a cyclist who completely blew through his red light.

      I am really thinking of getting one of those video things for my car that parents use to monitor how their kids drive by videoing in front and back of the car because I nearly hit cyclists probably 3 or 4 times a week and I am sure eventually I am not going to be able to respond fast enough to save one of them from their horrible decision who will then try to sue me into the stone ages for not being able to read their mind.

      • Wow, you almost hit people 3 or 4 times a week and you have no part of it whatsoever?

        • wait… do you drive? i drive and i almost hit someone daily. and no, it isn’t my fault.

          there are indeed a % of bikers and peds that are insane in this town. (just as there are insane drivers.)

          • Yes I drive.

            And bikers and peds aren’t perfect, but only one of the three groups is utilizing a two ton machine which kills 40k plus people a year.

          • no.. i’m totally with you on that. and i think drivers need to be VERY careful. but people do dart out in front of you a lot. i drive very defensively and it still happens.
            okay.. maybe not DAILY, but 3-4 ties a week is very realistic.

          • like, and agreed, its like an obstacle course driving in this city with the cabs (u-turns mid traffic!) and bikes and pedestrians, all of them face their own challenges. its about the individuals not the mode of transportation. i have even been honked at for walking across a cross walk where i have the right of way.

          • Just because someone should clue you in: if you’re almost hitting someone daily, you are by definition a shitty, shitty driver. Either that, or you are a massive drama queen. (Do you “almost get trampled” by other pedestrians when you walk on the sidewalks? “Almost get run over” when you’re pushing your shopping cart in the grocery store?) Please, either slow down, or turn in your license. DC thanks you.

          • 9:39,

            thats just not true. people walk out in front of traffic often in dc. i drive the speed limit, mostly. and i mostly obey the laws. i’m talking about people who are not looking and walk out into traffic. it’s insane how often that happens.
            it doesn’t make me angry or upset, but i find it troublesome that some many just have no sense of safety.

            not all of us drivers are maniacs you know.

        • No, you can’t make me responsible for something when I’m driving through a light thats been green for 30 seconds and a cyclist bolts across the intersection playing chick with his life.

          Or when one who had been on the street, bike up onto the the sidewalk, bikes across the ped crosswalk at 25 mph, then jumps back on the street as I am making a left turn and “silly me” not expecting a ped moving at 25 mph to be using the crosswalk who was out of sight 5 seconds ago and now is inches from my bumper…

          Or lets see..turning onto a one way steet and having a cyclist whose bike the wrong way nearly end up on my hood.

          I could go on all day and both drivers and cyclists need to be better about accomodating each other, but until cyclists stop treating stop lights and stop signs as “loose guidelines” rather than rules, there is going to be a lot of near misses.

          • Agreed. The explosion of bike use is only making it worse. They are required to ride in the streets. but can’t go as fast as cars, and most simply do not adhere to all automobile rules as they should. It’s a real problem. Maybe bike use should be banned until DC can provide the same bike friendly environments as exist in Europe.

          • Unfortunately, the courts have upheld a right of cyclists to use the public streets for going on a century now. So you’ll just have to put on your big boy pants and cope.

          • No excuses on riding the wrong way down a one-way street. It infuriates me to no end. If you NEED to be on that road, cyclist, there is a wonderful sidewalk where you can shift into low gear and gingerly bypass pedestrians.

            I wonder if I barrel through stop lights like most drivers say cyclists do. I admit I will go through them, but not before slowing down, looking down the cross street (which is much more possible on a bike than in a car), and taking additional cues from jaywalking pedestrians (I don’t use them exclusively to make my decisions, but I do use them to confirm that the way is clear). Do I stop? No. Do I brake? Absolutely. I see cyclists do this constantly, but I’ve never seen a bike just barrel through without paying attention to the environment. I can only conclude that that’s what it looks like to drivers.

    • Was thinking the same thing as Intractable.

      What a shame.

    • nah.. I follow the law… signal, wear a helmet.. .etc. I’m from here and have been biking downtown (and all over this city) for over 16 years. Most cyclist I encounter don’t know the rules of the road. They run red lights, stop signs, never signal, don’t wear helmets and think they ‘own’ the road. What people don’t realize is once you’re on a bike you must follow the same rules as cars. Drivers (esp the ones that don’t ride in the city) have come to expect that bicyclists are just going to do whatever they want. The driver was wrong for yelling at you and obviously a read douche for the racial slur, but I’m sure he’s encountered (as have I) plenty of D-Bag, holyer-than-thou bicyclist and just chose to take his frustrations out on the poster.

      Those rent-a-bike-share people are the worst. : )

      • so by follow the same rules as cars, do you mean:

        failing to stop at stop signs
        turning right on red when it says not to
        honking horns
        pulling into intersections when the light is about to turn red and blocking traffic going the other way

        sure, bikers break the laws. but so do cars

        • The percentage of bike riders that break the law is VASTLY higher than that of car drivers. VAAAASSSSSSTTTTTLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYY. Like about 90-95% of bike riders vs. what must be a max of 25-30% of cars.

          • only 25-30% of cars speed? pffffht.

          • I’m sure there’s a source for your very plausible claim.

          • show me a study and i’ll believe you. i mostly walk to get around the city. and from my personal experience, it’s cars that are doing more illegal, dangerous, and inconsiderate things on the road.

          • Despite your creative misspelling, you’re full of shit. What you want to say is that cyclists break the laws that you want enforced, whereas drivers universally break the laws that you don’t care about–mostly because by breaking them you only endanger pedestrians and cyclists. I’d love to see 100% enforcement of cars and bicyclists. There’d be a lot of drivers paying a shitload more money in fines and insurance premiums, and the streets would be less of a free-for-all.

      • Ironic that you don’t actually know the rules of the road either. For one, cyclists don’t follow the same rules as cars–there are some that are similar, but there are many laws that are different. Also, cyclists aren’t legally required to signal or wear helmets in DC.

        • Pretty sure red lights and stop signs apply to both drivers and cyclists. And that is far and away the most frequent violation I’ve witnessed while driving, cycling and walking.
          I love the idea of more and more people biking (and taking pub trans) rather than driving, but in this city far and away the majority of cyclists act irresponsible on the roads (and sidewalks!).

