Standing Up and Not Standing Up Against Hatred and Worse

“Dear PoPville,

The bystanders who stood up for the guy being verbally attacked are my new heroes. The guy yelling is an ass (I recommend watching the video above, because the WaPo story doesn’t do it justice)”

x2_bus_h_street

Another reader writes:

“After [Thursday’s] altercation and several leading up to this week; I am seeking any advice/opinion I can find. The issues on metro (for me specifically) used to be few and far between…an issue I could seemingly avoid or somehow convince myself it was too infrequent to take immediate action. I say…just get home, take your dog for a walk and forget about the negativity.

Unfortunately, the metro buses have become increasingly hostile based solely on the color of skin since the election results this week.

This particular occurrence was on the back end of a double connector bus, X2 line; Three females, roughly 15-16 years of age. They got on the bus two stops after me in Chinatown and for the next 20 min until my stop ..they purposely sat beside / behind me…leaned extra hard into me at every ‘bump’ or turn (sometimes there wasn’t even a turn) and called me every white slur name they could think of …I put in my head phones to drown out the hate but I could feel her head close to mine in the seat behind me and she continued her mission to make me feel less than. When I ignored the comments she threw her trash into my seat. As I stood up to get off at my stop her friend blocked me in my seat so the other friend could scream ‘I know you’re a trump supporter **** insert words of choice’ …As she stood up and puffed out her chest…ready to fight… I knew any response/correction to her statement would be ignored and feed into her anger. Three against one..my odds weren’t good and fighting isn’t really my thing..Luckily the bus was crowded enough once I pushed my way around one person, there were several people now between us and I could exit the back door. I didn’t notice any adults on the bus make an attempt or comment to stop their behavior…equally as disappointing. I never know when a situation on the metro bus will escalate and violent behavior will follow…there seems to be no method of proactive protection on the bus lines and major over crowding during metro work. The road to Jan’s inauguration will be a long journey…I don’t see our communities frustration subsiding any time soon.

Politics aside, I see that a large majority of this city is disheartened with the election result, myself included. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; but I know a greater divide based on the color of skin will not make Mr. President elect disappear.

Race is often a touchy subject and tends to get very heated in an open comment forum…truly not the topic I hope to entice with my concern to you. I need to know what happened to metro’s safety push a while back and where are they now??

To voice concern, I have phoned any online numbers found and inquired about metro law enforcement on the large buses. I was informed they ‘can place officers in areas but not necessarily on buses’. Since areas of the redline are down, the bus is my only option to work now. The drivers ignore the yelling because that’s what they are trained to do.

Going forward, my skin color can’t change. I hope to ride home without being bullied, have objects thrown at me, pushed or called an ‘insert expletive and derogatory word’ as a ‘clear Trump supporter’. I only see the hostility growing if this week was any sort of forecast.

Who else can be contacted? Why can’t anything be done NOW by metro?

I know I’ve read articles/rider polls regarding metro safety but have never noticed a change with metro buses. As stated earlier – what can change with metro to make this a safe commute for the DC community?

95 Comment

  • I’ve also experienced clear anti-white and homophobic hate from the African-American community in DC on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter to them that I’m a liberal, or that I don’t like Donald Trump, or that I’m pro-BLM. All they seem to care about is my skin color and orientation, and that, in those respects, I’m not like them. Whenever I raise these concerns, people resort to victim-blaming and all but tell me that I deserve it because I’m white and moved into a formerly-segregated neighborhood. So much for working to undo white flight. I’d love to see something done about the rampant racism and homophobia in the DC African-American community, but I’ve given up the hope that anything will ever be done about it. Even recognizing that it exists is enough to make people call YOU a racist. Is it really that much to ask that everyone condemn all racism and bigotry?

    • It’s not racism

      • Genuinely curious. How can you say this is not racism? Do you think it is purely socio-economic animus?

