“I want people to know this is happening in DC”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Chris Williams

“Dear PoPville,

Yesterday I was verbally assaulted and threatened in a way I had been fearing ever since the election campaign dove into racist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant rhetoric. I have never felt more vulnerable as a woman, a Latino, and an immigrant. I never thought I would be in this situation, but it did happen to a friend and me today, so I thought I would share because first of all, in case there were any doubts, I want people to know this is happening in DC, and also because I wished I had had the opportunity to thank the very brave young man who put himself in danger, stood up to this bully, and allowed us to escape from a very dangerous situation.

It was around 4:30pm and my best friend and I were on our way to the movies. We were on bikeshare rides, nearing 14th and R NW, talking in Spanish as we slowed down for the red light. All of a sudden a man started to yell at us, telling us to “shut up”, to “speak American”. At first I thought he was just crazy, then I thought he was drunk, and then unfortunately I realized he was neither.

He was a short, grey haired, bulky, latino man. He continued yelling, got in front of us and started stomping his feet on the ground. He was yelling (in broken English) that he was an American citizen, aggressively and repeatedly demanding that we “say Trump!”, and calling us demeaning names both in English and Spanish.

As soon as I realized I was trapped between the traffic and the man, I was terrified and started trying to figure out how my friend and I could get away to safety. But the guy was standing in such a way that we really had nowhere to go. And he was not backing off. I tried to take my phone out to call 911, but then put it back because I was so afraid – he was much too close. That’s when I saw a guy crossing 14th, looking very upset. He immediately positioned himself between the latino guy and us, and demanded that he back off and go away. The latino guy (who was much heavier than him) threw him to the ground and chased after him as he tried to walk away.

At that point my friend pulled me out of my frozen state by telling me that the light had turned green. Then a woman driving a black SUV placed her car to our right, separating the aggressive man from us as if to protect us, while he tried to follow the young man into an establishment. At that point we just rode away. I was in shock and so was my friend.

I wish I had been able to thank the young man and ask him if he was ok. What he did was really very brave. I also wish I had been able to stay and make sure the police were called, and got the right story, but at the time I couldn’t think of anything else other than to escape.

But I’m feeling for women. And Latinos. And blacks. And Muslims. And the LGBT community. And all other minorities. These four years are going to be very challenging and the only way to get through them will be to stand by each other and show no tolerance for those who, if unchecked, would be unconscionable bullies while believing themselves to be receiving validation from the highest office in the land.”

93 Comment

  • sounds like he is mentally ill/unstable.

    • NH Ave Hiker

      especially if he was latino and speaking broken English himself? Doesn’t make much sense.

      • Yes, but that’s the point. We’ve just got through an election cycle that stirred up a lot of anger and mixed up nationalism with identity politics. Yes–it sounds like this guy was unstable. But because of the rhetoric that has been flying around, this is the form his outburst took. People who might otherwise be prone to outbursts or violence or instability are I think more likely now to have such outbursts colored with racism or misogyny.

        Which just proves the point I took from this post–that we should stand together and not allow hateful outbursts to be met with indifference.

    • In other words, a Trump voter.

    • This was raised below, but it really irks me, and it bears repeating here. The OP was accosted and menaced by a (perhaps mentally unstable) man, and in her words was “terrified” and afraid for her safety. A passerby physically interposed himself between her and the would-be assailant, and as a result was thrown to the ground and chased into a nearby establishment. And then, in the OP’s own words, “At that point we just rode away. ”
      That’s crap. OP, no one is saying you needed to stay and put yourself in harm’s way, but after riding another couple of blocks you absolutely should have stopped, called the police, and waited for them to come. This man was assaulted on your behalf, and you couldn’t be bothered to . . . well, to do anything. It’s all very well and good to prattle on about “the only way to get through them will be to stand by each other,” but you failed woefully at that. Shame on you.

      • dcd is Judgey McJudgeFace today isn’t he? Unless you’ve been in the OP’s shoes, it’s really hard to tell what you would do. If you’ve ever been severely shaken up by an incident you would know you’re not thinking straight. OP clearly said she was “frozen” and that she wished she had stayed to make some things right.
        Sometimes things just happen in the moment and later you realized you could handle some things differently.