      • Hey now. I ride a bike share bike and I am very careful about following the rules!

    • Cyclists can’t win. They follow the rules, they get cursed at (and whisker close to assaulted). They pedal fast to keep up with traffic and get made fun as Lance wanna-bes. No wonder they don’t give a stinky dump what the regs are or what drivers think.

      • i agree – there are some drivers who don’t care if you’re following the rules, they just don’t want bikes getting in their way. i follow the rules and am a safe cyclist (out of fear for my life) and on many occasions i’ve had people shout ‘get off the road’ when i was doing absolutely nothing wrong. if i have the presence of mind, next time i’m shouting back ‘take the metro.’

        but the racially charged situation – there’s no reason or excuse for that, just an unbalanced person who is making some severely questionable parenting choices.

      • I completely agree. I am a bike commuter and, sure, I occasionally run a red light, but I would gladly follow each and every traffic rule if the cars would respect my part of the road.

        It is wonderful that the city has put in bike lanes, but I am almost hit by drivers while in the bike lane almost every time I bike during rush hour traffic. Cars park in the bike lane, requiring me to merge into busy traffic. Cars use the bike lane as a right turn lane, oftentimes not looking for cyclists and not using their signals and, as a result, surprise me and almost hit me. Cars drive in the bike lane when the rest of the road is unobstructed, out of complete disregard for this tiny piece of space that has been designated so that bike commuters as myself can be safe and also so we can not be a bother to the 1/2 ton giants with whom we also share the road.

        If cars would respect the space designated for bikes, which I think is a simple request, then I would be sure to obey each traffic law applicable to bikes, and in turn gladly refrain from running an occasional red light.

        As a postscript: Bikes do not follow the exact same laws as cars do. Some of the things that car drivers complain of or harass bikers about are completely legal under DC law.

        • @Trying to not get run over…I don’t know much about bike riding in the city, but I do know I am in love with you. I just bought a two seater bike if you want to go for a ride sometime? It is always more fun to be called cracker(s) when you are with some one pretty.

  • pretty sure its illegal to bike on the sidewalk in the district.

    • It is illegal, but only while commuting. Casual riders may use the sidewalk but must give right of way to peds.

      • Nope, last time I checked, it was legal to ride on the sidewalk everywhere except downtown, and there was no rush hour exclusion.

      • Actually, the rule is that no sidewalk riding is allowed in the downtown area (like Farragut West). Outside of that business district, you are definitely allowed to ride on sidewalks if you need them. Check out the Washington Area Bicyclist Association for more details.

      • you just made that up.

        there’s a zone downtown that you must be on the road for, everywhere else they can be on the sidewalk or the street.

        • If bikes can really be on sidewalks that is where they belong to the extent possible. Much trouble will be avoided.

          • You mean much of the annoyance to cars. Given the width and condition of most sidewalks in DC, riding on the sidewalk is far more dangerous (to cyclists and pedestrians) than riding on the street.

          • Sure, exactly. After all, the convenience of drivers is infinitely more important than the safety of pedestrians (Damn those arrogant, entitled cyclists!)

  • The guy obviously is more important than you and your observation of traffic laws and safety.

    Hopefully karma is real.

  • Get back in the car and quit being a racist or I’ll pedal slowly for the next several miles on purpose this time.

    • careful with that… some people won’t think twice about hitting you because they don’t see the consequence in their actions until they’re caught.

      • +1. I’ve twice had my life threatened for walking on a sidewalk when a car wanted to turn into private property and come within an inch of my legs. people are f’ing crazy. and racists are trash.

  • “A nasty racial slur” ? Sorry for your trouble man, but if “cracker” got to you, get some thicker skin.

    • it probably would have been easier to swallow without the threat of physical violence.

    • If I had a dollar for every time I got called a cracker in DC, I’d be one wealthy-ass cracker. That being said, it’s always really sad and pathetic when a bigoted parent spreads racial hatred to their kids.

    • Completely agree! What is the big deal with that? The fact that he threated to bit you up is way worse than that.

      And… those type of things happen all the time on the road.

      • And why the double standard? If we wouldn’t use race-specific derogatory terms for one group, why would we be ok with another form? Let’s aim higher, people. Please.

    • Would you tell a black person whom some racist called n****r to “get some thicker skin”? “Cracker” is the equivalent; a derogatory ethnic slur meant to disrespect, demean and dehumanize the target of the speaker.

      • facepalm.

        Yes, a long history of the black man keeping the white man down using “honky” and “cracker.”

        • that does not justify this. we are all aware of the terrible history of racism in this country but really, does that mean blacks get a “pay-back” right to be racist for the rest of time!?

        • I have no history of that, nor does my family as we were not even hear until 100 years ago. I have nothing to apologize for or to feel repsonsible for as we have never held anyone down. So yes, honky and cracker to me is just as bad as the N word to someone of african descent.

      • The posters who supposedly don’t have a problem with the usage of “cracker” remind me of Woody Allen’s mom in “Annie Hall.” This is the bigotry of soft expectations. Lower the bar for others because you don’t think they could meet your own standards. Ugh.

        • You’re both building quite the straw man here. Never did I say the guy’s behavior was fine or the use of the word “cracker” was permissible or admirable.

          I just snickered at the description of cracker as a “nasty racial slur”…which if you think that is the case, is just funny.

          • I think it might be useful for you to realize that while you may be living in 1950’s Mayberry, the rest of us might be permanent residents of the 21st Century. Not everybody has the same worldview, and to think so would be rather presumptive.

        • jesus if you’re going to quote GWB, at least get it right. Its the “soft bigotry of low expectations”.

      • Seriously? I’ll grant you that “Cracker” can be used to refer to White people in a negative way, but it’s not in the same universe as the N word. I’m not justifying, I’m just saying . . .

      • figby

        Not equivalent at all.

      • it’s not the same. a “cracker” was a white person who “cracked” the whip over a black person’s back. it’s NOT the same

        • Ding, Ding Ding. I constantly try to explain this. Cracker comes from the sonic boom created by the whip. Blacks during slavery, the black codes and Jim Crow begin to identify the more oppressive whites in society. Of course now uneducated blacks use it as a word to encompass all whites.