        • “Racism and prejudice aren’t quite the same thing. Racism, rather, is best known as a system in which a racial majority is able to enforce its power and privilege over another race through political, economic and institutional means. Therefore racism can be described as “prejudice plus power,” as the two work together to create the system of inequality.”
          .
          mic.com/articles/140882/what-is-reverse-racism-here-s-why-it-doesn-t-actually-exist-in-the-united-states#.QncMjT63c

          • That’s a fringe interpretation, well outside of mainstream acceptance.

            Racism, (n):
            a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

            Anyone can be a racist.

          • Quoting Mic for this kind of issues is like quoting Breitbart for immigration stuff. Not really balanced

          • That is a really limited definition of racism. Racism at its most basic definition according to Webster is “racial prejudice or discrimination.” I’m sorry but just because you are a minority doesn’t mean you can’t be racist. I also don’t think that defining racism by its literal definition does anything to trivialize the the racism that minorities have historically (and presently) been victims of in the United States. However, it is ridiculous and condescending to assume a minority could not have and share the same ignorant thoughts the rest of us have.

          • The SJW definition of racism isn’t the same as the simpler definition of racism that our grandparents would be familiar with.

          • I kind of agree with both here. Textdoc’s definition is what it probably should be, but I agree it’s not the mainstream interpretation of the word. I think it’s important to differentiate because the underlying reasons and greater implications are critical to a discussion on how to end racist/discriminatory/prejudiced behaviors and activities, if we’re really going to be successful.

          • *** FridayGirl’s definition. Sorry about that!

          • “Textdoc’s definition is what it probably should be” — Did you mean FridayGirl’s definition? I haven’t been part of this discussion.

          • FridayGirl has racism defined as I believe it to mean. The ability to exact power and privilege over another race through through political, economic and institutional means as seen in redlining tactics, legislative actions, unfair sentencing, job discrimination, etc. Else you are prejudice as she stated.

          • “However, it is ridiculous and condescending to assume a minority could not have and share the same ignorant thoughts the rest of us have.”
            .
            I don’t know that anyone is arguing that, nor is that at all what i quoted. I was simply providing one of the theories for ParkViewneighbor’s claim that I have seen and heard (and mic happened to be the first source that came up when I googled, so I apologize if it wasn’t neutral enough for some of y’all — get over it).

          • @lizcolleena I want to make sure I am understanding you correctly. Are you saying that for the sake of ending racism we can only narrowly define racism as an act against a minority and they could never be the perpetrator of racism? That it derails the discussion about racism to hold minorities accountable for the same ignorance as anyone else? We have to stop labeling people victims based on their skin color, race or ethnicity. This is such an efficacy killer. This nation is still grappling with racism and I think this election has really slapped us in the face with a reality check. However, we have to give people more credit. If we don’t start treating everyone as a winner instead of a victim, we’ll eventually have a country full of victims with no winners. Acts of racism can’t be tolerated and should be dealt with individually. The blanket victim mentality has to end for societal racism to end.

          • BTW, before I get labeled as a rightwing Trump nut. I’m one of the few people that voted for Hillary that actually likes her and thinks she would have made a fantastic president.

          • So, South Africa’s apartheid policies were not racist because the Afrikaners were not the racial majority? Got it.

      • Judging or discriminating against someone on the basis of their ethnicity or skin color is the very definition of racism.

      • The perpetuation of the myth that minorities cannot be racist “by definition” is so absurd. Treating someone differently because of the color of their skin is prejudicial and racist. Getting caught up on what Webster’s Dictionary says racism is is simply a distraction from the real issue. Judging and treating people based solely on the color of their skin or perceived race is wrong–no matter what color the perpetrator or the victim are: Stop doing it.

      • According to the NWO definition of racism, it involves a position of power in society. Racial prejudice is the word which is supposed to be used here
        Not that I agree with the whole concept tbh but apparently that’s the newspeak to be used.

        In any case, that does not excuse any of the attitude displayed here. I sort of pity the kids there because they really show ignorance regarding the white population in DC which is overwhelmingly not trumpian but anyway, kids will be kids and stupidity knows no color

        • Thank you for the semantic argument that you acknowledge is beside the point.

