How do I forgive and learn and carry on?


#1

I live in a flat complex, so lots of noise and stuff but people are mostly reasonable. Last night two car loads of Nigerians are right outside my house at 11pm playing music as loud as possible not caring about anybody. About 8 drunk guys partying, drinking and shouting in a private residential area. I go outside and ask them to turn it down or off out of respect. They get in my face call me a racist and tell me to go to sleep. Tried to stay calm so I just said that I’d appreciate it if they turned it off. One dude gets right up in my face calls me a very racist name and says he dares me to do something. Not one to miss an invitation, I pushed him pretty hard backwards to send the message that I wasn’t looking for a fight but I wasn’t going to be intimidated.

Next thing, 8 of these drunk guys are rushing in punching, kicking, scratching, poking, one had a belt starting lashing me. Screaming and shouting. I start running away to get bearings. Thinking, “If I hit back I’m gonna do damage because these guys aren’t very big” but in the end I didn’t do anything because a) 8 vs 1 is never fair b) the legal trouble, cops wouldn’t take my side and I pushed the dude first c) They were Nigerians and had something to prove so they might want revenge. As I sit there thinking that, another bigger African comes from nowhere and whacks me from behind and says I need to learn my place as a white guy. Pushed him away because his friends were rushing in once again. Eventually I just ran inside my house while they stayed outside boasting about beating up a white pig, how things have changed in Africa, how they taught me a lesson for being a white supremist colonizer etc.

Lucky they were pretty weak so my face didn’t get any damage, just my body/arms are bruised and scratched up and sore throat from being choked. Spoke to the manager of the complex about it, but nothing could be done at 11pm so will see what happens today. Apparently these same guys call themselves “Nigerias Most Famous” or something like that.

I shouldn’t have pushed the bloke to begin with but hey man the guy was practically spitting in my face, nor did I expect 8 of his troops to step in immediately. All because I asked them to turn the music down.

Now, I don’t know what to think.

I have always been against racism, and I never act out, but I do stand my ground. However, I am not sure if you are aware of the situation in South Africa. Our political leaders sing songs about shooting white people, white farmers are being murdered a lot, and generally it’s very unstable. It just really bothered me that I was being beaten up and called a racist when in fact the opposite was true!

My pride is a bit hurt, which is actually fine I suppose. I’m also angry at myself for pushing the guy first, and I realize that was just really stupid. At the same time though, I just feel really angry about the situation. I’m starting to feel that there is justification in racism - something I know is wrong and evil. I keep dwelling on the fact that individually I could’ve really put them in their place but I was alone. I keep dwelling on the violence and their reaction towards me as a white person. I’ve never been racist, I am an unassuming nice guy but I’m not a pushover either. I’m just a bit confused and feel strange about it all.


#2

You went about it all wrong.After you told them to quiet down you should have walked away.Why didn’t you report the noise to the police?Isn’t there a law against disturbing the peace?You aggravated the situations and did not use common sense.I hoped you learned something.We all should learn from our mistakes and we all make them.


#3

Police here do nothing. If anything, I would’ve been the one in trouble for wasting their time or something similar. Yeah, I realise that I went about it the wrong way for the most part, but at the same time, given the opportunity to do it again I’m not sure I would’ve done it differently. There’s no good in being a walkover. I didn’t go there aggressively, nor was my intention bad, but I also wasn’t there to be abused and called names simply for asking them to be polite.


#4

NewsTheMan, one word that keeps popping into my mind is “de-escalate”. Do these guys live in your vicinity? Will they remember you? They may remember “that tall white guy”, and next time when they are drunk, might pick a fight with you again. They may want to take “revenge” because you dared to ask them to turn down the music. Watch out for your own safety, and if they ever try to get into your face again, walk away. Don’t stand your ground, but rather walk away, and notify anyone who can help you - police, apartment manager. I understand though that even the police might get partial and side with them. Is it that the police just don’t like “being bothered”, or are they de facto racist?

One thing you could have done differently, you should have adressed directly the apartment complex manager and let him deal with the situation, but I guess you didn’t see it coming that these guys would react so violently to a simple request to turn down the music.

One more possible tactic, to keep tensions low: if you have friends in the apartment complex who are black people, let them deal with these racist guys. That way, they can’t pull the race card.

If these guys will be in your neighborhood again, and behave as if they hold a grudge and are looking for revenge, I would take immediate action to put the thing on some legal channel. But the question is, what legal channels are available for you? Filing a written complaint and request a restraining order against these guys? Should the written complaint be addressed to the police, or to the civil authorities? I would say, if they try to pick a fight again, definitely don’t take the bait - it can escalate very quickly. Walk away and take some sort of legal action, but the question is, what kind of legal action is available to you, to protect your physical safety?