        • There is much debate over where this term came from, as a brief read of the wiki site will point out:

          ‘As early as the 1760s, this term was in use by the upper class planters in the British North American colonies to refer to Scots-Irish and English settlers in the south. The vast majority of whom were descendants of English bond servants.’

          But hell, let’s go racial even more. This was a racist use by the driver of a 3 ton weapon of anger.

          The driver meant it in the same way a white racist would have used the nigg… (woops! Always forget that word is so heinous it is to be voldemorted.) This I firmly believe. But, whitey is whitey, so whatever.

        • i always thought it meant that white people were of no substance, like a cracker.

      • “”Cracker” is the equivalent; a derogatory ethnic slur meant to disrespect, demean and dehumanize the target of the speaker.”

        Cracker was meant to identify the overseers or whites with the authority to whip you during slavery and Jim Crow. Cracker refers to the sonic boom or “crack” sound the whip makes when it encounters the back of a black person.

    • i’ve never met a decent person that used to term cracker as an insult.
      and there is always a threat of violence inherent in slurs.

      should people that are called other derogatory terns grow thicker skins too? probably, but that doesn’t make it right.

    • yeah…agree…but only if we make the rule go both ways…like the N word.

    • Since when is name calling of any kind acceptable? Especially unprovoked.

    • Fuck you, you (insert the very worst name for your race).

      If this had been a white man in a Prius calling a young African-American woman on a bike the n-word, you would be calling the guy every name in the book right now and calling on people to run him out of DC. You and your thick skin can shove it.

    • Really ‘cracker’ is ok? What like word could he have used back at this guy?

  • hate to hear this…

    but in the game of “show and tell” I have a million of these stories

    these kids will be throwing rocks at passing cyclist in the next few months

    and had you been on the sidewalk?
    what if he were with his kids on the sidewalk?
    this driver would have questioned why you were not riding in the street

  • i don’t understand. if the light was red, was he angry just about the extra five feet he could have moved up closer to the cars in front of you? he wouldn’t have been able to proceed beyond that, right?

    avoiding a problem isn’t solving it, but i take a similar route down 11th, turn onto florida and then take 12th to v. it’s a lot more pleasant ride and, though not guaranteed to be problem free, seems to generate much less conflict with cars than taking florida.

    • Wasn’t 11th the street where bicyclists were having problems with kids from a housing project throwing rocks at them?

    • Idiots like the the gold caddy driver aren’t concerned about the light being red or green or about the bike being on the street or the sidewalk. they’re just pissed off about everything and gotta take it out on the first thing they see. His kids probably got an earful of his lame-ass carping all morning and couldn’t wait to get to school.

      I’m pretty sure it wasn’t about you and your bike.

      BTW, as a native Floridian, I remember my parents and grandparents referring to Florida natives of any race as crackers —Florida crackers.

      • I’m pretty sure it wasn’t about you and your bike.

        At least until his bike was under the jerk’s car. If there’s one thing assholes like the driver here have in common, it’s that they’ll always save their vitriol for the most vulnerable members of society–and it’ll always be the victim’s fault for asking for it. Either his kids are lippy, his wife is back-talking, or that “arrogant” cyclist didn’t get out of his way fast enough.

    • Call me crazy, but unless this guy is indeed the number one bicycle rule follower in all of DC I am sure there is more to the story prior to him stopping at this light. As someone who commutes in this area daily I have witnessed bicyclists doing all sorts of things that slow up traffic & annoy the crap out of people driving. Not that calling this guy a “racially charged” name was ok, but I have seen enough foolishness in this area that would frustrate even the most mild mannered person. Why was this guy in the middle of the lane anyway? What bicycling rule is THAT?

      • Yeah – he (or she) was on a bike so he must have done something wrong earlier. Good logic.

        • Well with the same logic why would the guy get out of the car if he hadn’t. Just a typical angry Black guy????

          • Cyclist was in drivers way. When driver told cyclist to get the fuck out of way, cyclist didn’t immediately comply. Nothing to do with race. There are a million white dudes (and women) out in the suburbs who have the same screaming sense of entitlement.

    • Yep. There’s no reason to ride down Florida btw 13 and 14 when you have W and V st bikelanes.

      • There are reasons:

        1. the road is there
        2. this is the shortest route to the desitination

        The cyclist has the same reasons as the car.

        • why do we have bike lanes then? I guess we can all agree that they should be converted back to automotive use right?

          • Converted? Cars use them now. The one on V is used as parking by the illegal car wash that operates out of the AM-PM carryout building across V from the Reeves Center, and the one on W is used as 15 minute parking for the dealers who operate out of the public housing between 14th and 15th.

  • Bicyclists disobeying traffic laws provides convenient fodder for bicycling critics, but really, most drivers don’t give a shit whether you are following the law or not.

    If you are riding in front of them, or waiting to make a left turn and not in the bike lane, they will resent you. And the assholes will roll down their window and tell you so.

    The most you can do as a cyclist is try to shrink the spectrum of reasons cars and pedestrians have to hate you (stop pulling out in the damn crosswalk), and realize there will always be d-bags that hate you regardless of what you’re doing out there.

    • +1 this is how i look at it, too. for all the troubles, the city is much, much better towards bikes than it was 10 years ago.

    • or you can try biking in the many bike lanes throughout the city instead of making a show of how you are entitled to bike on main arterial streets during rush hour even though by doing so you are putting your safety at great peril.

      • There isn’t always a bike lane.

        • There are many bike lanes. Bikers should plan their trips to use them, rather than risking life and limb proving their immature little point about being entitled to use arterial roads during rush hour.

          • bullsh*t! that is terrible reasoning. bikers ARE entitled to use the roads, and have just as much right to them as any other vehicle. pull your head out of you immature little @ss.

          • is there a map?

          • So he tried to go somewhere on his bike on a road you feel is the wrong road, and this makes him entitled and immature and trying to prove a point? You must be psychic to see right through his motives like that…

            or maybe he just needs to get to work.