          • Right?! I’m confused – ParkViewneighbor literally just dinged me for citing the quote above, then said exactly the same thing, and is now arguing that his/her original argument (“it’s not racism”) doesn’t matter. I’m really, really, really confused…..

        • “stupidity knows no color,” – that is the truth. It is interesting to witness and experience this vitriol in DC (never on metro but on metro bus, and usually kids) given that DC is so far and away the bluest state/district in the country. Only 11,000 people voted for Trump in the district, and based on demographics, I doubt most are living in NE. Coupled with the fact that no one should experience this abuse regardless of one’s voting behavior.

          I have been called a number of things based on my appearance despite simply being a lighter Brazilian. I still struggle as to the reasons why I see/experience it more in DC than other experiences in larger cities like NYC and Toronto.

          • Two of the more straightforward reasons from my experience growing up here are that:
            .
            1) DC is more segregated: I grew up here and went to public schools, I was a dingy punk kid and still couldn’t keep black girls from touching my hair because it was that new and fascinating. Meanwhile, all the upper NW kids had a school within the school so their classes were 90% white even though the school was 90% black.
            2) DC has very few working class whites: so growing up around here the racial income disparity is unreal and unprecedented. Being a kid or being ignorant you aren’t likely to understand how anomalous it is here, as a kid because of my experience I naturally assumed there were a lot more black people in this country and that pretty much all white people had money.

          • @dunning-kruger absolutely on both your points. I’m black, went to one of the more diverse public high schools in the city (walls), but didn’t really realize that 95% of white people in America were not upper middle class or higher until college. Growing up even as a differently-acting black girl was a struggle when I was around most of my peers in DC. Unfortunately for the average DC kid your world can be kept really small and give you inaccurate views on the rest of the country.

          • So did I (go Penguins!?!?…), the first time the whole ‘no such thing as reverse racism’ concept was explained to me was by Ms. Cobbs (I’m showing my age now) in AP US History.

      • Many people define racism by practicing prejudice or discrimination of an oppressed population based on their race. if you define it this way, since this person is white they are not an oppressed race/population and can’t experience racism. Saying “prejudice”, or just saying “I’ve been treated differently because I’m white” might technically be more correct, but let’s not get distracted from the point trying to be made.

        • That’s a helpful semantic point. It seems to be the same point ParkviewNeighbor is making.

          That said…isn’t the point still that these teenagers were assaulting and harassing the OP in the basis of race? Isn’t that what people are condemning in the broader context of this video of a white male harassing someone of Asian descent on the Metro?

      • actually, it’s 100% racism.

    • It stings when you feel threatened for being yourself, regardless of your race, gender identify, sexual orientation, class, and so on. I also have felt singled out for not being Black in DC, but I also have made an effort to reflect on why that is the case and learn about my own White fragility. It’s bigger and deeper than you. The best way to effect change is to educate yourself (though, what does that even mean anymore in the age of social media as chief news source? I’m referring to legitimate, refereed sources like scholarly journals…Robin DiAngelo’s work is a good starting place), maintain an open mind, use what power you have to set an example, support social causes you care about, participate in the community, and try to find common ground with others who may seem/appear to have nothing in common with you.

      • White fragility? This isn’t a case of the OP having her feelings hurt because someone called her a cracker. She was intimidated, threatened, and in fear of assault. Hard to see what she should reflect on. SMH.

        • My comment was directed to @ChocolatierCity. I don’t condone violence or threats of violence. I have zero tolerance for bullying and blatant displays of hatred. I too have been threatened for being a “white bitch” and am still gun shy from being mugged by a group of kids a block from my house. That said, I have taken the current state of affairs in our city and country as an opportunity to examine my own white privilege and learn about things like white fragility. That is what I tried to convey in my comment, but apparently I left room for interpretation.

  • That dude is definitely hammered.

  • 200+ post thread…. and…. go!

  • Ugh — glad the bystanders intervened on behalf of the person being yelled at. That’s going to be something to remember going forward.

