Anti-Black Woman Harasser in Arlington

angry harasserI was in Arlington and walking to the train station. When walking on Quincy Street, I walked past a guy who was loading groceries into his car, which didn’t seem out of the ordinary, until he started calling at me.

“‘Scuse me, sweetheart,” he says. I know he’s trying to hit on me, and I don’t want to talk to a man I don’t know. I continue walking, he continues calling at me.

“Excuse me, lovely…excuse me, sweetheart…hello?…hello?…hello?” I continued to ignore him and walk. Though it was daylight out still, the street felt isolated to me, and I just didn’t want to respond to him. He gave me a funny vibe.

He then starts calling me names.

“Yo, Bumpyface!” he says. “Bumpyface. You got acne. You’re a bumpyface. You’re ugly.”

I know I don’t have the best skin in the world, and I am very touchy about it. His comments were so cruel. I don’t get how I was so “lovely” that he wanted to talk to me one minute, to being an “ugly bumpyface.” I pulled out my phone to snap his photo to submit to your site. At the time, he (and his friend who was in the vehicle) were laughing and thought it was funny.

“That’s why I didn’t respond to you in the first place,” I snapped. “Men like you have no respect for women. I don’t know you, and don’t want to talk to strange men.”

I spoke in a calm manner, I didn’t curse, so I don’t know why the hell he went from 0 to 60.

He got in my face, started thumping his chest, and approached me as if I were someone his own size.

“What you say to me? What you say? Huh, huh? Say it again, bitch, say it again! Fuck you bitch! Take my picture, bitch! That’s right, bitch!”

I started walking away, and he followed me.

“Fuck you, bitch! I HATE BLACK WOMEN!” he ranted. “I’m tired of black women! Black women ain’t shit! Black women are ugly! I don’t give a damn about BLACK WOMEN! Stupid bitch!”

Once again, if you hate black women so much, why talk to me?

He got really close to me and acted like he was going to punch me. He kept swinging fake punches close to me, and though he didn’t actually hit me I became fearful for my life. I started backing up into the street, even though cars were coming. I then started running, and he ran after me. I tried calling the cops on my phone, but I was nervous and couldn’t think straight because this guy was right in my space. Luckily some kind of action came into me. I saw someone getting into his car and yelled “CALL THE POLICE!” at the top of my lungs. He ignored me, got into his car and drove off.

The harasser finally got tired of chasing after me and terrifying me and ran back to his car, laughing. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a clear shot of his license plates. I just know they were Virginia plates (from their font style), and the first part was J_C (I don’t know the middle letter, and can’t remember the four numbers).

I finally managed to call the police, and ten minutes later (after this guy and his friend were long gone) an officer came. I showed him the photo I took of the guy, but his reaction was pretty nonchalant.

“You don’t know this guy, right?” he asked.
“No, I’ve never met him before,” I said.
“And you said you don’t live in the area, so you probably won’t see him again,” he said.
“But it’s scary that he just started cursing and swinging punches at me,” I said.
“This is actually a pretty safe neighborhood, ma’am,” the officer said. “And there’s not much we can do since you didn’t get his license plate. You probably won’t see him again since you’re not from here, but in the rare chance you do see him again give us a call.”

That was the least reassuring conversation I’ve had with an officer. I didn’t know how to react. I felt numb. I spent the rest of my walk in a numb zone. I stared at my feet and became non-responsive. People walking by brushed past me on the street and knocked into me, but I didn’t react. I felt as if I had no control over my own body and actions anymore and that’s the worst feeling in the world.

Walking home from Metro was hell. It had become pitch black and men were still trying to talk to me on the street. I once again didn’t respond, and thankfully they didn’t respond in crazed anger.

I know there’s a movement of men like this guy on the Internet who have blogs and YouTube channels devoted towards this racial misogyny, but to have it right in my face is something else. These men think they own black women, and when rejected by a woman of their own race they take it to the extreme. After the Asia McGowan/Anthony Powell murder/suicide in Detroit a few months back (another man who wanted black women while hating them at the same time, and made hateful videos about it on his YouTube channel), today’s incident reminded me that I am not safe and that my best interests aren’t important. It sickens me that someone will hate the whole gender of their own race simply because of the rejection of one individual. If this guy wanted me to start hating all black men to justify his sick actions, well he didn’t win. I can’t hate all black men because of the actions of one sick encounter on the street. His behavior reflects on him, not on all black men.