I even keep thinking that you should go to a legal office right now, and have your bruises and other signs of altercation documented, and take legal action right now to get a restraining order. These 8 seem like a gang, and your physical safety may be in danger.


#5

I know one of them lives in my apartment complex area. However, I assume that most of them don’t and are just locals/friends who came down for the weekend or something. I am a bit weary that they might seek revenge, but I spoke to the manager this morning and he is stepping up security.

As for police, it’s a mixture of both. They aren’t bothered, and depending on who I get they are de facto racist. Police here is the last resort. Private security is the only way to deal with things.

One thing you could have done differently, you should have adressed directly the apartment complex manager and let him deal with the situation, but I guess you didn’t see it coming that these guys would react so violently to a simple request to turn down the music.

I looked for the guard on duty and she wasn’t there, and I didn’t want to wake the manager. I guess that was silly. Yeah, I didn’t expect it to escalate either!

One more possible tactic, to keep tensions low: if you have friends in the apartment complex who are black people, let them deal with these racist guys. That way, they can’t pull the race card.

Yeah it’s a solution but unfortunately racial tensions here are still big. Very much so. I have black friends, but not in my area. They all stick together here - especially if I am accused of being racist. If one person tells the other that I was calling them names that’s it.

If these guys will be in your neighborhood again, and behave as if they hold a grudge and are looking for revenge, I would take immediate action to put the thing on some legal channel. But the question is, what legal channels are available for you? Filing a written complaint and request a restraining order against these guys? Should the written complaint be addressed to the police, or to the civil authorities? I would say, if they try to pick a fight again, definitely don’t take the bait - it can escalate very quickly. Walk away and take some sort of legal action, but the question is, what kind of legal action is available to you, to protect your physical safety?

I am looking into it. It’s difficult in this country though, and in this small town. Its a long weekend so I think I will be speaking to police on Monday. A bit worried that if it does go legally further that they will look for revenge properly. I have no family here which is great, but it would suck for me to be targeted!

I even keep thinking that you should go to a legal office right now, and have your bruises and other signs of altercation documented, and take legal action right now to get a restraining order. These 8 seem like a gang, and your physical safety may be in danger.

I took photos of my bruises etc. Also wrote down what I could remember of the events. Also, a few people saw what happened, and there are cameras here. I will have to wait and see. This country is slow. Justice here isn’t exactly justice at all. In any other country the police would’ve been here last night. Ah well.


#6

[quote="NewsTheMan, post:1, topic:237075"]
I live in a flat complex, so lots of noise and stuff but people are mostly reasonable. Last night two car loads of Nigerians are right outside my house at 11pm playing music as loud as possible not caring about anybody. About 8 drunk guys partying, drinking and shouting in a private residential area. I go outside and ask them to turn it down or off out of respect. They get in my face call me a racist and tell me to go to sleep. Tried to stay calm so I just said that I’d appreciate it if they turned it off. One dude gets right up in my face calls me a very racist name and says he dares me to do something. Not one to miss an invitation, I pushed him pretty hard backwards to send the message that I wasn't looking for a fight but I wasn't going to be intimidated.

Next thing, 8 of these drunk guys are rushing in punching, kicking, scratching, poking, one had a belt starting lashing me. Screaming and shouting. I start running away to get bearings. Thinking, “If I hit back I’m gonna do damage because these guys aren't very big” but in the end I didn’t do anything because a) 8 vs 1 is never fair b) the legal trouble, cops wouldn’t take my side and I pushed the dude first c) They were Nigerians and had something to prove so they might want revenge. As I sit there thinking that, another bigger African comes from nowhere and whacks me from behind and says I need to learn my place as a white guy. Pushed him away because his friends were rushing in once again. Eventually I just ran inside my house while they stayed outside boasting about beating up a white pig, how things have changed in Africa, how they taught me a lesson for being a white supremist colonizer etc.

Lucky they were pretty weak so my face didn’t get any damage, just my body/arms are bruised and scratched up and sore throat from being choked. Spoke to the manager of the complex about it, but nothing could be done at 11pm so will see what happens today. Apparently these same guys call themselves “Nigerias Most Famous” or something like that.

I shouldn’t have pushed the bloke to begin with but hey man the guy was practically spitting in my face, nor did I expect 8 of his troops to step in immediately. All because I asked them to turn the music down.

Now, I don't know what to think.