  • Yes, they did it because of Trump. Although you did not vote for Trump, but you look like him instead of Sharpton.

    How pathetic.

  • In a similar vein, to read the comments regarding the student walkout and protest happening now in Silver Spring is depressing and infuriating. It’s as though this election has stripped away any shred of decency or restraint we had before. People on both sides of the fence have been emboldened to say whatever they want, no matter how hateful, ignorant, (insert word)-ist it is.

  • I’m appalled! the guy drinking on the metro at the 2:00 mark needs to be arrested!

  • This has nothing to do with Trump or the election (HRC voter here), the election just gave people who were already racists a convenient excuse.

    I’ve lived in DC for 12 years (white, male, card carrying Democrat) and found the District to be the most gallingingly racist place I’ve ever lived.

    Par for the course when you have such a tiny place that is so shockingly split economically and demographically. Literally 4 miles is all that separates the nations highest incomes and educational achievement, from the nations deepest pockets of poverty, joblessness and illiteracy. The problem is that skin color and race between those two places are also 180 degrees apart.

    • +1 to “the election just gave people who were already racists a convenient excuse.”

      • maxwell smart

        Not only an excuse, but validation. They saw someone who campaigned on a platform of racism (among other things) win the election, vis-a-via they are now winners as well. That’s really the scary thing at this point; Regardless of what happens with this administration, an extreme alt-right movement has been given a platform to do whatever they want under the guise of supporting Trump.

      • Excuse, validation, and a sense of pride to come out be who they really are and say what they really mean because that is what their presidential candidate in fact did. I actually thing their is some good to this because now you see these individuals for who they are. The veil has been pulled off.

  • houseintherear

    A couple of young neighbors harassed me last week after they parked blocking our alley for many hours and I honked to make them move. There were racial undertones for sure (I’m white, they’re black). It sounds so granola but you have to check yourself and have true empathy. I just kept saying, “I’m not here to fight. I’ve lived here for a long time, and this is a peaceful neighborhood. I’m not here to fight.” It really did help calm the situation. I later left a note reiterating that I’m not interested in fighting, and the neighborhood is peaceful because we all work to make it peaceful, and I hope they come by some time if they want to talk more. Important to remember that this does happen to white people at times, but it happens to people of color all the time. Dissipate, dissipate, dissipate.

    • “Important to remember that this does happen to white people at times, but it happens to people of color all the time.”
      .
      YAS to this. I was going to say this above but you beat me to it.

      • Seriously. I, a white-as-snow Latina, went to predominately black, predominately mid to lower income schools growing up and was constantly called cracker, white girl, whatever other crap kids come up with. Yeah, it sucked, but at the end of the day, I was coming from an educated, two parent household, and I could walk down the street or through a store and never worry that I was going to be harassed or discriminated, and I’ve always been given the benefit of the doubt. These kids pull this crap because they feel they can. It makes them feel powerful in a world where they aren’t. You can try to make it an educational moment for them, but you also have to prioritize your own safety. And seriously, this city went 90% for Clinton. What are the chances a Trump supporter is on the X2?

        • Well said. I had a similar experience growing up, and what helped for me was my bleeding heart and witnessing the crazy different outcomes between my family and the minority families I grew up around. That isn’t to say there weren’t great successes among them but it was clear that we had different struggles with different stakes. I barely finished high school because I was too busy being awesome and yet I’m a college grad with no debt and a house. There are a myriad of reasons for that, including family wealth, racist police, exceedingly patient teachers, having a college educated parent, etc. But it mostly boils down to ‘white privilege’ which is pretty stark when you all grow up together.
          .
          I should add that many of the people complacent in my ‘white privilege’ were minorities, ‘white privilege’ is not so much built into the system anymore (maybe again in Trump’s America) as it is ingrained in our culture I’m also well traveled enough to know that doesn’t make our culture especially bad, it just makes it especially unexceptional (so to speak).

