a painting of the author, the description of the blog, and his URL: rickkitagawa.com/blog

Bad Comebacks

I was on an evening walk the other day, walking south on our fairly busy street, when someone heading north on a motorcycle turned onto the perpendicular side street we would soon be crossing.  They made a quick U turn on the side street, and headed back towards the main street to continue going north.   

Since it was dark, we paused on our side of the street since we were worried the biker might not see us.  As we waited on the corner, the motorcyclist, who I now realize had turned off the main street just in order to do this, shouted “F*ck you” to us and then continued on their way.  

Confused, I shouted “Okay then!” and my partner shouted “Have a good night” and we continued on our walk home.

I used to beat myself up for not coming up with better comebacks to random acts of verbal violence like this, but I’ve since given up. I’ve decided instead to come to terms that whatever the reasoning behind this person’s need to yell at two Asian Americans* out for a walk is, it is coming from a place of deep pain. It can be tough to have empathy for people who hate you, but it’s going to be the only way to move forward.

*You might be wondering why I’m assuming this is racially motivated, and you’re right in that I’m assuming this. But given that we literally just paused at the street corner waiting to cross, unless he really didn’t like the teal sweatshirt I was wearing, I’m going to make this assumption based on the experience I’ve had of previously being randomly shouted at with specific racial slurs.

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