“Let’s find a way to humiliate a white person.”

Flickr: Foxymoron

"I Heart Gentrification" street art from this summer, found on U Street.

Michel Martin’s Can I Just Tell You? column about the recent, shocking violence at L’Enfant Plaza inspired a Washingtonian named Jane Lincoln to leave this comment on NPR’s website:

Thank you for your thought-provoking essay. I’m a DC native, white, and i’m used to subtle messages of hostility from black folks. I totally get it. The young man clearly is not from here. He would not have been enraged by their attack. or puzzled. If he was a native, he’d know, ah, this is one of those pay back times. I have white privilege, and no matter how pro-black i may be, i have what they don’t and they’re mad. Yeah, they were kids, and being bad, and the new twist is videotaping. But its an old game. Let’s find a way to humiliate a white person. Ah! That felt good. Now, what do we do? I’m bored again.

If i were present, i would have run to the station attendant and asked her/him to call police. I would also look as closely as i could at the kids to see if i knew them, or at least to identify them if ever they’re caught. i’d leave my contact info with the metro police. i’d stick around to see if i could be helpful to the young man. i know i would have done this. i’ve done it before.

I love this town. I work on my racism. I live in Edgewood NE DC and have lived in ward 5 for 23 years. The tensions between new and old, black and white, haves and have nots, will continue.

  • Singularity2030

    DC neighborhoods are divided into “wards”?! Sounds like a mental asylum.

    So in the suburbs you have “white flight” and in DC you have “black flight”? Interesting.

    What happens when desis move into a neighborhood, do both the white and black people take off?


    But curious…..

  • Dbrighthaupt

    That’s nice that you would have dashed away to the Attendant. I guess maybe because it is less ‘Humiliate a White Person, but more, in fact, pure ignorance at play.

    I would have come to the defense and aid of my fellow man.
    I do so often East of the River. And got my car stolen as a consequence of getting involved.

    This article comes across a bit elitist- as if white people are the only ones assaulted in this manner by unloved teens(increasingly girls).

    This type of assault happens everyday to different Washingtonians no matter their race. In fact, I venture to suggest it began with the black gay teen. Difference is, it gets televised because he is white. I humbly ask you may research statistics and maybe Rethink your position on this one dear.


    Why not get more involved on the prevention side, instead of scraping the surface from the throne up there.


  • K

    It’s not unusual for a city to be divided into wards. Chicago has wards, and if you were to peruse census records, you will see many other cities divided into wards for administrative purposes.

  • http://twitter.com/knightleyemma Nusrat Khan

    Desis have been around a LONG time in DC area, esp. NoVA (Arlington, Alexandria). Now ppl are going off to further away ‘burbs. There are also good # of desis in MoCo (Silver Spring) where I live now. My nabes are mainly East Asians & blacks who work for govt/own small businesses, w/ a bit of older white folks thrown in.