Apparently I’m a Victim?

April 28, 2012 § 4 Comments

So today I got robbed on the train, some asshole stole my phone and ran off the train, the doors closed, and of course we couldn’t get them open. I saw the guy before we even got on the train, he was acting suspiciously and I didn’t say anything or do anything. I feel absolutely foolish because I didn’t take any of the simple steps to get a finder app or lock my phone in the event that it was stolen. I feel like an idiot and unsurprisingly, I absolutely hate that feeling. I don’t even care about the phone that much, since I can buy another one, I just care about all the phone numbers and pictures that I have on it. I should back it up every day, but I don’t. I shouldn’t sit by the door on the train, but I do. There are a lot of regrets.

We called the cops once we got off at the next stop, they’ve got the description of the young black male wearing black clothes (I was more specific than that of course [dreadlocks, dark grey or black jumpsuit, skull cap, etc.] but I still felt like I was describing every lower-class criminal that’s ever been seen in DC), they’ve got the description of my white iphone with a shattered back and my pink with flowers Cath Kitson case I just bought at the beginning of April. They’ve got my info. I posted two ads on Craigslist listing it as stolen and offering a reward. I texted my phone giving the guy the option to turn the phone in. I discontinued my service, changed my passwords, called my phone company, and I even called local pawn shops to see if they would take iphone at all or a broken iphone in particular.

Did I mention we were going out to celebrate Alec’s birthday today? Yepp.

There’s nothing more I can do to get my phone back. There’s no use in going over what happened in my head and beating myself up for not doing this, that, or the other. THERE’S FUCKING NO USE in being upset over having my iphone stolen when other people are suffering far worse crimes. Jesus, alexa, get the fuck over it. You’re not getting your phone back and assholes get away with crimes all the time. Time to move on.

It also bothers me on a different level. DC has made me racist in a number of ways. Whenever I’ve almost gotten run over by a car — black person driving. Crimes in my neighborhood? Committed by black people. Litter fucking everywhere in our neighborhood? Black kids throwing trash on the ground. The list goes on and I keep trying to excuse it away in my head because I don’t want to feel suspicious or resentful towards black people, but clearly in my neighborhood, I need to be! I hate feeling that this stupid petty crime has made me a worse person because now I’m going to feel increasingly threatened by and suspicious of the black men in my neighborhood and in the broader DC area. I hate that. I hate feeling like a racist. I hate feeling bad about myself because of what other people have done to me. But there it is. That’s what’s happening.

§ 4 Responses to Apparently I’m a Victim?

  • Bill says:

    I definitely understand your frustrations. I’ll just point out that you could replace “black” with “poor” in your final paragraph and most of your statements would hold true – it just so happens that poverty is far more racialized in DC than in many other places in the USA.

    • alexalhayes says:

      Hi Bill,
      I appreciate your point, that it is specifically the poor population in DC that produces the most crime in the area, but I would like to make two points. First, at least statistically, poor black people tend to live in urban areas whereas poor white people tend to live in rural areas. DC in particular is, as you say, more radicalized than most cities, but I do just want to emphasize that crime in cities is more often committed by poor black people than poor white people because poor white people typically live in rural areas more often than urban. Secondly, at least in DC, there is a perpetuation of destructive behavior in the poor black communities that live here. I speak mainly about Northeast DC, which is where I have lived for the last two years. I think that crime, while maybe not openly encouraged, is perpetuated as a part of life. Kids as young as ten (we live by a couple schools) cuss and scream and litter constantly in the neighborhood. They yell at me from school windows, the other side of the street, etc. and they are inconsiderate enough to not even move to the other side of the sidewalk when you try to walk past them. It’s just a perpetuation of “Me first” attitudes, which lead to a higher crime rate for sure. I’m not a sociologist, but in DC at least, I think crime has a relation to poor black communities not just because their population is higher in cities. I think it’s culturally perpetuated and only black people can fix it within their own communities.

      From my experience living in poor white rural areas, most of those crimes are committed among family members, children stealing from parents, etc. There does seem to be a difference in the type of crimes committed between poor white people and poor black people, but again, I am no expert. I only know what I have seen.

    • alexalhayes says:

      Thank you for understanding! The reason we didn’t report the suspicious behavior (the guy was checking us out on the train platform and hiding behind the pillars, I assume avoiding the cameras in the metro station) was because we were afraid of acting like racists and assuming that just because it’s a young black male in DC that he’s up to something. We both feel like idiots because he *was* up to something but we didn’t report it because we were afraid of racial profiling! It’s such an upsetting situation.

  • Matt says:

    You are not a racist. There’s a vast chasm of difference between “all crimes I have observed within these parameters were committed by black perpetrators” and “all black people are criminals”.

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