      • HaileUnlikely

        There is a large body of scientific research demonstrating how woefully bad humans are at making accurate predictions about what they would do in hypothetical situations.
        On another note, it shouldn’t be on a fellow victim to make that call, especially there and then. There are about a thousand people in the vicinity of 14th & R at 4:30 PM. It reflects poorly on all of humanity if any assault was allowed to continue for more than about 3 seconds–at 14th & R St at 4:30 PM–without somebody intervening or calling the police. The OP is by no stretch of the imagination uniquely culpable nor any more culpable than the other 999 people who were there. There’s an assload of blame to go around.
        Finally, while I don’t think anybody can know how they would have acted in this specific situation if they weren’t there, I’ve been robbed at gunpoint twice and managed to call the police within 2 minutes of the end of the incident both times – that somebody could go multiple minutes without coming to their senses and calling the police baffles me (though I still maintain that there were 999 other people with no less responsibility to do so).

  • I’m sorry I don’t copy. Did you say you are Latino and were acosted by another Latino. Sounds like a normal interaction with one of the many Looney people in the city.

    Signed, A Latino that speaks Spanish at home.

  • I’m sorry this happened to you and I’m sorry to say this as you should not have to worry, but think about carrying some pepper spray. You never want to escalate things unless you have to but better to be safe.

  • This is the new normal…when you stir up the bee hive you can’t be surprised when you get stung. Sadly, Donald is a rich white man so he will feel no stings.

    Sad this happened to you, and glad there are people in the world like the younger gentleman and the SUV driver that will not let hate happen in their presence.

    • I’m not sure how being accosted by one of the myriad crazy homeless people in DC is the “new” normal. Like everyone else, I’ve been subject to that for as long as I’ve lived here. It’s unsettling and unacceptable, but it’s hardly novel. Walk past the MLK library, McPherson Square, Dupont Circle, or any of the other places where mentally ill homeless people congregate. I can assure you that someone will start yelling at you for being white/black/latino/gay/human within a short time period. Crazy people with mental problems will act like crazy people with mental problems. The election of a human cheeto doesn’t change that.

      • Yup- well said @chocolatiercity. This isn’t anything new and it has nothing to do with race in most cases. I am a 29 year old straight white dude and it happens to me at least once a week so I’m not buying that an election has anything to do with it. I had a black homeless/crazy dude attack me and my black buddy just the other day calling us “interracial f#ggots”. We both just chuckled and shrugged it off.

        I am sorry this happened to the author. It sucks having to deal with that BS. That being said, I am already getting tired of people blaming everything on the election and then playing the race card. I am not accusing the author of this necessarily. Just saying this type of stuff happens to everyone regardless of race and/or election results.

        • I got called “fa#got” walking home from work at 6:00 PM last week at 14th and RI. As a ghey, it was definitely painful and not super easy to “shrug” off. Glad you can.

          • @CHSC I did not put myself in your shoes. I apologize if I came off insensitive. That is definitely unacceptable stuff and I hate it.

        • wow, it must really hard to be a white, heterosexual, cis-gendered, man.

          • @Anon Haha why is that your takeaway from my comment? Sorry I’m straight and white? Shame on me I guess.

            All I was saying is that it happens to EVERYONE when you are dealing with these types of crazy people. The election and your race isn’t necessarily to blame.

          • Your bigotry and hypocrisy speaks volumes.

          • A cis het white male telling other people how to feel? NEVER!

          • @sg7 Relax. Never told anyone how to feel. You and @anon like twisting words though I guess. Shocker. Sorry I don’t feel any “white guilt”- never will.

          • These comments make my burning liberal heart weep. As a minority, I am glad when people encourage my voice to be heard. However, to then discourage another voice from having an opinion simply because that voice is of the majority, is hypocrisy at its finest. Just read this very post to see the countless people willing to tell ST21 and others how to feel.

            ST21 stated an opinion based on his own experiences. He relayed a story about being accosted in DC. If you are here long enough, this happens all the time in DC, in every quadrant. We don’t call his altercation a racial incident, because it isn’t. As an ER physician, would you like to hear my opinion on the metal health of the homeless? ST21 noted that every encounter isn’t racial, and he is right. In an election season where race is front and center, it might be helpful to be aware of the confirmation bias my blue cohorts seem to have.

