City Paper is not for tourists
A white, law-abiding Capitol Hill resident discovers an angry black man pissing in the metro station and argues (among other things) that the “man does not deserve to walk among the rest of us law abiding citizens who only want to improve Capital Hill and make it a better place.”
Courtesy of Amanda Hess, “Tony’s” full post on the New Hill East Yahoo listserv:
Last night as I left the Stadium/Armory metro south exit an man was urinating on the metro elevator. I told him that was not a bathroom. He immediately flew into a rage, shouting at me, “You ain’t a cop, so fuck you. I’ll piss where I want. I’ll piss in you mouth you mother fucker. Black people were here before white people. I’ll kick you fucking funky ass, mother fucker. White people shouldn’t be around here.” I educated him that white people were here before black people, and before that native Americans. Of course this ignorant racist couldn’t care less about the facts. He’s black and a victim, so fuck me.
I walked away, fearing for my life and safety. I called 911 and reported his crimes. Urinating in public is a crime. Threatening to assault someone is a crime. Add in the racism and the assault threat becomes a hate crime.
People make the ghetto. This man does not deserve to walk among the rest of us law abiding citizens who only want to improve Capital Hill and make it a better place, and a safe place to raise a family.
If you encounter people like this, report them to the police so they can be brought to justice for their crimes.
If you never wipe away the shit, it will always be a crappy place.
I identify with Tony’s disgust over being told that “whites shouldn’t be here.” Such sentiments mirror—at least in spirit—southern laws from the early 20th-century that required African American laborers and servants to leave white towns by sundown or risk lynchings or incarceration. But I’m disappointed that Tony’s response was, in effect, “we were here first.” Referencing by implication colonialism and the slave trade in order to one-up a bigot is like competing in a racial pissing contest: we all lose, and we stink afterward.
Otherwise, Todd is a perfect example of the middle-to-upper-class DCer who’d rather pop pustules (with police assistance) than tackle the actual virus. If Todd were slightly less dense—perhaps a self-righteous progressive instead of a paranoid yuppie bigot—he would’ve wondered why the man didn’t relieve himself legally in a public restroom. Next, he would have bemoaned D.C.’s dearth of public restrooms: According to the www.thebathroomdiaries.com (an excellent guide to potty stops), the only “free” restrooms in D.C. are located in government buildings, none of which are open 24 hours a day. His next move—because it’s clear Todd really cares about “improv[ing] Capital Hill and mak[ing] it a better place, and a safe place to raise a family” (and using the state to do so)—would’ve been to call for lots and lots of public toilets, and an army of custodians to keep them stomachable, and signage discouraging Craigslist random encounters and drug use, and a handful of handsome MPD dicks to bait and bust the pervs.
But it’s likely beyond Todd (and most of the decision makers in the District) that locking up public urinators or building public restrooms don’t reflect the full spectrum of choices. But getting beyond that very expensive, very ineffective Either/Or proposition means confronting the deep causes of poverty and crime, like the drug war, poisonous entitlement programs, and a failed public school system.
Until then, I’m going to look the other way the next time some broken booze hound whips it out in public—I’d probably do the same damn thing.