I can’t talk to my family and friends about this because they think I take a lot of risks when I’m out alone. They’d tell me I shouldn’t have taken his photo, they’d tell me I should’ve just responded to him when he tried to initiate a conversation with me, and they’d tell me I should’ve kept walking when he started to insult me. It’s not fair that I have to do everything as to not upset a harasser, but harassers can do and say what they please. Even if I did respond to his initial catcalls at me, and even if I just walked away and not done anything, there’s no guarantee that he wouldn’t have still gone mad.

After today, I have no choice but to be a docile, submissive woman. I don’t know what else to do. And after knowing the police don’t have my back, I have to do everything in my power to protect myself.

– Fearful

Location: N. Quincy Street (between Wilson and N. Glebe) – Arlington, VA

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.

19 Responses to Anti-Black Woman Harasser in Arlington

  1. You are so brave and I am in tears. I always love your posts and you are so supportive of other people who have been harassed, just knowing you are out there fighting it makes me feel safer in the world. I am so sorry. Being safe is the most important thing. You have to protect yourself. I am so so so sorry this horrible thing happened to you. I’m glad you got his picture. Maybe someone else will be harassed by him and get his license plate.

    I feel like police need to be educated as well as harassers. This is horrible. Probably to the cop because you weren’t actually physically violated it seems like nothing. And that is why police need to be educated. I am wondering if there is a way for us to propose to police that they have education on street harassment? Any ideas? You are so right, if they don’t have our backs then how can we feel protected?

    I am so so sorry.

    But I believe you have too much spunk to become a totally submissive female. I think you will come back kicking in a day or two. I hope. We need you!

  2. J.D. Hammond says:

    I am amazed at the constant pattern with which catcallers and other harassers will call someone “lovely” or “sexy” and then, within sixty seconds, call them a “bitch”. I don’t know why the logical inconsistency is as amazing to me as the outrageousness of the act itself, but it just leaves me totally slack-jawed.

  3. LorMarie says:

    Thank you so much for posting this.

  4. Fearful says:

    Thanks for posting my story. I am hoping that someone in the DC area recognizes him and comes forth with the information I need (mainly, his license plate) so I can file a report with the police. I still can’t get over the nonchalant attitude that officer had. I was visibly shaken up and he had a smile and “aw, shucks” attitude the whole time. And I forgot to mention in my story that while talking to 911, I relayed the “Fuck you, bitch!” comments the harasser said to me, and the woman on dispatch said “You don’t need to curse like that.” Hello, I was relaying what this nutcase was yelling at me!

    I sadly feel that black women aren’t valued very highly, and no one takes us seriously when we report that type of intra-racial misogyny to the police. I hate to go there, but I feel if I were white, that officer would’ve acted in a heartbeat.

  5. RumRunner says:

    I’m so sorry for you.You need to get yourself some pepper spray and a tazer. These to things will help you to defend off these scumbags.

  6. sky says:

    My goodness they are getting worse. So they’re moving from the internet to the streets??? omg. I’m at lost for words.

  7. Angel says:

    You did the right thing.
    If we keep ignoring these digusting harassers then they will carry on, we NEED to take action just like you did even if you felt it didn’t really help would you rather have said nothing and smiled at this idiot and went along with it? atleast after you did what you did you know what an evil person he is and that he hates BW.
    These harassers are usually nonchalant because they know they get away with it which is horrible i know but we need to do exactly what you did, take pictures of the harasser and his number plate if he has a car, call the police immediately.
    You risk losing your life by these men (and i use that term loosely) anyways.
    What really scared me was how he ran after you – that’s just crazy! and you screamed for someone to call the police and no one did!? i understand if you now will play the “docile” woman who just goes along with it but i beg you don’t.
    You see if you don’t take action the next woman or girl will suffer too, just like you.
    Rest assured that you did the right thing and that it’s not your fault the police didn’t think it was serious enough.
    But you have to know that the police are always like this, unless you are nearly half dead with blood splatered all over you chances are they won’t take serious action which is so unfortunate and that goes for hospitals as well, unless you are nearly dead they will keep you waiting for hours to see a doctor.

    it sucks.
    get some peppar spray and tazer. I need to do the same actually, you never know what will happen and trust me you need that protection because at the end of the day we only have ourselves to count on.

  8. LorMarie says:

    I’m going to repost this on facebook with a link to this site.

  9. Fearful says:

    Thanks everyone. Most people have been supportive, but I’ve seen comments on other sites here and there telling me I should’ve went along with his catcalling. It’s so sad.

    “These harassers are usually nonchalant because they know they get away with it which is horrible i know but we need to do exactly what you did, take pictures of the harasser and his number plate if he has a car, call the police immediately.”

