Actually I don’t remember the first time or other times when I’ve been called a “nigger” but I do remember that they happened. It was always unsettling, disturbing and fraught. It happened again recently. This time I was walking in downtown Boston at night. The offender was a white, drunk and homeless-appearing woman who was across the street from me. She muttered in slurred fashion something like, “Damn nigger” or “You damn nigger”. I looked around and saw that I was the only person of color on the street. The utterance seemed more Tourette’s than hatred infused but in any case it was directed at me and jolted me for a few seconds I admit. Mostly because of her status and mine (not drunk, not homeless) I didn’t feel the need to respond. It did occur to me that if Trump became president, such occurrences would be more frequent. Don’t let it happen folks!!
When I posted about this incident on Facebook, most of the comments asked what kind of retort I gave, demanding and assuming that I had. One friend asserted that if she had been with me, we would both be in jail. For me, this incident didn’t warrant a response. It would have fallen on deaf ears so what would be the gain? With my dignity intact, I just got into my car and drove off. Clearly I felt something and decided to have an arsenal of responses at the ready in the event it happens again by a name-caller who is in possession of all of his/her faculties. Thoughts/ideas welcome.