          • Most streets do not have bike lanes. By your logic, it sounds like you think cyclists should be confined to a small fraction of roads? Why not reverse that and ban cars from the majority of roads in DC? How would you like that?
            It is clear that you have never cycled in DC…if you had you would know that DC bike lanes are constantly blocked by illegally parked cars, taxis, delivery trucks, etc… This is in addition to the constant threat of being doored in a bike lane. Because of this, bike lanes are often more dangerous than the road lanes.
            My right to use roads is not an immature point. My taxes pay for those roads. Are you claiming that your tax dollars are more important than mine? I’d argue that I have MORE of a right to use DC roads than car drivers. My bike takes up FAR less room than a car, and my use of DC roads represents a small fraction of the space, wear, and tear of a car. If anything, car drivers should have to pay extra to cover the externalities of their driving. Congestion fees work quite well in London, let’s try them here!

          • How is minding your own business and obeying the rules of the road an “immature little point”? You’re out of your damn (entitled?) mind.

          • Your assumptions are completely wrong.

            And by the way, my life has been in danger plenty of times while biking – in a bike lane. Drivers don’t pay me any more heed in bike lanes than they would if I was in the road.

          • This myopic little twit will use arterial roads all day long Eric.

          • There are bike lanes near my house, but not directly next to my house. Rather than walk my bike on the sidewalk to the nearest bike lane, I do tend to ride on the residential roads between my home and the best bike paths. I walk, run, bike, and drive in the district and if we could all try to understand that we’re all doing our best to get from A to B safely we wouldn’t have incidents like this.

      • @ Eric in Ledroit?

        Seriously? That’s your take-away from this story?

      • I choose to stay off arterial streets when riding my bike.

        Guess what? Jerk drivers still find it acceptable to roll down their windows and share their thoughts.

        Not to mention, when there is only one lane of traffic, cars seem less likely to use turning signals and common sense, further imperiling the lives of those of us not surrounded by tons of metal.

        But, I appreciate your thoughtful contribution.

      • Eric, that’s moronic.

      • Also, because it seems you are intent on being an asshole, people don’t bike to “prove a point.” They bike to get from point A to point B, without getting killed.

        If a bike splits lanes to get to the front of the queue, it is so cars can see him, since most are not checking their rear mirrors for cyclists.

        If a bike it taking a whole lane, it is because getting doored by a parked car is fucking awful.

        If a bike is not in the bike lane, it is probably because they are making a left turn, which is difficult to do from the lane that runs along the right side of the road.

        Don’t like bikers? Fine. But at least acknowledge that cyclists put their lives on the line when they share a road with giant motorized death machines, and much of their behavior stems from the goal of self-preservation.

  • I was once told, while waiting at a red light, that because I am white, I think that I can get away with anything, but that I should let the driver of the car “get his roll on”.

    I had another driver rev his engine at me because he wanted to make a right hand turn and he was dissatisfied that I was in his way. Mind you, I was not in a right turn only lane.

    What drivers tend to forget is that their vehicles are clearly marked with an identification number. I recommend taking license plate numbers and filing a police report.

  • houseintherear

    I’m sorry that happened to you.

    Don’t let it keep you from biking– the more bikes on the road, the more tolerance for bikes will grow over time (hopefully).

  • Im White – and live in Carver-Langston and I take the X2 nearly daily. Im called cracker or white bitch frequently and mostly when Im minding my own business. For instance – I was reading a book while riding the X2 to work when this black female takes the seat behind me and says while talking on the phone “.. I was sittin up front but now I moved behind this square white bitch …” the double standard on racial slurs mystfies me – but I still love living in Chocolte City!

  • Just a note, while this situation totally sucks, Tommy Wells’ legislation that would criminalize speech wouldnt do anything beyond the existing law to prevent this type of situation. Its already illegal to tell a cyclist you’re going to kick his ass. All Wells’ legislation does is to create a special protected class, bikers, on the roads. They deserve no more or less protection than any other individual, whether they’re walking, driving, or using any other means of transportation.

    • Except one group has a several-ton deadly weapon, and the other doesn’t.

      • At least one group is required to carry insurance and follow traffic laws.

        I respect this cyclist for following traffic laws. The driver was the asshole, this time.

        But seriously, how about some insurance laws for EVERY type of vehicle on the streets? Bicyclists break so many rules, it horrifies me.

        • If your horrified, maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to drive around. You obviously can’t handle the stress.

        • cyclists ARE also required to follow traffic laws. duh. I am a pedestrian and so therefore hate both bikers and cars, but cars by far break the law the most in some seriously scary ways.

          god, I hate people.

          • yes,you do hate people,
            and all this hate is greatly improving your life too.
            And leave god out of your hate please.

        • But cyclists rarely run people over and put them in the hospital. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t occasionally happen, but per capita, this is super-rare. Automobile collisions are much, much more common. Automobile collisions put people in hospitals and morgues every single day.
          In general, cyclists are the ones who get harmed….I think if they want to act stupid and put their lives at risk…that is their problem (although I acknowledge that if a car runs over a cyclists doing something dangerous/stupid, that is not fair to the driver). Even though cyclists regularly break road rules…cars do as well, just different laws: talking on cell phones, blocking bike lanes, speeding, etc…

          • Ok, but creating a law that makes it illegal for me to honk at a bicyclist doesnt solve the problem. It just means a bunch of lawyers are going to get a major pay day taking the law to the supreme court.

        • There are no repercussions for disobeying traffic laws in the District, unless you happen to do it in front of a red light or speed camera. Otherwise, it’s a free-for-all, and if you’ve ever actually driven on roads in DC, you wouldn’t have to be told this. That goes double when it comes to threatening or actually running over cyclists with cars or trucks. Whether an “accident” at the hands of a terrible driver who doesn’t look, then runs over a biker on their right, or a deliberate use of a vehicle as a weapon, it doesn’t matter. Nobody in DC government with any influence (sorry Tommy Wells, I love you, but we all know it’s the truth) gives a shit about the safety of a cyclist on the road.

          You are alone out there. The cops don’t care. Gray doesn’t care. And drivers will assault you or kill you with impunity. Just be careful

      • Right, but using your car as a weapon is already illegal. Get it?

  • Sounds like this person was looking for a confrontation. Don’t take it personally- it had nothing to do with you as an individual. I’m really sorry you had to experience it, but some crazies out there have issues. We definitely have our fair share in the District of Columbia.

    • yeah, the guy was just looking for an excuse as to why he was late.

