Social Commentary

The art of arguing with racists

How were your holidays? Oh nice, I was in Paris and then Germany before I flew back to London and in between I got into a fight with a German 6 feet tall, orange selling racist that involved me throwing one of his oranges at him.

A few hours before my flight back to London  my sister, our American friend and I decided to go to the city center of Bonn to see if there are any nice deals post christmas deals. While we strolled through the market place passing by some fruit vendors I remembered an encounter with one of the fruit vendors my sister told me about a few years back:

She was standing at the fruit stand with our mother looking at some fruits when the vendor all of a sudden proclaimed to his colleague: “You gotta watch out for these people, they are thieves (Langfinger)” while pointing at them. My sister was shocked but still managed to confront him. He decided to just ignore her and pretend like she doesn’t exist.

‘I wonder if this guy is still working here’ I said out loud and my sister laughed and said it was three years ago and this would be very unlikely but while she said this she stopped mid sentence and realised this guy might actually be the vendor right in front of us.

Well, it would be easy enough to find out if its him or not. I simply walked over and picked up an orange to inspect it, pretending like I am thinking of buying it. My sister and our friend did the same and as soon as we laid our hands on the fruits he barked at us in English ‘Don’t touch!!’

I pointed out, in German, that it’s common practice to touch fruits in order to see if they are ripe or not. His response was that ‘in Germany we don’t do that’. I told him that I happen to be German too and that he sounds like a racist. After that everything escalated pretty quickly: His answer was to call me a ‘Fotze’ (stinking vagina in German) and my response was to through the orange I was holding after him.

Until that point the incident could have almost passed off as a funny story if he hadn’t charged at me ready to hit me. My sister came in between us yelling dramatically he better not dare hit me. His female colleague then came to the rescue, but not to our rescue of course… Feminism and racism don’t mix well apparently.  She pulled him back telling him ‘don’t let those whores upset you’.

IMG_0438

the racist street vendors in Bonn, Germany

If things escalated before that, they now hyperventilated: We started yelling at them at the top of our lungs calling them Nazis and racists. People walking by now stopped to see what was going on and if you think anyone would have shown some support you are right but unfortunately they made it pretty clear that they are siding with the racists and not us.

Eventually we walked away, kind of in a moonwalk backwards while calling them racists over and over again and continued our shopping while still trembling inside from anger about the racism we just experienced.

Somehow yelling and screaming and throwing fruits at some simpleton racists didn’t give me the satisfaction I expected. Instead I felt upset and vulnerable without being able to point out why.

At some point during all the commotion I started filming but didn’t manage to capture the preceding racial slurs and instead it just shows me yelling at them for the most part. As my other sister who wasn’t there pointed out after seeing the video: I look like the perpetrator because the racists became pretty quiet after I took out my cell phone to record them and were smart enough to not repeat any of the slurs.

That’s when I realised that arguing with racists really is an art, being able to capture their racism on camera even more so. It’s not difficult to write an eloquent essay against racism but answering in an eloquent, calm manner after just having been called a whore in one’s face is a whole different story.

Eventually I came to understand why my own reaction left me so upset: The moment I started yelling and lost my temper I gave them the upper hand. The moment I called them names back I lowered my level. The best way to handle these people is to remain calm, laugh at them and make fun of them. That’s what they are scared of the most since they know in their inner heart that they are really just losers.

However, it takes quiet a cool person to remain calm and humorous in these situations. Maybe practice would help?

I know this might sound harsh but I really don’t agree with the whole be patient, swallow it and just walk away approach. This will just empower the racists to continue with their behaviour.

The main lesson I took away from this is to start filming earlier, not raise my voice ( apparently women who scream are considered hysterical) and most importantly: aim better when throwing an orange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The art of arguing with racists

  1. you mixed some information up, i have to say: you threw the orange at him after he told us not to touch, afterwards he called us fotze
    😀

    Like

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