        • This post is extremely dismissive. The day after the election 3 young white men in Trump hats approached me while I was walking home from work at 5PM to yell “Go back to your own country.” I’m Asian. I’m also adopted, have white parents, and are older than you are @ST21. While I’m used to being mocked for my race fairly often, it was at least a little stinging to be told to go back “to [my] own country.” And, yes, it does suck to have to deal with that kind of behavior simply by virtue of what race you are. Please don’t tell those of us who have been subjected to this kind of behavior that we are “playing the race card.” I recognize that I have it fairly easy as compared to other people of color. Maybe you should recognize that you don’t get to tell other people how to process it when they’re talked to in this way given that you seemingly have little understanding of how it feels. If you did, you would never have typed half of what was in that post. To the OP, I’m sorry this happened to you.

          • I fully understand what you are saying. I hate that this happened to you and it’s ridiculous behavior by the 3 dudes who screamed that. They will get theirs no doubt- I firmly believe what goes around comes around.

            I think you are misinterpreting my point. All I am saying is that these “crazies” on the street have been doing this for a lonnggg time and anyone/everyone is a target. I just disagree with the author that this particular incident had much to do with election/race. Reading further in the comments it looks like someone witnessed this first hand and stated themselves that this was just a typical crazy homeless guy.

            Your situation is completely different and I would have never typed out my comment had your story been the one that was posted. I completely agree with you that in your circumstance you were a target of hate speech and how you process it is entirely your prerogative. I hope those dudes get what’s coming to them.

        • @ST21, I’m interested that you keep trying to sever the OP’s experience of this unprovoked aggression from the presidential election results. Did you read the part where the attacker demanded that they say “Trump”? How much clearer could it be that he was inspired and emboldened by the election of that foul-mouthed exploiter and bully?
          I’m truly disheartened to hear that street harassment has become so routine to you, but I urge you to think more carefully about the narrative the OP posted. In fact the OP has experienced a kind of violence that is different from what you’ve been exposed to. This kind of attack is happening not only in DC but nationwide. Are you aware of the rash of violence and hatred unleashed against gays and racial and ethnic minorities since the election? It’s dangerous out there.

      • You must have terrible luck because that’s never happened to me or anyone I know.

        • Haha you may be right honestly. No clue. I do walk a lot so I pass plenty of crazies every day so that ain’t helping much I guess. I don’t really care at the end of the day.

          • To be clear, I don’t doubt that it happens and that, based on your comment, it happened to you. I’ve heard plenty of stories on Popville of it happening to folks in DC. I just thought that Chocolatier City’s comment was an exaggeration. I live in Dupont and walk to work downtown everyday, and no one has ever yelled at me. Yet. I need to knock on wood 🙂

          • NH Ave Hiker

            It’s happened to me on more than one occasion too. I’ve been called a racist because I wouldn’t give a panhandler money.

          • @MR It’s all good.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          Did you just send out a survey to everyone you know?

          • Yeah, that’s exactly what I did. In fact it’s what I always do whenever I have an opinion about something and wish to post it, or any other of my experiences, online. Thanks for your concern about empirical data.

  • Sounds scary and sorry you had to go through this, but there were plenty of crazy people before the election. This has nothing to do with Trump. And the guy was Latino, so you say? Just chalk it up to this man bring mentally ill and move on.

    • Well, the crazy Latino guy was trying to force the victims to “say Trump”. So there’s at least a bit of a connection. Even if it’s just that we’re all supposed to accept crazy because someone is going to move into the White House who is even crazier?

      I agree with others, that we all have to be willing to stand up for others, even if it puts us in harms way.

  • I’m sorry that this happened to you but so relieved to hear that a bystander helped out. I’d definitely report this incident so that the city can capture any trends which might come of this period and take action.

  • This sounds like it may be the same man who verbally assaulted and physically approached me (mid-twenties Anglo woman) 4 years ago at 11th and P. The description and the very odd repeated assertion that he was a citizen match my experience. He thought that I had said something to him (I had not) that was offensive. After verbal harassment, he physically moved quickly towards me. My husband and father were both with me and physically intercepted and led him away. Whether substance-related or mental, he was definitely not firmly connected to reality.