          • I encourage you to go to a holler in Appalachia in WV, TN, KY, or NC and explain to them why their endless cycle of extreme poverty puts them in a privileged, therefore more deserving of their circumstances, than a minority who was there because the system is broken. To me, cycles of poverty are unacceptable as due to a broken system. For inner city blacks it’s racism and a systemic failure to treat them equally. For poor whites in Appalachia there are other reasons. Some of the poorest, least mobile, people in this country live in the mountains not 5 hours from here. Many, if not most, but not all, are white. What explains their low social mobility and generations of poverty? Laziness?

          • @Anon X: You’re going on quite a tangent from what dunning-kruger said above. At no point did s/he discount your comment regarding the existence of a significant population of poor whites in the US. White privilege and white indigence are not mutually exclusive – far from it. I think that most people understand this to be true.

          • I’m not discounting the reality for those people but I have a question for you: How are blacks doing in Appalachia (all 10 of them)? Probably poorer than the whites, I know that is how it works in poor parts of the south; even at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder that privilege exists even if it doesn’t amount to much. I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say here, are we having a pissing contest about poverty and misery? I’m pretty sure the black experience in America is historically worse and is a longer cycle. If Appalachians had been forced from their homes by the KKK into cities they would just be regular white people with all the privilege that comes with it. There probably just isn’t enough opportunity in Appalachia for anyone to take advantage of white privilege, meanwhile cities are chock full of opportunity, especially if you’re white.
            .
            You know the expression “count your blessings?” I’m no biblical scholar or even religious person but I always took it to mean even if things are bad you can find some “blessing” which you have. Being white in the USA is a blessing, it doesn’t guarantee anything (anymore), but it is a bit like having the wind at your back, being black is like the wind in your face.

      • Huh? I’m pretty sure we would hear if this happened in reverse, but I know it happens often this way and goes unreported. I’m not suggesting we compare struggles or challenges, but your point that “it happens to people of color all the time” is ludicrous.

        • houseintherear

          You’re seriously suggesting that people of color are not ganged up on, harassed, etc for no good reason all the time? Really??

        • There is a complete lack of compassion on all sides, and you know it. Your comment illustrates it. Does that point excuse prejudice? No. But does it offer just a hint of background into where defensiveness and prejudice come from? Yes, it often does. And while it’s not an excuse, continuing to act like everyone has the exact same life experiences and needs and perspectives as us is, in my opinion, completely unproductive.

        • HaileUnlikely

          This might work better if we didn’t all freak out and scream at each other. I suspect that Samsonite misconstrued houseintherear’s statement more narrowly than it was intended, e.g., that people of color are ganged up on and harrassed all the time on the same block, or in the same neighborhood, or in DC, as opposed to in the United States generally. If that’s what Samsonite meant, I don’t think he or she is wrong, or at least not obviously so. (Whereas if our universe is the entire United States or world, that is obviously a bunch of nonsense.)

        • Ya know how someone mentioned “white fragility” up above? This is it right here.

        • My best friend growing up here in DC is Latino. One night we went to a preppy private school party (it sucked, I won’t say which one), at some point we left my friend there to go pick up more people to try and make the party less lame for ourselves. During this time some drunk girl could not find her purse. Guess who got singled out, accused, and nearly beaten up? The only reason things didn’t get there is that we walked back in just as things were getting really tense with some ‘big black scary football players’ (they weren’t, they were actually much more peaceful and well adjusted than me and my friends) and suddenly everyone was ‘cool’ and about 10 minutes later the girl found her purse.
          .
          Now I guess if you want to split hairs they didn’t call him names but they didn’t really have to and the threat was real.
          .
          This tit-for-tat stuff is ridiculous. I have similar stories about my white self being harassed and assaulted because of my race as well. Most people are basically trash regardless of race, when I face this stuff I just remind myself that I’m being harassed by a miserable piece of trash and race is just something that miserable pieces of trash tend to glom onto when it is convenient for them.

