Berri’s Story: The bus stop, again
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reported harassment at my bus stop now. Today while walking to my stop after work, I started hearing a man making kissing, smacking sounds behind me. When I had to stop at the crosswalk, he came up closer and started making comments about my body (‘damn you look NICE!’ etc.)
At this point I turned around and saw the guy (he was on a bike). I asked him to repeat himself, which he did (ugh) and said “Your opinion doesn’t matter to me. I don’t know you. Keep it to yourself.” He (of course) got defensive and said he was complimenting me not harassing me. I told him it wasn’t a compliment, and he proceeded to call me a racist (here, I feel it’s relevant to point out I’m white, he’s black) and told me “I actually don’t look that good anyway.” I told him I hoped he got hit by a bus as he rode away, yelling again that I’m a racist.
The race thing in this situation was very interesting to me. I said nothing racist, but it seemed he felt like the reason I was responding to him and telling him what he did wasn’t okay was because of his skin color. I don’t know what to do in situations like that to make someone understand it’s what they’re doing and saying that bothers me, not what they look like.