  • To many of the previous commenters: the fact that this man is Latino does not mean that this has nothing to do with the upsurge in racial hate following election day. Regardless of the fact that he chose to insult the writer in Spanish, he began his attack by telling her to “speak American” and claimed his citizenship, clearly trying to distinguish himself from someone he deemed less American than himself. Xenophobia is not exclusive to any racial group.

    • So how am I supposed to explain every encounter with a lunatic or someone high or drunk or just a pervert that I – a white woman – have encountered numerous times over the past several years living in DC? Am I supposed to chalk this up to bad luck, but a Latino or other WOC gets to chalk the SAME incidents up to xenophobia?? Your position is not rational.

  • Ugh. I hate that people are trying to rationalize this and lessen the impact by focusing on the fact that he was latino himself. There is a long history of minorities and the disenfranchised to do their best to align themselves with white culture for survival. This is still racism. It is the direct result of the institutionalized racism in this country, see Italians, Polish, and passable Latino’s for reference. It doesn’t hurt any less than if a white person did it. The lack of empathy from all sides on these issues is terrifying. Nothing more is needed in response to this other than: “I am sorry this happened to you, I am now more aware of the impact that the current climate in this country has on minorities and I will do my best to protect you and others like you if I can.”

    • What a spin my friend, what a spin !

    • Wow. Someone below really calls this comment spin? Sure, the guy who shouted and made threats may be crazy, but is that meant to brush off or excuse his ugly rant? I join you in saying to the OP I’m so sorry this hurtful and scary incident occurred but glad someone intervened on your behalf. I believe that this election emboldened some people to be outwardly hateful, and I appreciate the OP sharing this story.

      • @caphillnative @cam. Yeah, it is “spin.” First off, no one is “rationalizing” this terrible incident, just pointing out that it’s a stretch to connect it to the election. Has the election empowered some people to be hateful? No doubt. I just seriously, seriously doubt this is one of those instances.

        Second of all, I just can’t stand pseudo-intellectual nonsense like the implication that the crazy guy was acting out because of “institutionalized racism,” and that “there is a long history of minorities and the disenfranchised to do their best to align themselves with white culture for survival.” It’s spin because it infantilizes minorities and implies that they no responsibility over their own behavior.

        Before you ask me to “check my privilege,” let me put it out there, I’m as brown-skinned as they come, with immigrant parents. I’ve lived in DC for a long time, and have never once felt threatened as a minority. In fact, the only minority group that I see subject to harassment and epithets are the LGBT community, and let’s just say the folks I’ve seen saying the nasty things are seldom white.

        • “It’s spin because it infantilizes minorities and implies that they no responsibility over their own behavior.”
          An overarching explanation into the history of the various attitudes of minorities does not imply that adults are not responsible. The dismissive accusation that the perp is mentally ill even though no one here is qualified to place the label on him does. Your parent’s were immigrants means that you were likely raised with a strong belief in this country’s historical promise of being a land of equal opportunity for all. I am not surprised but your narrow attitude, and while I understand it I still hold you responsible for your ignorance… see how that works?

        • Then you must be blind. Or excluding women. Because I do not believe you when you say you’ve never seen women harassed on the streets.

      • Yeah, I like to let comments like that stand on their own. I will never change that persons mind but their dismissive words might be a revelation to others about how dismissive some can be.
        I agree the person is likely mentally ill, but that doesn’t mean their comments have no relation to reality and the current climate. Racism from a mentally ill person still hurts, as does sexist comments, as does homophobic ones. This isn’t about the perpetrator but about the OP. It hurts, our current climate fueled that particular speech and hits a particular nerve to minorities in an already raw wound.

        • You appear to be desperately trying to tie every single non-event to racism. Here, the perp is not white-white but still, since i only have a hammer, i need to use it everywhere.
          This kind of behavior has been happening for ever in every single major city in the world. Drunk, ill, or high or a combination of the 3, people yell random stuff at anyone they can or feel will not simply walk to them and punch them in the nose.
          Now, we have a lot of reports trying to tie that to the donald and racism…. c’mon buddy., occam’s razor is your friend here

          • Shouting “Speak American” to someone not speaking English isn’t racist because he was mentally ill or drunk or high? The mental state of someone does not mean it was not racist. The simplest answer is that this was a racist comment. You appear to be desperately looking to deny racism at every turn, c’mon buddy, occam’s razor is your friend.