    That’s what I’ve been beating myself up over, not getting his license plate. The police could’ve easily tracked him down and arrested him if I had it. I wonder if they could recognize the make and model of the car from the photo.

  10. Gloryus says:

    Interesting. When Im out and these street bums try to approach me in a similar manner, I dont even look at them or respond to them…. I just keep walking or I pull out my phone and pretend I’m talking to someone. This usually happens when I go dancing Downtown…. never happens in the suburbs where I live but thank God there are cops on almost every corner of the streets Downtown because you just never know.

  11. Erika says:

    My preference has been to flip off catcallers without even looking in their direction. It forces them to acknowledge that, yes, I heard them and it brushes them off in such a way that it’s hard for them to escalate. Fortunately, I now live in a city where street harassment is rare.

    And I have to say that it really sickens me that this guy would trash women of his own race, although I doubt he would’ve been kinder/saner if a woman of another race rejected him.

  12. It’s embarrassing to hear my brothers, fellow men, acting out verbal violence like that. Men, let’s change the culture of what it means to be a man, until this doesn’t happen any longer!

  13. Kay says:

    Too bad you didn’t have some type of mace, pepper spray, or some litte tazing device when he got into your face.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Another case of Black male misogyny against a Black woman in downtown DC, from Celie’s Revenge:

    http://celiesrevenge.blogspot.com/2009/09/secret-to-not-being-cursed-out-in.html

    When will this end?

  15. Man says:

    “I have no choice but to be a docile, submissive woman.” really. nah but seriously why do you have to indulge him, you family sounds heaps smart just keep walking fck him, you got a family, hes got two morons in a car laughing at him. I bet if the right group of people were walking past or the cops witnessed it, they woulda help’d you. Your letting them win by beating youself up about it so much.

  16. Raven says:

    Okay, so let a mofo rape you, right? One thing I learned about street harassment is that the guys who do it have NO respect for the woman, women they are harassing. Guys know how to approach a woman they respect and see, guys like that, they do it since they feel as if they are doing YOU a favor. They don’t think highly of you, your value and your worth. Plus, men, when they give you a “compliment”, they are really trying to get into your pants, thus it is like attempted rape when they blow up at you like that for rejecting their “compliment.” I am myself a black woman and having grown up in a family of all boys, one thing I understand is that you have to be as aggressive as a man RIGHT BACK….carry pepper spray, curse them out, stick your chest out. I have sprayed mofos who would follow me in their cars to “compliment” me while cursing them out. Change your aura, too. Don’t be a wimp. As black women, unlike white women, we have never had anyone to hold our backs. Our own men treat us like shit, so other men follow suit. They don’t see us as sweet and soft, but as things to be manhandled, raped and abused. Those guys didn’t think your were worthy of that compliment to begin with in the first polace anyways. It wasn’t that they don’t like rejection, they just didn’t think you were worthy of rejecting them. We have to put these animals in their places. Pepper spray, mace, ….a gun!

  17. Golden Silence says:

    Okay, so let a mofo rape you, right?

    Don’t be a wimp.

    Dag, Raven. So are you trying to be supportive or be insulting in your comments? Not all Black people think and act alike.

    As black women, unlike white women, we have never had anyone to hold our backs. Our own men treat us like shit, so other men follow suit. They don’t see us as sweet and soft, but as things to be manhandled, raped and abused.

    This is where I agree. I do feel that we don’t get the protection we deserve because we aren’t seen worthy of protection. And I think a lot of Black men don’t respect us. When most media and videos refer to us as “bitches” and “hos,” that’s what they see us as as well.

    However, cursing these types of Black men out and trying to act “hard” doesn’t always work and I speak from experience. I’m 5’4” and barely over 100 lbs. I highly doubt someone bigger than me is going to take my cursing them out seriously. And if these thugs physically threaten me, well, then I’m shit out of luck.

    Regardless of how a Black woman reacts to certain types of Black men harassing her on the street, acting soft doesn’t make her less Black, which is the vibe I’m getting from your post. Some people will react in certain ways for self-preservation. What works for you may not necessarily work for others.

  18. ray says:

    I feel for you !
    Just magnify that by 30 times…You see, gang stalking is happening all over america. Instead of one, there may be 30 or more that follow you from the time you get up till the time you get up. 24/7.All of you get involved, google “gang stalking and read some of these sad sad stories
    of both male and female, black and white.

  19. Golden Silence says:

    What does gang violence have to do with this?

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