On Being Called the N Word Again

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.

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