    • @caphillnative: In response to your comment:

      “Shouting “Speak American” to someone not speaking English isn’t racist because he was mentally ill or drunk or high? The mental state of someone does not mean it was not racist. The simplest answer is that this was a racist comment. You appear to be desperately looking to deny racism at every turn, c’mon buddy, occam’s razor is your friend.”

      How is criticizing someone for not speaking the same language as you do racist? Last time I checked, the Spanish language isn’t a race and people of all colors speak it. In fact, Spain – where the language originates – is predominately white. Fact 2: English isn’t the only language white people speak around the world. Fact 3: Latino isn’t even a race, it’s an ethnicity which denotes geographic heritage not physical appearance. By all counts, this isn’t racist.

      The likelihood that this man was mentally unstable aside, I think you mean to say he was being “xenophobic”. Please use the English language correctly. Things can be equally as troubling and wrong without being racist.

      • Fact 1: People who speak the Spanish language are Hispanic regardless of country of origin. Latino is a term to reference those that originate from Latin America regardless of language (Guyana, Brazil, etc).
        Fact 2: Is not relevant when looking at the fact of this situation. The “Speak American” with the “Say Trump” comment with the sprinkle of “I’m an American citizen” make this not just about language, but about citizenship and American ideals.
        Fact 3: See fact 1.
        Before you attempt to insult some by telling them to use English correctly make sure you have mastered it yourself. Also “xenophobic” does not exist on an island where “racism” can’t go.

        • Okay, you’re first paragraph… Your point is? Good job confirming what I already said, that race has no bearing on what makes you Hispanic or Latino – only geographic heritage or language. I think Pew Hispanic summarizes the issue quite well:
          “One approach defines a Hispanic or Latino as a member of an ETHNIC group that traces its roots to 20 Spanish-speaking nations from Latin America and Spain itself (but not Portugal or Portuguese-speaking Brazil). The other approach is much simpler. Who’s Hispanic? Anyone who says they are. And nobody who says they aren’t.” http://www.pewhispanic.org/2009/05/28/whos-hispanic/
          The reason why fact 2 is relevant is that it demonstrates that if I was from Spain, I’d likely be white and be speaking Spanish and I don’t see how this deranged man’s comments would be any different towards me. Likewise, if I were “moreno” but speaking English, I don’t think this man would have said anything. Which proves my point: his comments were xenophobic in nature, which is not any less wrong. You actually seem to agree by saying “[It’s] about citizenship and American ideals”.
          I don’t even understand your third paragraph, but in response to your second reply: I agree that race was once ill-defined by the government, and we should make amends to correctly define it through science instead of propagating meaninglessness. According to scientists, race “is associated with biology [more specifically, small morphological/genetic differences], whereas ethnicity is associated with culture.” http://www.livescience.com/33903-difference-race-ethnicity.html

          Full disclosure, I’m a latino woman.

          • It seems that you are arguing that Latino/Hispanic is not a race. Race is a completely social construct, and in this country we consider Latino a race. Therefore it was xenophobic and racist… I think we would be hard pressed to find many instances where xenophobia exists without racism when it concerns any person of color. Every attempt at trying to define race through science has been horrifying, (ex. defining the perfect Anglo, dehumanizing slaves and blacks), why would you want to define this more. Are you hoping that we don’t lump Latinos into a bucket and that some are “officially” considered white? If anything we should be slowly letting the construct of race die off, only acknowledging cultural and geographical backgrounds.

      • Additionally, race is not denoted by physical appearance. Ever hear of the one drop rule? Ever hear of Plessy v. Ferguson… if not Plessy was 7/8 white but the Supreme Court upheld that he was black and should be placed in the colored car of the train. So tell me again how race is defined by how you look?