        • Woah, ok. I’ll walk that back because of how people took it. But I was talking the x2 or metro… and defending our city. I can’t speak for everywhere (and that means both coasts and flyovers…)

    • houseintherear

      Also important to remember to check yourself, because when the incident first happened I was super pissed, but that certainly wasn’t going to help the situation. Punch a pillow and vent to people later- stay calm in the present.

    • Not that this is an excuse or pertinent to your specific situation, but it can’t be said enough that getting to know your neighbors is so important. Obviously there are barriers to that – large apartment buildings in your area can make it virtually impossible to.
      .
      I live in an area of Shaw/Logan that has seen a slow transformation. There are some people who move in to the area and want nothing to do with speaking to anyone else. Then there’s people who are very involved and go to community meetings, etc. I fall inbetween – I’m friendly with my neighbors (although my row house neighbors I could punch in the face given the amount of stomping they do) and they know who I am. When someone tried to break into my house one summer, I was out of town and my neighbors not only alerted authorities, took a picture of the perps, sent me a message asap, handled the police situation given I was out of town and even fixed my door and they were able to because a friend has a spare key to my house.
      .
      The point is that it’s just a shame that we live amongst eachother, yet treat strangers as enemies, paint them with a stereotype, etc. And especially as we see gentrification in DC the way we’ve seen it over the past decade in particular, you’re still coming in to a community. Plenty of my long-time neighbors (i.e. African-Americans) are the nicest people in the neighborhood. But if you don’t engage them, it creates a bad environment. Sorry I’ve veered off here….but I’m tired of the white yuppies who buy expensive condos then treat people around them like garbage – white or black.

      • Ugh, veering even further off-topic. I was working the Dupont farmer’s market this weekend, and the number of people who are just rude, standoffish, off in their own universe is just astounding. I can’t even count the times I said hello to someone only to be ignored…while they’re eating my food! Sheesh, I’m not expecting you to buy anything, but at least smile or acknowledge your fellow human!

        • Yeah, I’m guilty of this sometimes but I’m really trying to work on it. It’s especially bad here in DC. When I lived in LA, I remember random people talking to me all the time, and we had some friendly conversations just waiting for crosswalk lights to change and stuff like that. It’s a catch 22 because for the more introverted among us, it’s really hard to reach out when everyone seems so… unfriendly?… for lack of a better word.

        • FWIW I have pretty bad social anxiety and I can’t always engage in small talk. I am somewhat surprised how many strangers talk to one another here (I’m originally from NYC).

  • People who do this kind of stuff obviously want a reaction or they wouldn’t say it. That being said, you know who’s not afraid to do something? Metro Bus Drivers. They will kick them to the curb. Just get up and go tell them.

    • Bus drivers are my heroes. Unfortunately I also feel bad for them having to deal with this stuff too. They’re not getting paid enough to be both a bus driver AND a police officer AND sometimes a parent, simultaneously.

    • Is this true? I would be curious to hear your experience with this. I would be grateful if metro bus drivers were that proactive

      • Out of my relatively few interrupted rides, I personally have had one bus driver kick someone off the bus, one driver calmly ride on as someone was getting into a fight towards the front (lots of people were getting off anyway so i think he figured he’d let it simmer out itself), and one bus driver offer a woman water to take her schizophrenia medication with…

    • i was riding the bus with my daughter and a couple of her friends and a woman — admittedly, probably certifiably crazy — we all racist on us. The bud driver didn’t do a dang thing.

  • Dude was begging for a physical altercation so he could justify whatever point he was trying to make.

  • I told the kids who were smashing pumpkins in the sidewalk next to my house the other day to stop. They called me Trump and said I hated black people. They were teenagers and probably don’t understand yet that white doesn’t equal supporting Trump, but I hope that people do realize there are a lot of whites who just can’t stand the man.

    • Just out of curiosity, but when will teenagers like this eventually understand? I doubt many teenagers are looking to see the voting distribution a la demoract v. republican (also, this is DC, 94% voted for Hillary). Yet we continue to excuse such behavior because they are teenagers. Teenagers get in self-reinforcing groups and group think prevails. I may be naive, but this thinking doesn’t change simply because you get older. You need education and a certain amount of humility, two characteristics solely lacking.