    • I was about to say the same thing – odds are that you were the target of someone having a bad day (or bad life, for that matter). Unfortunately I think there’s a lot of misdirected anger in the world, and a lot of bad parenting as well. Keep riding!

      • Given the fact that this driver lost his shit in front of his children like this, I’d say that they odds of them growing up to be entitled little monsters with zero impulse control are pretty good, as well.

  • I lot of people seem to be on edge these days. I don’t know if it’s stress related. Last Friday I had a similar incident to happen to me. I was driving South down Georgia Avenue, N.W. going to the Shell station at Georgia and Shepherd. As I put on my right turn signal to make a right turn into the station, there were pedestrians walking down the sidewalk pass the Shell’s driveway. I had to wait for the people to pass by, before pulling into the driveway. A motorists behind me blew his horn because I yield to the pedestrians. As the motorist passed me he yelled curse words out of his vehilce. I didn’t hear exactly what he said, but I was upset. I didn’t say a word to him. I just got out of the my vehicle and went inside the Shell because this nutcase might have a gun. We both are black, but his behavior was somewhat disturbing. I do understand how you feel after your experience. People seem to be on the edge these days. Please enjoy the rest of your day and don’t let this horrific experience destroy the rest of your day. Have a nice day!

    • as a pedestrian I see this all the time. i usually try to yell at the car who’s honking and ask them if they wanted the driver to run me over. thanks for not zooming by and threatening pedestrians.

    • Same happens to me all the time with regard to pedestrians! This morning I was coming off Grant Circle onto New Hampshire and was third in a line of cars stopped to let two LITTLE KIDS pass through the crosswalk–the jerkface behind me was laying down on his horn and throwing his hands in the air. Chill, people, chill.

  • gotryit

    license plate + police report = misdemeanor threats

    It’s illegal to threaten violence. Call 911, report him.

    • Doubt it. Even a video of the threats, witnesses, and actual body harm of knocking down a cyclist wasn’t enough for the DA to press charges for that cyclist video a few months back.

      • They’ll still take a report even if charges aren’t filed. I have called the police recently after 1) being followed home while driving a very easily-identifiable rental car by an extremely aggressive driver and 2) after a neighbor egged on a group of three guys who’d just threatened to kill my dog and told me I’d better keep my doors locked. I want this stuff on record should, god forbid, something worse happen.

        If this guy takes it to the next level next time he’s behind a bike, then at least it’ll be on record that it wasn’t the first time he threatened a biker.

        • I think you’re very wise to report these incidents. God forbid something does escalate, having the prior incidents recorded will certainly help.

          The two times someone threatened my dog was totally bone-chilling, much worse than when I’ve been personally threatened – I don’t know, I guess it makes you feel so helpless when you’re responsible for an animal that doesn’t have a clue as to what it happening.

          I can’t imagine how scary it was to be so outnumbered. I hope nothing ever, ever comes of it.

          • I agree. Someone threatened my dog a few months back and to this day I avoid the block it happened on. It was just so disturbing to me that someone would ever threaten to hurt (God forbid actually hurt) such a sweet and loving little being.

          • Jen/Megan–even worse, this happened while I was standing in my own front yard, dog on leash, with my two-year-old inside the house with the front door open. And it was my across-the-street neighbor (who’s in her 60s) who was encouraging the guys who’d just threatened me.

            It’s the #1 reason on the list of why we’re thinking of moving. I’m not raising my kid around people like this.

    • Technically, he didn’t threaten violence. The phrase “if my kids weren’t here … ” or any “if not for X then I would Y” has been construed to negate the threat of violence.

      • you keep telling yourself that.

        • ? I am confused by this reply…

          • it is still a threat of physical violence, you’re logic notwithstanding.

          • It’s not my logic, it’s just what courts have said. That’s why my comment specifies that the phrasing “has been construed” (thus, not by me) to negate the threat of violence.

            I recognize your apt differentiation between reality and the law. Would I have been afraid in that situation? Yes– in reality it’s a threat. However, the law does not recognize this as an actionable “legal” threat.

            And as Dreas notes, this will not result in a prosecution or legal action of any sort. Might end up in a report somewhere maybe, but generally not worth it.

          • I love all the law school students and recent law school grads that have to flex their 150k legal education and get all stare decisis on PoP.

          • Well, when someone mischaracterizes something legally, as poster JH did– “misdemeanor threats”– it’s generally considered a good thing to increase the public knowledge of the law. Thanks for insulting my choice of education! 🙂

  • Suppose races were reversed. I wonder if comments here would be the same.

    • suppose racial histories were reversed…….

      • No matter how bad shit was/is for black people there is no excusing hate, threatening, and violence. I’m sick of all of the bullshit that attempts to justify a small portion of urban blacks acting like antisocial animals. Why is it that there are plenty of well adjusted poor blacks living in the hood that never commit crimes and never target people for hate and threats, but when the fraction of the population with a similar racial/socioeconomic profile that does do this shit, people fall over themselves to explain it away based on the history of their race.

        So its somehow MORE despicable when a white trailer dwelling beer swilling son of a confederate uses hate and threats than the inner city ignorant wannabe thug does it? I dont buy it.

        • People just need to remember others. Remember when you were young and you were taught to be kind to others, and that the world didn’t resolve around you? Everyone has an equal right to bike, walk, drive, run, or whatever in this city. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. We need to work past this hate and anger.

          I was sitting my iwo jima last night thinking how amazing it is that we could drop a bomb on japan and less than 100 years later be allies. Why cant we practice such forgiveness within our own neighborhoods and families?

          Everyone has the same basic needs and desires happiness, we need to cultivate compassion, not anger.

        • +10000000000000000000000000

  • it’s an infuriating situation. a lose-lose proposition really. i don’t know how you change people but it sure does leave a terrible taste in your mouth when it happens.

    it’s happened to me a bit on my bike and i usually feel shaken and angry. i think about how every hateful thing that happens, increases the amount of hate in the world and try to think about how to not get sucked into that cycle.

  • generalization much?

  • I was pretty sure this would degenerate more quickly into a cyclist v. driver slam fest. What’s the matter? All you haters didn’t have your coffee this morning?