        • In response to your comment: “it seems that you are arguing that Latino/Hispanic is not a race…”:
          That is not what *I* am arguing. Nowhere does “our country consider Latino a race”. No reputable groups or experts agree with that. In fact, neither does the U.S. Census: “People who identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be ANY race.” http://www.census.gov/topics/population/hispanic-origin.html

          Whether race is a social construct or not, it’s irrelevant to the question at hand, which was: was this man being racist? i.e. were his comments directed at these women because of the *color* of their skin? First of all, we don’t know the skin color of these women – so don’t assume. What we do know is that they have different “cultural and geographical backgrounds” as made evident by the language they were speaking, which the deranged man wrongly verbally accosted them for. This is xenophobia, defined as a fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners.
          We need to end prejudice in this country and the only way we’re going to do that is by correctly identifying the types of prejudice, like xenophobia, that we seek to eliminate. Your baseless fixation on everything being racist does not help that goal.

          • The US Census has absolutely nothing to do with our cultural definitions. We frequently say the “White vote, the Black vote, and the Latino vote”.. we NEVER say the “white latinos, the brown latinos, the black latinos”… it is ALWAYS said in parallel and in comparison to other races. Also, I never disagreed with xenophobia, I said its ALSO racist. You are literally arguing over the term racist. Why is it so important to you that we deny racism? Why is this such a horrifying word to you? Again PHYSICAL appearance, such as skin color is not the only thing that defines the race you are perceived as. You are being extremely dense all in the name of denying racism. This is disturbing to me considering that you are a minority and POC in this country (yes, even if you are as white as snow). Our physical color can be the exact same, our hair texture the exact same, but I will be African-American (of which, I am technically not) and you will be Latino (of which you self identified). And anyone that discriminates against us based on the perception that we are those things is being racist… but that does not exclude them from being xenophobic as well. You are being extreme by saying “the only way we’re going to do that is by correctly identifying the types of prejudice”… I don’t think bigots need the right words to learn to stop being bigots… just like we don’t need science to prove what race we are… we simply need to learn stop being bigots.
            Lastly, that is the second time you’ve attempted to insult my intelligence in a discussion. It is rude and unnecessary. Don’t participate in conversations with me if you can’t do so while being mature enough to avoid such poor behavior.

          • @caphillnative In response to your comment “The US Census has absolutely nothing…”:
            Your personal “cultural” definition doesn’t pass the muster and you are openly denying the perspective of respected experts on the issue and Hispanic research/advocacy groups. Where are your sources? I’ve given you plenty. Also, none of my Latino friends think Latino people of all colors are the same race in the same way that Americans do not consider themselves a race even though they similarly share the same culture and language. According to your logic, “Americans” of all colors could be considered a race, at least in a different country. In Uruguay, where I came from, we do not say we are all “Latino” and we do not consider Americans as a racial group. Just because YOU see us as all the same race in America doesn’t mean we do or most Americans do. No one should be able to decide for another person what race he/she belongs to based on a limited understanding of someone else’s culture. We, Latino people, are a diverse group of people of all colors and that is something to admire and recognize. Painting us all with the same racial brush is also problematic because it minimizes the reality that Latinos face discrimination/mistreatment because of the color of their skin, both in America and especially where I come from. White Latinos do not have the same experience as “Moreno” Latinos, in the same way that White Americans do not have the same experience as Black Americans. We do not say “Americans are victims of racism” when it’s mostly Black Americans that are the victims – the same goes the other way. My White Latino friends are not facing bigotry simply for walking down the street, but some of my “Moreno” friends have, but I have noticed that when my White Latino friends speak Spanish, every so often they will have an insult directed at them for “not being American.” I also know Latinos that have become very integrated into American culture and look down upon Latinos who have not “embraced being American”.
            The same situations above apply to these women, especially given the fact we do not know what color they are and the deranged hateful man himself was allegedly Latino. It may be racism, but we don’t know that – but we do know it’s the dictionary definition of xenophobia. No need to speculate. Let’s battle all bigotry, but let this unfortunate incident be an example of mental instability and/or xenophobia in our city.

          • I am literally saying that Americans don’t see those nuances, historically or currently… all determinations of race in this country are based on ignorance. Latinos see diversity and describe themselves more accurately than this country does. Those of middle eastern decent are also called white in the census data, but again, culturally we don’t consider them white. I have never once stated my personal opinion on anything so what are you even responding to. You are literally arguing against points I never made. You are telling me about how Latino’s see themselves, I am telling you how this country, and more importantly the eyes of oppressor see Latino’s, that is all. That is my final comment on this matter.