      • I think they do understand, but some teens just don’t get it. This goes for white teens, too, like the ones who write white nationalist or anti-semitic rhetoric on bathroom walls…

        • I should have been more clear–I’m absolutely on board with your comment. I think this type of behavior is unrelated with race and has more to do with lack of parental/community guidance and no fear of punishment. You couldn’t pay me to go back to that age again.

      • I’ve also had adults tell me I don’t like blacks when I ask them not to damage my property. I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction, one that I don’t quite get. Personally, I think they’re just assholes, regardless of what color they are, which I like to tell them when they accuse me of not liking blacks.

  • “I don’t have a wife” – you don’t say!!!!!

  • This guy seems to be drunk, but if it this information helps, before Trump won I already felt that people tended to underline that I don’t belong here, year after year, day after day. It’s hard to think that situation is becoming more hostile than before. Exclusion has lead to violence historically, not just here but worldwide. So it would be an interesting exercise that each of us think about our behavior with others in a day-to-day basis, and start changing those aspects that we might hadn’t perceived before and that have some racist burden. What about stop “congratulating” foreign for their good English or asking them “how they learned it”? You know we have schools in other countries too, don’t you? On my side, I try not to take personal those kind of comments. We should try to learn how to understand and respect everyone. We can’t let a couple politicians define our behaving.

  • The sad truth is stupidity and ignorance knows no skin color. I, too, have witnessed boorish and criminal behavior by far too many black youths, both men and woman, and it is at epidemic proportions on Metro. However, the video above proves my point. A rude, ignorant white man giving innocent Metro passengers verbal abuse. Equally ignorant and stupid to the girls you encountered.

    Tough to know what to do, given the violence in this city’s youth population. Sad commentary on our society.

  • Just in case it get lost in all of the comments, no peaceful person deserves to be threatened, degraded, intimidated or attacked – EVER – no matter what their skin color and no matter who they voted for.

  • I was on the red line shuttle bus Saturday and experienced the same thing. The anger towards white people on the bus was getting way to out of hand, and uncomfortable. An African American woman was going on an unprovoked, and in my opinion racist, rant. She was clearly looking to start a fight. I just put my headphones on and turned to volume up hoping to avoid it. It’s not the first time I’ve witnessed this, and in reality I have seen it worse before this. All I have left to say is that it’s rough out there for us sane people of any skin color.

  • Honestly I grew up as a non-majority minority in low-income, “diverse” neighborhoods. I’ve gotten racist and xenophobic sh*t from literally people of every race (I am American-born, you’d be surprised how many people assume I am not “from here”). I don’t think this is at all new, but perhaps it’s more blatant now to those who usually don’t encounter this type of behavior and are genuinely surprised. Not sure what can be done, garbage people are just that.

  • Dear fellow white people,

    If you consider yourself someone who cares about social justice and equality, it’s your responsibility to show up to these exact types of situations. If you don’t like being labeled as a Trump support “even-though-I-didn’t-vote-for-him”, then act like you give a damn about these kids and their very real fear at the moment! Let them know that that you are on their side, no matter what, that you won’t stand for hate, that you agree we have work to do! They are kids. You are an adult. You have the ability to model tolerance, teach by example, show up through your actions (not just by wearing a safety pin) and demonstrate that care about them!

