City Paper is not for tourists
Prince of Petworth posts a letter from a cyclist who had an angry encounter with a driver during the morning’s commute as he waited in the middle of a lane for a light to turn green:
The driver behind me, in a light-gold newish Cadillac, laid on his horn and waved his hands at me from inside the car. I gave a shrug to say “what do you want me to do?” There was no room to pass the stopped traffic on the right, and I wasn’t going to dart out against traffic in the eastbound lane of Florida just to save a few seconds. The driver got out of his car, and we had the following conversation:
Driver: “Get your cracker-ass off the road, I’m trying to get my kids to school!”
Me: “Give me a *ucking break, there’s a red light, where do you want me to go?”
Driver: “On the *ucking sidewalk, you’re lucky my kids are here, or I’d beat your ass.”
The driver was ready to continue this conversation, but at this point, the light had turned green and I was on my way. This exchange left a particularly sour taste in my mouth. Yes, I realize I did not respond in a way to diffuse the situation—that’s just what came out at the moment. I’ve been mulling this over though, trying to figure out what it’s about. Did the 4 feet of space of Florida Ave that me and my bike take up seriously delay this guy from dropping his kids off at school?
Was it really necessary to resort to a nasty racial slur (and in front of his kids)?
Writes a friend of mine in a conversation on Google Reader*:
I’m wondering what the world would be like if every time a black person had an experience with racism they told someone about it who then published it on the Internet.
*Dear Google: Reader is useful! Don’t kill it!
Photo by Mike Hicks