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Washington Post publishes story from hate crime victim


Kurtis Hiatt is a former associate editor for the US News & World Report and the Daily Iowan. He currently edits GW Today. He wrote about being the victim of a racially motivated hate crime in DC for the Washington Post.

From Washington Post Opinion Page…

“[Expletive] the white man! [Expletive] the white man!”

The man’s yells reverberated through the Metrorail car, breaking the quiet typical of an early-morning ride. I turned down the music on my iPhone. What was that? “[Expletive] the white man!” he screamed again. My fellow Blue Line riders and I looked around uneasily. I couldn’t see the man, but I did note that I seemed to be one of very few white men in the car. Still, I brushed it off. It’s not unusual to encounter crazy behavior while riding Metro. Rarely do things turn serious. As the train arrived at L’Enfant Plaza, I briefly considered switching cars. I didn’t.

I should have.

What happened next is a blur. I remember hearing “Look me in the eyes!” Now the voice was close — too close. I turned. The man had squared up directly in front of me, his face level with mine. I met his rage-filled eyes the moment before he head-butted me. Then his right fist came around in a hook, connecting just above my cheek.

“What are you doing?” was all I could yell, rather lamely, as I shoved him away. He turned his punches toward another victim as other passengers came to our aid. One of them pulled the man’s jacket over his head in a hockey-like maneuver. A woman was pushing the emergency call button. Feeling stunned, I remember wondering: Why isn’t the conductor responding?

So began a series of critical failures by Metro to protect its passengers.