          • @caphillnative:
            “Americans don’t see those nuances…. I am telling you how this country, and more importantly the eyes of oppressor see Latino’s”
            I’m not arguing against your opinion, I’m arguing that you are speaking in broad platitudes by speaking for all Americans/the country without giving any source. It’s odd because I’ve shown that academics see that “nuance”, the U.S. Census sees the nuance (you can be White Hispanic for example), my Latino friends see that nuance, and common sense sees that nuance (example: If a White Hispanic was walking down the street, “the eye of the oppressor” could not make him or her out to be of Latin-American heritage.
            I think we’re on the same side when it comes to fighting bigotry, but apparently I’m more disciplined with the specific terms used.

  • I was on the other side of 14th walking towards this intersection when this event unfolded. The man was out of his mind crazy and on drugs. He was yelling down the street before the bicyclists showed up. It had nothing to do with race and more likely under the influence of something.

  • I mentioned this yesterday but for anyone who feels like they would like to report an incident of harassment beyond the police, the Southern Poverty Law Center is collecting them here: splcenter.org/reporthate

  • I had a similar thing happen to me two years ago on the 90 bus. At the time, I did not place the blame on the Obama administration and chalked it up to a mentally unstable man being mentally unstable and taking it out on me. So no, I don’t think this is any ‘new normal’.

  • I was grabbed by the …. crotch (what word should I use here?) on Sunday by an Asian woman. It doesn’t matter who you are or how drunk you are, it’s not okay. I also had older, presumably drunk Latino man shouting Trump and something else unintelligible at me yesterday – totally unprovoked. It’s easy to make one or two excuses for people, but these issues are getting hard to explain away. And this is DC.

  • Tom

    I’m sorry this happened to you, OP. Sadly, I suspect we are going to be seeing more of it—my girlfriend and I have been on the receiving end of verbal attacks in Columbia Heights and Silver Spring within the last couple months. (Guess some people really hate seeing interracial couples.) I told these guys to go home, have a little lunch, lay down and then go fellate themselves, but bear in mind that their misguided anger and lack of tolerance is their problem. Do your best to keep your head up, please be safe, and try to drown out their messages with more positive and welcoming language and actions.

  • OP, I’m sorry this happened! I think I saw this guy harassing two women last Wednesday, 11/9 at 14th and T! The two women were people of color and were walking in front of me through the T Street crosswalk. A man matching this description started yelling at them, that they needed to leave, etc; he was pretty apoplectic, and the two women just kept moving quickly. Thankfully he didn’t follow them, though he didn’t turn over his shoulder to keep yelling nasty things. I asked them if they were ok as we were waiting to cross 14th. This guy did not appear mentally ill or drunk – he was wearing what looked like a clean gray work uniform, and work boots.

  • I have a strange feeling, something bad is going to happen in this country very soon that we have never seen or experienced before. I can’t explain these feelings, however, it’s like having a 6th sense. I am somewhat afraid.

    • If it does, you can thank the people trying to make it happen with their protests, manufactured social unrest, and contrived stories of “hate and xenophobia”. If “love trumps hate” and “tolerance” are supposed to REALLY mean something, then act loving and tolerant.

  • So let me get this straight. The OP (A Latina) encountered a fellow Latino man who doesn’t speak much English and was behaving erratically? In other words, a mentally ill individual? And she wrote multiple paragraphs – and essay, essentially – blaming this encounter on Donald Trump and his supporters?? Sounds like the OP is stretching – really, really stretching – to make herself a victim of a contrived racial incident.

    • Well as per some comments above, the perp internalizes racism and then projects it out to other minorities because he wants to align with the ruling class. So yeah, still trump’s fault or whoever the scapegoat is these days

      • These hypotheticals have more stretch than a rubber band!

      • If the perp says “say Trump” and “speak American,” I most certainly see a connection with “the new normal” and refuse to dismiss it so simplistically, ParkViewneighbor.

        • What’s the new normal? America being racist? HA

          • The new normal is attacking people on the streets because they look, or talk, or do different. And being numb to it. And thinking that the vic is not a vic, but guilty.