I have always been against racism, and I never act out, but I do stand my ground. However, I am not sure if you are aware of the situation in South Africa. Our political leaders sing songs about shooting white people, white farmers are being murdered a lot, and generally it's very unstable. It just really bothered me that I was being beaten up and called a racist when in fact the opposite was true!

My pride is a bit hurt, which is actually fine I suppose. I'm also angry at myself for pushing the guy first, and I realize that was just really stupid. At the same time though, I just feel really angry about the situation. I'm starting to feel that there is justification in racism - something I know is wrong and evil. I keep dwelling on the fact that individually I could've really put them in their place but I was alone. I keep dwelling on the violence and their reaction towards me as a white person. I've never been racist, I am an unassuming nice guy but I'm not a pushover either. I'm just a bit confused and feel strange about it all.

[/quote]

you went outside and confronted them? are you crazy? there was 8 of them...what if they had a weapon?...you should have just stayed in your house, maybe tried to get their car license plate number from looking out the corner of the curtains and called the police....how do you know these guys arent gonna take a grudge against you and your family now over this?....always let the police handle it...never put yourself in danger like that


#7

[quote="NewsTheMan, post:5, topic:237075"]

Yeah it's a solution but unfortunately racial tensions here are still big. Very much so. I have black friends, but not in my area. They all stick together here - especially if I am accused of being racist. If one person tells the other that I was calling them names that's it.

I am looking into it. It's difficult in this country though, and in this small town..

[/quote]

South Africa is rife with political and racial tension :( I have never been there, but I have heard how bad it is, and it's unbelievable. I've heard that the police are next to useless, mob lynchings are commonplace and the law never intervenes, and basically there is no end in sight.

I would recommend being vigilant and cautious. Keep your actions as charitable as possible, and show others that you are a well-intentioned person who simply wants his sleep at night. If you bump into them in broad daylight, I would actually apologize for the situation getting out of hand. It's not like you 'owe' them an apology by any means, but extending that olive branch could go a long way in showing you are not the 'colonial racist pig' that they seem to accuse you of being. A lot of people love to pull that BS as a justification for their anger, it's simply unfair and cruel. You didn't deserve what ensued, but damage control might be in order to keep yourself safe in a tumultuous environment.

I will pray for your well-being and for peace in your country. This sounds like a difficult situation. I hate to mention this, but would you ever consider moving to another town that is a little more stable? I would just hate for things to get nasty for you... like you said, at least your family does not live there, but still, your personal safety is important!

How stressful. You have our thoughts and prayers.

Much love and God bless!


#8

He has already mentioned why that would not have worked… you have to be somewhat familiar with the socio-political issues that are plaguing South Africa. He already mentioned that the police might have actually turned on him for ‘bothering’ them, and that de facto racism is a widespread problem. It’s not like living in a place where the police actually give a toot about what happens to the citizens they are supposed to be protecting.


#9

themeginthemoon has a good answer :slight_smile:

They weren’t thugs, and they weren’t the kind of guys to carry weapons. I know them. Not personally but you know what I mean. It wasn’t the brightest thing I have done, but hey, I am a South African, and I am a man. I hate rudeness, I hate drunken obnoxious behaviour, and I especially hate being called a racist.

Thank you! Funnily enough, this is supposed to be one of the safest towns in the country :smiley: What happened to me is nothing, really.

Thank goodness for my British Citizenship, after I finish here I am moving to New Zealand to study further. Safer shores for a nice Catholic man :slight_smile:


#10

[quote="NewsTheMan, post:9, topic:237075"]
themeginthemoon has a good answer :)

They weren't thugs, and they weren't the kind of guys to carry weapons. I know them. Not personally but you know what I mean. It wasn't the brightest thing I have done, but hey, I am a South African, and I am a man. I hate rudeness, I hate drunken obnoxious behaviour, and I especially hate being called a racist.

Thank you! Funnily enough, this is supposed to be one of the safest towns in the country :D What happened to me is nothing, really.

Thank goodness for my British Citizenship, after I finish here I am moving to New Zealand to study further. Safer shores for a nice Catholic man :)

[/quote]

I am really sorry to hear about what happened to you. The Kiwis are NOTHING like that!!!! Glad you will be leaving S. Africa. I have heard bad things about it too. Be careful please!


#11

And once you get to New Zealand, don’t swim in the streams and lakes! :smiley: That country has the most amazing mountains and mountain lakes, but there’s an eel species in there that attacks and bites humans, dogs, sheep, etc.

Sorry to go OT. I just thought you need to know that. :slight_smile: I know my first reaction to those lakes would be, let me take a swim.


