Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2021/ Street Harassment

Yesterday I was harassed by three fellows in a car. This is not an ususual occurrence -- people like to yell at me and drive off -- but this crossed a new threshold. Firstly, this was not a bicycle conflict. I had my bike, but I was standing at a street waiting to cross. The three fellows drove up in their car, stopped, yelled at me, and then one fellow doused me with his beverage. They then drove to the end of the street and observed my reaction until I started cycling at them, at which point they bravely drove away.

Good joke, fellows. Excellent gag. On the one hand this is no worse than bullied kids face in high school. On the other hand this was outright assault, and it has traumatized me. I was already in terrible shape. I was already wary of cars, especially given my other bad experiences. I was not threatening these fellows in any way. I was waiting to cross the street, and I was harassed.

One aspect that really bothers me is that there will never be any accountabilty for this kind of harassment. It was dark and I was doused with a strange liquid; I do not have video and I do not have a license plate. Even if I did, I strongly suspect that the police would not care. They have much more important things to worry about, like clearing homeless encampments and protecting the interests of property owners. Those three fellows knew they would face no consequences for their harassment, which is why they did it, and which is why I can expect they (and their fun-seeking ilk) will do so again and again.

Cars routinely intimidate me by aggressively turning when I am crossing the street. I was sideswiped and in pain for weeks, and the driver drove away with no consequences. I get honked at for the crime of being on the road. Now I get doused with liquid for the crime of waiting to cross the street.

But if I had retaliated in any way -- if I so much as threw a rock at their retreating car -- then you can be sure that the police would be called and I would be in jail now. That is how justice works around here. I am surprised they did not call the cops on me for yelling in frustration at them -- but then again, that is exactly the reaction they wanted. They acted with ill-will and malice to cause me harm, and they succeeded.

It was Jesus's birthday, so I was supposed to be forgiving or something. I was supposed to turn the other cheek. I feel nothing of the sort. My heart swerved from bleeding-heart liberal to hardest tough-on-crime conservative in an instant. I hope those three get into an accident and are maimed for life. I hope they are called out on social media and lose their jobs. I hope they have to live in poverty and deal with the kind of treatment I have to put up with for the crime of being poor. I feel no sympathy in my heart for them whatsoever. I feel so angry, and so unsafe, and so helpless.