    • Yeah, I’m not getting this either. 93% of the votes in this city went to Hillary Clinton, so based on this it is safe to assume these types of incidents are being committed by your fellow democrats. It is really a stretch and I’m not buying it.

    • KPS, you may need to re-read the OP. The Original Poster didn’t blame this incident on Trump. She merely reported that the perpetrator “aggressively and repeatedly demand that we “say Trump!””

      Based on this and other comments you’ve made in the past, your reading comprehension needs work.

  • I’m so sorry this happened to you.

  • If someone intervenes to help you, don’t leave them to get beaten up. The least they could have done was called 911 as soon as they were a safe distance away

    • I was thinking this too. Internet postings the next day don’t take the place of a call to 911, even if its after you’re out of harm’s way.

    • First, I agree. Don’t bail on the person who intervened for you. One owes them at least that much.

      Second, it sounds like the intervening guy had escaped into a nearby business so it seems like in this instance they were not leaving him in trouble.

  • I’m sorry this happened to you. That’s awful. I’m glad someone stepped up to help. Be sure to take care of yourself. These things have a way to sticking around and making life difficult. Seek counseling if you need to.

  • The day after the election I was waiting to cross Q st at Connecticut ave. A female driver was trying maneuver her truck through the intersection while avoiding a stopped UPS truck and a white man with DC plates was honking st her repeatedly. He finally rolled down his windows and made eye contact with me and Said” She is probably a Scummy Clinton supporter”. Why he thought I would agree or sympathize with him is beyond me. I was embarrassed and disgusted especially for the two young women standing next to me.

    My white friend was also called a “white devil” in Columbia Heights the same morning.

    While I’m hopefully Trumps declaration to make America great again was in reference to our infrastructure and standing in the world I am fearful that his more racist supporters took it as a call to air their vitriol and hatred and antecdotally I have seen it in action.

    • I am fearful that *everybody* took it as a call to air their vitriol and hatred. The anti-Trump folks have a lot of things to say too, and some now feel justified in airing those equally unpleasant thoughts.

      • I absolutely agree that some of the Anti Trump people are to blame as well. Especially the attacks on Melania. Her previous work and calls for her rape, while I understand they are trying to point out Hypocrisy, are absolutely uncalled for. However Trump has said some very hateful things himself and pointing those out is absolutely within bounds in my opinion. As well as racist acts, vandalism and intimidation. Lumping all Clinton or Trump supporters in one basket is unacceptable. There is a lot of anger on both sides and I’m not sure how the rift will be healed.

        • I agree that Trump ‘started it’, to borrow a phrase from elementary school. But people on both sides have now lowered the bar for political (or maybe any) conversation. Going high when they went low didn’t work, so now everyone’s just going low. For whatever it’s worth (probably virtually nothing) I’m trying to encourage myself and others not to.

  • As a Hispanic immigrant, I’ve been on notice since day 1. I’m hoping four years under Trump will be like being is a Sons of the South frat party, congenial-but-clearly-you don’t-belong, but just in case I’m looking into my 2nd Amendment options

  • I lived in D.C. for six years (mostly under Obama) and spent several years living right off H Street NE. I’m an educated white male (I know, I’m the problem, right?) and was called the craziest, vile stuff by the crowds of unemployed, unstable people who loiter on H Street during the day by the former H Street Connection. I also volunteered in SE DC and can’t even count the number of times I didn’t feel safe.

    Was Obama supposed to stop those things from being said or guarantee that I feel safe anywhere in a very diverse (social and economic) city? That’s news to me. The election of Trump has nothing to do with some crazy person yelling at you, it just provides you a convenient excuse for many to pull out the victim card for things that have been happening in D.C. (and every other major city) forever.

    • What about when someone specifically name checks Trump as in the Op’s description or when they specifically say Clinton like the example I gave above? Why is it so difficult for people to admit this is real And happening and people have a sense of feeling less safe then prior to the election?

      • I think the people who reference Trump when they racially attack would be inclined to just do it anyway had he lost. Donald Trump is not going to keep someone from getting their ass kicked if they say something around the wrong person (which is likely in a place like this). You either have the hate in you or you don’t.

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