“These teenagers liked the fight, they were laughing about the whole thing”

I have a story to share– but it’s about racism. And one worth sharing: I was on the N Line going uptown a little before 3PM today (2:50-2:58?). I boarded on 57th and 7th. I don’t remember the subway car. Right when I walked in I heard yelling.

I had no idea what was going on, everyone in the car (it was a reasonably full car) was staring at a group of 6-7 african american teenage girls in the middle of the car. I soon realized what was happening– after the victims that they had been yelling at had exited the car, they turned and came back in because a few of the girls were cussing them out (profanely).

I saw the victims were a 20-something year old couple: an african american male and his asian girlfriend. It became evident that not only these teenagers were racist— but they saw this mixed-race couple and started an altercation, calling them names and insulting them (BOTH)– especially making fun of the asian girl’s accent.

It was a completely verbal argument, but one that could’ve easily turned physical in any other situation (example, like if the teens were boys, the victimized man may have tried physical retaliation). The victims turned back in after they taunted them after they had exited– but they couldn’t really do anything– they were visibly upset, but they did not/could not reciprocate appropriately. I assume it was because these girls were all underage, and there was a large gang of them, even though they were just teenagers. Also, of course, there are no cops around and there’s no videocamera. There’s no accountability. Meanwhile, everyone was just staring. The girls yelled at them to get out of the car again, and as they left again, one of the girls wanted to get in the last word, she actually (opened?) the subway window and yelled the couple,

“Don’t eat that Chinese p***y!!!!”

But the most terrible thing is that these teenagers liked the fight, they were laughing about the whole thing.

When the doors closed again I realized I had walked into a bad situation– as I am acutally asian myself and I had walked to stand on the car just several feet away from them. I am pretty new to the NYC subway system (I only come in about once a month), so I had no idea what to do. Does each car have an intercom? I felt that if it did, someone on the car should’ve reported it. If the car didn’t have an intercom, it SHOULD. People need to be held accountable for their actions— especially ones of a racist nature. The only way to do that is either have a police officer/security stationed at each platform OR have live video feed OR have an intercom.

This shouldn’t happen. It was one of the saddest, most disturbing experiences– a car full of young racist children, surrounded by passive adults.

As I turned my back to leave for my stop near 60th & Park, one of the girls tried to throw a piece of garbage at the back of my head (completely unprovoked by me– which is why I say they must’ve provoked the prior incident). She missed, and I ignored it and I kicked it to the side. I left the car quickly, and they followed. They followed me up the stairs laughing and giggling and egging each other on to try to throw the garbage at my head again. This second time they succeeded. As my back was already turned to them, I ignored them. I keep wondering what else I could have done, why there was so much hatred in these kids who just got out of school (presumably), and why a subway car full of mixed race adults said nothing.

They were teenage girls…lashing out and laughing not only at another race, but one of their own. This was a case of second degree aggravated assault– no laughing matter. The MTA needs to get their act together…

– GC

Location: N line– 57th and 7th, New York City

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Find suggestions for what YOU can do about this human rights issue.

3 Responses to “These teenagers liked the fight, they were laughing about the whole thing”

  1. I am so sorry that happened. You can report it to the MTA. I have reported harassment before, and they do respond (I emailed). I would encourage you to do this, especially since this gang of girls may often ride that subway line. It may prevent others from having to deal with such a horrid experience. I am sorry no adults spoke up. I’ve just made a vow to speak up more when I see anything happen. It takes courage, but seriously if we just sit by and watch it happen, we are helping the harassers. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a safer better time in NYC from now on. From a fellow New Yorker.

  2. Golden Silence says:

    I remember seeing this on iHollaback a month or so ago, and my sentiments remain the same. These girls aren’t being raised by anyone who cares about them, so all they know is hate. If anyone loved or cared about them, they’d have respect for other people and respect for themselves. I’m not sure if you did or not, but please follow Beckie’s advice and report this to the MTA. We have the same problem with violent teens here in DC causing problems for innocent riders, and this vicious cycle needs to end. They mess with people because no one reports it or challenges them, and these teens need to start being held accountable for their actions.

  3. ninyabruja says:

    I remember this too….I forgot to add in my comments there that fingerprints were most likely on the trash thrown at you—and the kids might have been caught that way.

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