Hate speech – it’s academic

31 Dec
I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. since 1980, when the city was close to 70% African American, until the present, when it is teetering around 49%.  During those many years I have from time to time been the victim of racist, misogyniat, and homophobic hate speech, mainly from African Americans directed against me as a white male (one with tinctures of Cherokee and who knows what else, but I don’t think my hate speech interlocutors were aware of or concerned with that).  Some samples:

While showing condos to two (white) women, a propaective buyer and her friend, all of us bundled up in down jackets and hats and scarves, five tall black male teens, on holiday from school (Martin Luther King Day) begin to follow us down Columbia Road in Adams Morgan, a hipsterish DC neighborhood, shouting questions at us:  Do we like to party?  Can they come into the building with us?  Do we like black cock?  I am hunched over a lockbox attempting to retrieve keys to a condo so we can get off the street.  My client, a woman built like a line backer, is shouting ar the boys asking if their mothers know how they behave.  When I stand up the teens realize I am male, and are momentarily thrown.  But after a few seconds start up again with the same questions.
While showing houses in Petworth, a gentrifying DC neighborhood, once a slum but now full of $300,000 one bedrooms, to an interracial lesbian couple (white and Asian) and one gal’s parents, several African American high school age boys and girls shout at us and tell us one day we will be their slaves.  (Someone taught them this.)
While walking to school in the 1990s, unable to afford a bus, a large black man who asked for change every day, takes offense that I ignore his daily request, and screams at me “You must not like black people!”
While walking on M Strret in Georgetown, a small, very bundled up  and androgynous black pan handler, of unidentifiable gender, becomes hostile when I give no response to a request for change.  She (?) screams at me something about killing faggots.
Now all of these events transpired on streets and sidewalks, which are unfortunately public property that anyone can wander around on, and where one is free to say anything.  I suppose if I wanted to follow the example. Of college students today, I could pour and demand the resignation of the mayor or school Boardof city council, who produced these people or educated them, and who forbid me to have a fun in D.C. In case any of them move beyond words to action.

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