Last evening I had an experience that I’m curious if others might be familiar with. My pregnant wife and I were walking our dog along Illinois Ave. at Farragut just about a block from our home and as we pass a house with two 50-something year old African-American guys out on the front porch, we hear one of the guys start muttering under his breath and then gradually raising his voice into a yell for the whole neighborhood to hear.
What was he saying? Well he was fairly accurately describing what WE were doing, albeit in a really racist way: “WHITE A$$ CRACKER MFer WALKIN HIS MFing DOG ALL PREGNANT ON THE SIDEWALK LIKE A WHITE A$$ CRACKER…. WHITE SUPREMACY…. WALK THAT DOG MFer… UP HERE ALL PREGNANT WITH THAT WHITE SUPREMACY… WALKIN THROUGH THIS MFing NEIGHBORHOOD MFer… WHITE A$$ CRACKER…”
This went on in various combinations of these phrases basically as long as we were in his view. The other guy on the front porch just chuckled.
So what am I supposed to do in this situation? We just assumed the guy was drunk so we just ignored it and kept walking, but it’s very disturbing and discouraging and bothered me the rest of the night. Do you call the cops? Do you say something to the guy?
Some might say casual racism is par for the course in a gentrifying neighborhood, but I don’t accept it.”