#12

to all who are writing this off as a south african problem…do look in your own backyard. You may as well be talking about a women’s college dormitory in upstate NY. The black folk were a minority…the black men were mostly good…sports players or lost boys of sudan. The girls were noisy, clique and had ACLU on speed dial.
Many nights they would openly defy quiet hours, by cranking their music and dancing in the hall (something even normally forbidden). Woe to the person that challenged them. It was girlfights…etc. The RA’s couldn’t do a thing and even the noble black of the campus security would turn a blind eye. Just like the actual town cops. One actually said that until one girl put the other in the hospital they would not act. When the college tried to kick them out of the dorm the lawyers were all over it and promised to drag the colleges name through the mud if the even attempted to punish.

And this is not rare. It is very common…moreso now that hispanics are the bigger minority. Forget inner racial relationships…the social punishment among blacks is swift, harsh and unrelenting…even if everyone white, asian, hispanic is ok with it.

I did know two wonderful black women…but because they chose to hang out with non-black they were bullied much harsher than us…called every racial slur immaginable.

And again…this is just a rehashing of what happens in typical northeast schools


#13

Racism is a terrible thing. Not calling anyone names, but if the shoe fits, wear it.


#14

[quote="purplesunshine, post:12, topic:237075"]
to all who are writing this off as a south african problem...do look in your own backyard. You may as well be talking about a women's college dormitory in upstate NY. The black folk were a minority...the black men were mostly good...sports players or lost boys of sudan. The girls were noisy, clique and had ACLU on speed dial.
Many nights they would openly defy quiet hours, by cranking their music and dancing in the hall (something even normally forbidden). Woe to the person that challenged them. It was girlfights...etc. The RA's couldn't do a thing and even the noble black of the campus security would turn a blind eye. Just like the actual town cops. One actually said that until one girl put the other in the hospital they would not act. When the college tried to kick them out of the dorm the lawyers were all over it and promised to drag the colleges name through the mud if the even attempted to punish.

And this is not rare. It is very common...moreso now that hispanics are the bigger minority. Forget inner racial relationships....the social punishment among blacks is swift, harsh and unrelenting....even if everyone white, asian, hispanic is ok with it.

I did know two wonderful black women...but because they chose to hang out with non-black they were bullied much harsher than us...called every racial slur immaginable.

And again...this is just a rehashing of what happens in typical northeast schools

[/quote]

... Not nearly as bad as what's happening in South Africa, sure violence happens here but it is nothing as bad as what is going on in other places. Our police force aren't perfect, but we have victim's advocacy and legal advocacy out the wazzoo. There is next to none of that in many other places, including South Africa.

I don't mean to minimize how much racism can stink and be pain in the butt right here in the US... trust me, I have lived in the rural South for much of my life! There are neo-nazis, skinheads, and small groups of KKK still active where I live. Interracial dating does not happen here, ever, and if it does people are usually targeted for violence. There are a few larger cities where it isn't so bad, but unfortunately that is not the case where i live. What would the neighbors say if they knew that my husband was part black!?!?

(not that I give a toot, but still).

I know it can suck here too, but it's not nearly as bad as it is in many other places. I still say us Americans are pretty spoiled in that department, even those of us that have endured violence and poverty have usually (note, I use the word usually because there are always exceptions) not endured what those in many other countries have. We have it perfect by no means, but we definitely see things through more rose tinted glasses.


#15

[quote="Joseph_L_Varga, post:11, topic:237075"]
And once you get to New Zealand, don't swim in the streams and lakes! :D That country has the most amazing mountains and mountain lakes, but there's an eel species in there that attacks and bites humans, dogs, sheep, etc.

Sorry to go OT. I just thought you need to know that. :) I know my first reaction to those lakes would be, let me take a swim.

[/quote]

:eek:

glad to know that... note to self...


#16

My point wasn't that it was a comparison to south africa.... But that any place you go today is going to have racism issues. And that even today, even in america, poliece take sides. In the north they are so afraid of the aclu that they advised several times to poliece that unless their client beat another girl enough to put her in the hospital the client was untouchable. as someone who was buillied and harassed and even attacked for telling a peer to turn down their music at 4am when i'd got off work at 11:30pm and had to be up for an 8am class(my typical schedule). The RA couldnt do anything, campus security coundint do anything....and the powerless cops started to fine the school for comming over to make them stop. (which didnt work anyway).

My point is I feel for the op. I have been in a similiar but FAR less dangerous situation.

Dont dare "rosy colored glasses" me. I just wanted to point out that people shouldnt think this is soley a south african problem.


closed #17

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