  • Everybody hates everybody. Get the hell off of my lawn.

  • Did you get his license plate number? If you’re not doing something to proactively deal with this, it’s not making the neighborhood better

  • i love all of you.

  • I think this whole post is an unnecessary attempt to dramatize someone acting like an ass. I’ve been called far worse by white drivers. It works both ways, the need to highlight this supposed reverse racism only serves to be inflammatory. The guy is a jerk, but that’s life people are jerks, this guy just happens to be black and you white. Move on.

    • 1. there’s no such thing as “reverse” racism. the reverse of racism is tolerance.

      2. somebody driving aggressively towards a cyclist is a dramatic f’ing deal. I’m sorry you’ve been called far worse, and I don’t doubt it for one second — but just because you have doesn’t mean this isn’t a problem in the city and one people like to discuss so they can learn how to deal with it better in the future.

  • ledroittiger

    Only a cracker could post something like this.

  • What a crummy way to start your day. If you’re like me you’ve probably spent the entire morning thinking of witty responses that you should have said to the driver instead.
    Is there an online site or forum that allows bikers to document the experience and plate # of the vehicles in this type of situations? Police may never do anything but if a community of bikers can show a pattern of aggression by certain drivers, it might help.

  • Ah yes, the natural enemy of the african american DC driver- the yuppie on a road bike decked out like he’s in the Tour de France.

  • I see cyclists put their lives on the line all the time by riding up and down Connecticut Avenue (which has no bike lanes) during rush hour when it is dark outside. Doesn’t seem like a smart move to me since the traffic is heavy and it moves fast. I’d definitely find an alternate route.

    • get ready for the self-important bikers to pile on and tell you how wrong you are for making this observation

    • It appears many bikers take solace in the fact that while they are indeed dead, the driver that hit them was TOTALLY WRONG.

    • Sounds good. What’s the alternate route? Thanks!

    • So you might be surprised to know that the speed limit on Connecticut Ave is 30mph – what percent of drivers do you think abide by that? Conn ave is actually fairly well lit and a bike with lights is highly visible. There is no alternate route that is any safer.

  • Anybody know what was with the police presence at 14th and Florida shortly after this event took place (between 8 and 9 am) this morning? Saw a bunch of cop cars and yellow police tape up.

  • Talk about red meat for the POPville masses. This story has it all: (1) bicycle vs car (2) racism (3) a “how should I live my life” request.

    Will we reach 200 comments?

    • Needs something about a dog and a basement renovation!

    • Amen.

      There’s a dearth of websites for people who live in our neighborhoods and are interested in the goings on, home renovations, business openings, crime, etc. I read and comment on PoP because it’s here, and sometimes things are interesting and useful, and sometimes I genuinely like the choices PoP makes.

      It’s these sorts of posts, though, that make me want to stop: the painfully dreadful, written dialogue that someone sent in about a single incident with some racist douche. Look, it sucks you had this happen to you, but you’re just some guy and this incident wasn’t all that important. There’s nothing that anyone on here is going to write that sheds any light on this situation. It devolves into name-calling, shitty attempts at internet humor, and snark. What’s the point? We see this every third week or so on here.

      This is a great, big city with an unlimited amount of topics for a creative blogger who’s not looking to push comments up with unnecessary race-driven posts like this one.

      And PoP has all kinds of potential. PoP, I hope this blog of yours grows into something huge and awesome that makes you a fortune and brings me and my neighbors much joy to come. But these sorts of posts aren’t going to make it happen. You’re an intelligent guy, and you should be better than this.

    • To reach 200 comments you need a post about another crappy restaurant going chapter 11 and resurfacing with another name,same dreck overpriced food,after they stiffed a few suppliers.

  • I don’t understand people whining about the historical context of racial slurs. Is it really supposed to make me feel better that years ago someone of my skin color oppressed black people when I’m the one being called a cracker?

    yes the n-word is the equivalent of cracker in an individual circumstance. Its 2011, you don’t get to define someone as their race without being called out as a racist prick.

  • jim_ed

    Should probably throw in Adrian Fenty and Marion Barry in somewhere for good measure.

  • Sounds like a typical Maryland driver – dropping their kids off at a DC public school, in a fancy car, filled with road rage and/or complete apathy for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. Did you get a chance to check out the license plate?

  • I don’t exactly think ‘cracker’ qualifies as a nasty racial slur.

    To borrow from Louis CK.

    “What can you really call a white man that really digs deep? Hey cracker? oh ruined my day. Boy shouldn’t have called me a cracker, bringing me back to owning land and people, what a drag.”

  • I’m not going to read all these comments, but I’d like to say that I’m 99% percent sure I’ve encountered the EXACT SAME GUY, about a year ago. He was driving about 45 mph through logan circle, swerved around me (missing by about 1 foot) while laying on the horn, only to get caught at the next light on RIA eastbound. Then I caught up to him and had pretty much the exact same conversation at the OP here. This guy will rundown/kill a biker someday. I don’t know if there is any way OP got the tags, this guys needs to be reported to the police, ASAP.

  • Wow, cyclists and racial tension! Pop you hit the jackpot with this one. I am always in a rush to get my kids to school but you don’t see me getting out of my car to cuss at anybody.

    • That’s because you have impulse control. It was a terrible example for Caddy driver to set for his kids. Sad. Sad because it carries on this way.

  • Me and my crackers stand around all day and call each other crackers all the time. Cracker is a term of endearment. You feel me Cracker?

  • “Cracker” also refers to cowboys in South Florida who cracked their whips while driving cattle around the state. My grandfather is a Florida cracker and we’re proud of it. Perhaps somewhere to some people it refers to cracking a whip on the back of a slave, but that’s not what it means where I come from. As George Carlin once put it, cracker and the N word are really just words, it’s CONTEXT people, context! And I’m glad that people are finally realizing that there are non-whites who are awful racists too. Racism is a condition of ignorance that persists across racial spectrums.