    If you were really afraid, you did the right thing by removing yourself. I would just ask that you pause and think about where that fear comes from and if there are any implicit biases/prejudices you can confront so that next time you feel capable. I’m not trying to point fingers, truly. And whether or not you believe African American kids calling a white woman slurs is racist, we all need to step up and protect everyone from hateful rhetoric. Here’s a place to start: https://mic.com/articles/153212/artist-marie-shirine-yener-made-a-comic-for-bystanders-who-witness-anti-muslim-harassment#.66V3LfWMp

  • I think this behavior is atrocious. But OP’s comment also touches on the sensitive subject of white people who only get outraged about certain behaviors when it affects them. I grew up in NYC and attended law school in DC. Every single black and brown person I know has a story like this. As a black american, the message you get is that if an ignorant white person calls you a name, acts aggressive, or threatens you, you should ignore it, de-escalate the situation, or you are likely to get into more trouble or danger. for decades. all over the US. but now ignorant black people are doing it to white people, for a week!, and NOW we have an issue. again, no one should be made to feel uncomfortable because of the color of their skin, but as someone who has been made uncomfortable because of the color of their skin all their lives, its hard to muster much more than “suck it up.”

    • I don’t think there is anything sensitive about it. If someone says racist things and threatens you it’s wrong, period, and should be called out in ALL instances, regardless of skin color

    • Agree with the overall sentiment, but let’s not pretend this ignorant behavior against white people in DC has only been happening for a week.

  • Hey Trump won. Even if you didn’t vote for him – which hardly in District did – some folks are gonna hold you accountable for that face. We’re going to have to live with this. I don’t look fwd to it, but a as white guy vs grievances young person of color, well, in The District, still at least, you’re not going to look like anything but a bully.
    If you make a stink about it, alt.right, racialists, Trump supporters will use you as a pawn for their propaganda.
    We’re just gonna hafta suck this up.

  • I’m fully aware of how long and possibly unnecessary this comment is about to be, but this week has been an ongoing mental challenge to remain hopeful for DC’s future, metro bus and all. Outward anger towards others has ABSOLUTELY shifted as a direct result of the election. Not to say disrespect/anger didn’t exist before, but a spike in it? 100% agree. Direct quote from the article: “Race is often a touchy subject and tends to get very heated in an open comment forum…truly not the topic I hope to entice with my concern to you. I need to know what happened to metro’s safety push a while back and where are they now??”

    Shockingly (sarcasm), the forum turned into race alone. NO ONE person, regardless of race/preference/etc., should feel threatened by another human being on DC public transportation and subsequently think ‘dealing with it’ is the only option. We can all agree that our country/world has a long and unfortunate history of ignorance and hate. Not to burst thought bubbles, but the world is more than just black and white. OF COURSE everyone has a different life experience, upbringing, life struggle or even a ‘free ride’. That’s what could make us all interesting, but instead tears constructive conversations apart. Continuation of hate now that we SHOULD know better cannot be justified; especially when its because we should ‘suck it up’ so we all know how it feels. Let’s all continue to get angry with one another and keep the cycle going. Sounds like a plan! Right?!

    I’ve had many instances aboard the metro bus which would have escalated if I ‘took the time to correct and educate’ as mentioned by another reader. Hmm, take my 50/50 chance of a physical assault by a disgruntled person – possibly get a criminal charge for assaulting a minor in defense – AFTER the incident? No thank you. Mature decisions will always win for me. Walking away and pretending not to hear has been the only effective solution for my personal safety. I’d LOVE to react differently, in a calm and positive manner, but my safety comes first – as it should for ANY rider on DC public transportation.

    On a side note: I can’t find anywhere in this article which referenced an ‘African American’. Demographics and assumptions of the bus, maybe? Personal opinion: if you notice an a’hole – silently choose whatever word makes sense to you to define that characteristic. Loads of English dictionaries, French, Spanish, German, etc. can help with that, but to hell with what it is ‘technically’ defined as OR maybe I’m speaking out of frustration at this point? So far, we, as a whole, are not making much progress in the way we treat one another. Bus rides, grocery stores, crowded side walks and on…I have yet to find permanent community organizations, outside localized protests in DC, that aide in the idea of working together. I create relationships with my neighbors, another reader suggestion, and we work together (been here 10 years). People who ride the bus lines come from near and far – if there’s some magic trick you want to pass along so I can meet everyone, I’d be forever thankful. I too want positive suggestions and protection measures on metro instead of arguments and assumptions. I expect to hear crickets from this point on, but here’s to wishful thinking!