  • J – If you aren’t black you have no idea what blacks encounter day to day. Also, I’m so sick of blacks being compared to Latinos and Asian both of which have not encountered a history of discrimination in this country at the hands of some whites. I have been called the N word by some whites on more than one occassion, so don’t go there. As for this statement– ” I don’t give a shit about what happened 50-100 years ago. The vast majority of us weren’t alive at that time. What we can only change is the here and now.”–You may not have been living during that time, but I’m certain you still benefit from what went on during that time. Just as blacks are still discriminated against because of what went on during that time. Just because we have a black president in office does not mean all is right with race relations. I agree with your last statement about changing the here and now, but the question is–How do we go about making the changes?

    • Obama is mixed race.

    • “If you aren’t black then you have no idea what blacks encounter day to day.”

      You can exchange the word “black” for any other personal description, and the statement remains true. If you aren’t gay, then you have no idea…If you aren’t short, then you have no idea…if you aren’t fat, then you have no idea…if you aren’t white, then you have no idea…If you aren’t unemployed, poor, rich…the list goes on and on.

      More importantly, you can’t honestly generalize your personal experiences to everyone in whatever group you self-identify as belonging to (or vice versa). All black people don’t have the same experiences in day-to-day life, any more than all white people do.

      • J stated that this was typical behavior of under and upperclass “blacks” (plural). How does he know that, has he encountered every black person? Does he even hangout regularly with blacks. If you noticed in my reply never once did I say “whites”, I said “some whites” because I know I have not met every white person in the world and I do not hangout with whites everyday. So, there is no way I know what’s typical behavior for a white person.

        • I think the point of Anon 3:50 is that your generalizations of what is “typical” of some perceived grouping of humans are fallacious; s/he didn’t accuse you of claiming to know what “typical behavior for a white person is.” You are committing the very sin for which you want to pillory J.

          It might behoove you to ponder that thought a moment.

        • Of course I have not met every poor black person in the city, but your reasoning of saying “Some whites” really doesn’t do much to clarify what “some” whites are either. Are they Canadians? French? Poor? Religious? You seem how it doesn’t help?

          And to the other poster saying that I “benefit” from the ills of days gone by. Gimme a break! Why is it ok for you to assume I am somehow priviliged while every other black person is failing because of my success. SMH. It’s ok for you to generalize but not me???

          • Huh, your benefitting has absolutely nothing to do with being rich or otherwise. We see that in the criminal justice system. So, what’s your point!

      • Preach! But really, that was very well written.

    • Maybe you could mentor some at-risk teens? If you already do, kudos. Maybe we could stop the cycle this way.

  • So, if this happened where and when he says it did, there were several police officers right there because the area was blocked off for some sort of emergency. If this was that disturbing, why not ride on over to an officer that was probably 20 feet away and point this out?

  • J. do you speak Spanish? I don’t, but I understand enought o know when someone is saying somehting about me & it happens often. Sure most of us weren’t aroud 50-100 years ago, but we were raised by people who were. Combine that with your own personal experience & voila!

    and who are you to call someone UNDERclass? WHat does that even mean?

    • good lord. first of all, since you dont speak spanish, you can only speculate about what is being said about you in spanish, if anything. I dont speak russian, so when I hear a bunch of russian being spoken I dont assume its about me.

      As for underclass, its a word in the english language. Sorry you find that it hints at being offensive, but its not.

      • I said I understand when certain things are being said.

        There are many words in the English language that “hint at being defensive” offensive, that isn’t the point. My point is how do you know to which class they belong?

        • The original poster that used the word underclass wasnt speculating. He/She was referring to those blacks who belong to the underclass, the comment was not referring to a specific person or group who’s class is debatable. Unless you believe there are no blacks that exist in the lowest socioeconomic class in society, in which case, you are correct in your point of disagreement, but completely offbase with your view of reality. Stop looking for reasons to be offended.

  • I ride my bike to work every day and have never experienced verbal or other assault. Maybe I’ve been lucky.

    • Depends what your route is. If you’re riding any route where there are lots of black folks commuting to or from PG County, it’s practically guaranteed. Obviously, there are a lot of white people who harbor the same resentments, but for whatever reason they seem more able to keep it in their pants.

  • It’s always the people driving who are upset. I can understand why. I’d be upset as well if I MADE THE CHOICE to live a lifestyle reliant on the automobile. This choice to live in auto-oriented communities is a choice for a shitty quality of life.

    Please don’t ruin our walkable/livable communities or high quality of life in the city by prioritizing your ability to get around by car. Remember you made the “choice” to drive. Live with it.

  • I’m guessing you don’t do stupid stuff like pull into traffic on arterial roads, inch forward between cars stopped at lights, and fly through stop signs with pedestrians and traffic around.

    • on your point: in dc it’s legal and accepted to “split the lane” (moving between rows of moving or stopped cars (while on a bicycle). in md it’s not legal. please contact your councilmember if you think that’s stupid.

      for the others, 1) it depends on the road, but bikers are allowed on most and 2) yes, bikers should stop at stop signs regardless (i do and yell at bikers who don’t).

  • I ride daily and I invite that guy to come at me like that. I will smash him in front of his kids.

  • My solution to this sort of thing (and strategy to keep myself from exploding with stress and frustration on a daily basis):

    Make a resolution to do at least three genuinely nice things each day – hold the door open for someone even if you don’t have to; ask how someone is and actually listen to their response; do a favor for someone just because you know that five minutes of their time will make their life a little easier; etc.

    The world is crazy and stressed out enough, but by focusing on a little kindness, you can slow it down for at least a couple seconds – you get to feel good for doing something for someone else, and someone else benefits from your thoughtfulness. Cheesey, but it works for me.

  • The title of this post should have been, “How many people have been called Crackers in DC?” Maybe the writer’s feelings were really hurt for the racial insult in front of gold Cadillac man’s kids. Maybe the writer was curious start a discussion as to how many other people encounter the stereotyped less than normal, unintelligent, not hardworking, morally flawed, underclass of DC. Rather than demonizing each other, go volunteer, read a history book, or do something productive.

  • lol WHITE PEOPLE. Plz, if being called cracker is enough for you to go write an angry blog post, you better check your privilege. Hell, even *I’ve* been called cracker and I’m not even white (I’m Asian lol).

    You know, I do find commuters who bike to be commendable but I just don’t feel comfortable driving behind a cyclist during rush hour in fading daylight. The city needs to put up more bike lanes –I agree that it’s a problem if people aren’t respecting cyclists’ space, but I never drive into the bike lanes and it’s way preferable for cyclists to have their own lane than you guys doing like 5 mph while the driver around you are going 35 mph.

  • PDleftMtP

    I bike. I watch out for bikes. I try very, very hard not to hit any bikes. Drivers who don’t should be punished, severely. But I’m not OK with people who bike like brain-damaged a**holes and think that the moral superiority of choosing to get around by bicycle (or “I’m in control,” or “my machine is less dangerous than yours”) justifies it.

    I’m white. I don’t like being called derogatory names (and it happened to me a hell of a lot more than it happened to most of you, since I grew up in an inner-city urban school system). But I don’t think the pain of my oppression as a straight white man really belongs in the same conversation with the damage done by systematic racism.

    Can we all move along now?


    • Yeah. It’s unfortunate that there are a lot of stupid drivers (and bikers) out there — of all races, classes, sexual preferences, and both genders. Morning and evening rush hours are a *itch, but it’s worse in LA where they pull out handguns….

      But at least the biker in question didn’t get lynched and burned in front of a crowd of (not black) revelers like one of my mom’s cousins did back in the day down in Louisiana.

    • +100,000

      Will you marry me? Clearly you know how to think, which is just about the sexiest thing ever.

    • done and DONE!

  • I drive and bike in the city, and racism aside, there’s a real problem: bikes are a great and environmentally responsible way to get around the city, but they’re too slow to be on the streets and too fast to be on the sidewalks.

  • I read all comments with great interest. My question, why would someone sent a letter to a blog because they were called a racist slur? As a black man, I have been called the N word by whites, blacks, Salvadorans, Mexicans, white Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, etc. After reading all the comments, I became depressed because we have a serious race relations problem in the District of Columbia. I see many racial comments daily in the Washington Post and Washington City Paper made by many whites whether they live in the District, Maryland, Virginia, or around in other parts of the United States. People should be able to say what’s in their hearts and minds. Sometimes the racial comments do hurt that I read, but I would rather know what some white folks think about me. As a native Washingtonian, I am seeing a new breed of young educated privilege whites moving in the District and they see blacks and being inferior and invisible. We are truly living in the last days on earth.

    • “We are truly living in the last days on earth.”

      Yeah, because never before in the history of humankind has one group of people felt superior over another. Definitely portends the end of time.

      • do you notice that it’s always that ONE group feeling superior over ALL THE OTHER groups?

        • from a limited perspective i can see what you are saying. but you could stand to acquire a broader world view to see that it’s a problem that is more widespread and across more “groups” than you have been taught. the attitude must be corrected wherever it occurs.

    • charles,
      i agree that it seems as though we have a lot of white moving into the city that see blacks as inferior and invisible. it’s a strange thing. hate and bigotry are terrifying things. the washington post comments depress me, and every racially oriented post on this blog garners so much hate and ignorance in the comment section. it’s disgusting.

      at the same time the city is more integrated than its ever been. the tensions are high, at least online, but there is so much potential to have peaceful and diverse neighborhoods.

      • “i agree that it seems as though we have a lot of white moving into the city that see blacks as inferior and invisible”

        Horse shit. I love how the story of an unprovoked attack by an entitled suburban black guy on someone just trying to ride their damned bike from Point A to Point B is used as an occasion to pillory the white dude for seeing blacks as inferior and invisible. This is olympic quality projection going on here. Check your paranoia.

        • it was a reply to charles, not the op.

          i have no knowledge of the op at all and no judgment of them. nor am i defending the driver. i believe getting out of your car and threatening someone and using a racial slur is a horrible thing to do. there’s no projection going on, just observation. the disrespect i’m talking about is littered all over the comments in this blog. do you really not see this? i do. others do. and when people see these issues, you should listen, not immediately refute claims. but no, you say horseshit to me.
          thanks for continuing a line of disrespect.

          • I agree, pi and Charles. I am sadden to witness this kind of behavior from both blacks and whites. I lived through Jim Crowism in the District. The District is a southern city and most people forget this. No race is better or superior than the other. We are all human beings with different skin colors.

    • I agree that there is a major race relations problem in DC.

      As a white person who’s lived in the District for almost 5 years and owns a home here, I can say that rather than thinking of my predominately black and Latino neighbors as inferior and invisible, I desperately try to blend in with them and hope they don’t hate us as much as I think they do. I want so badly to be active in my neighborhood community and be friendly with my neighbors, but I’m painfully aware of how easy it would be for them to write me off as some privileged white girl who doesn’t care about my community.

      Our two perspectives aren’t mirror images, but I wanted to respond to give you the other side of the experience as well.

  • you contradict yourself here. “by the actions of the black parent I can see where any of the kids get it from”, “i don’t give a shit about what happened 50-100 years ago”…. so you’re saying the actions of your elders affect current behaviour, but don’t want to acknowledge history? the same history that affect current behaviour? riiiiight. try again.

  • So much for Obama’s post-racial hope and change. Based on my own personal experience the reverse racism (is it even reverse or just plain racism…?) has gotten worse in DC since 2008. I have witnessed some ugly incidents of it first hand. The sad part is the vast majority of people around here tolerate it for fear of being accused of racism themselves or some other reprisal. It’s pathetic, frankly.

    • There is no such thing as reverse racism. Perhaps you are talking about prejudice. You have encountered ugly incidents first hand and I’m sure the other person has as well.

      • Sigh- you are right, it’s prejudice plain and simple. Sadly, some people still choose to view the world around them based on another person’s skin color. No matter what shape, form, or circumstances prejudices comes in, it’s not right and should not be tolerated. That’s my point and at least as far as my experience has been in DC, the preponderance of prejudice is black against white (whereas I know the reverse exists elsewhere, obviously). What bothers me most about it here in DC is the way it is tolerated and not confronted because people are afraid of reprisals, be it being called a racist yourself merely because you are white or something far worse, i.e. intimidation and/or violence. I’m all for living in a tolerant society but at what point does tolerating the intolerant become intolerable?

  • All I want to know is when the states and DC are going to require bikers to be covered by insurance (at least for collisions)?

    Maybe they would bike more responsibly if they knew the impact it would have on their insurance rates, if they are found at fault in an accident.

Comments are closed.