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An Angry Man at 2am

After a traumatic event in the early hours of the morning, this blog highlights the trauma men face when they're subject to unprovoked attacks.

At 2:18am in the early hours of Thursday morning, i’m doing something many people wouldn’t think to do after my recent experience. Its taken me hours to reach the decision to channel my anger through writing, as opposed to doing something that would have me end up in prison, hospital or even worse - dead.

My wife and I had finished shopping for our new flat, and decided to park the car on the nearest side road, instead of my garage. As I walked home, deep in random thought, I was forced to stop when a flash appeared in front of me, rustling the bushes violently. I spotted something drop on the floor - an egg yoke. I was so startled that it took me a few seconds to process what was happening.  When I glanced around, a silver Audi sped past me, as a white male in his 20s yelled “Pussyhole!” and carried on driving.

I remained frozen. I was in so much shock that I didn’t know how to react. A sudden rush of anger came over me and I found myself battling between the decision to

1 )Turn back around, hop into my car and speed after the Audi

2) Run after the car, as it was still within close proximity (like 150 yards)


3) Drop my bags in preparation to fight if the guys in the car decided to turn around and come back for more.

I froze too long to choose the first two options and they didn’t turn back round.

Defeated, I carried on walking towards my flat, harbouring the only emotions of anger and shock. I called my wife when I got to the entrance of my complex and told her what happened, hoping she’d say something that would prompt me to act on my anger, but she did what I already knew she would and told me to come back upstairs.

This incident occurred roughly around 10 o’clock at night. The time is now 2:31am. This is how long it has taken me to get over the incident. As my wife lay asleep beside me, I lay here attempting to sleep, but struggle because my body stiffens up whenever I close my eyes. All I see is the face of a man who had the audacity to call me a “Pussyhole’ as he threw an egg and drove past in his car  [with at least one other person with him] The irony.  He wasn’t even man enough to say it to my face.

My wife spent time in the evening trying to make me feel better and cheer me up, and and did so without being patronising or insensitive. Even she was livid. I’m very self aware, so I don’t need anybody to point out to me that there is an issue of pride here. I acknowledged it before anybody else and even mentioned to my wife “ I can’t let it go, and I don’t want to”. I mean, why wouldn’t I be angry?

This is the third time i’ve been a victim of what seems obvious to me as a racial attack/abuse.  Two of these attacks have resulted in me having an egg skim the tip of my nose, because a bunch of cowards driving around at night, are intentionally harassing vulnerable people. The other abuse happened during my first year of uni, when a group of guys yelled out “Nigger!” as they drove past in their cars. The common theme in all of these situations is that they never had the balls to actually confront me, to my face. That unfinished episode often keeps me up at night, just as much as anything else.

This most recent incident rattled me for a number of reasons.

1) It’s been two days since I moved just a 15 minute car journey from my old neighbourhood to a more affluent, middle class neighbourhood, with a reputation for being extremely “safe”.

2) What if that was my wife or relative walking to my house? What If I was walking with them? How would I react, seeing them shaken up or even worse, hurt?

3) What would have happened if I didn’t just carry on walking to my flat, but instead chose to go after the car? Or retaliate by yelling out a similar response out of anger? What would happen if they decided to turn around and confront me?

The last set of questions are the ones swirling around in my mind as I lay here now at 2:50am. All I can do is replay the different scenarios in my head and no matter how grateful I am to be laying here by my wife, safe, I can’t help but want another opportunity to live out the alternative scenarios for my own selfish satisfaction.

I am a teacher and a man respected for his contribution to educational services and youth work. I’m also a newly wedded husband. However, my professional status and my new marital status doesn’t change the fact that I am a man with emotions that i’m forced to push aside for the greater good of my reputation and image , even if it becomes detrimental to my own mental health.

I’m an advocate of the law and uphold it the majority of the time (no one is perfect).

However, these past and present experiences with racial abuse dictate the emotions I feel. And rather than freely expressing myself, I often feel forced to suppress them to the point where I feel like i’m going to lose my mind [or grab a laptop and start writing at 2:00 in the morning]. The option I chose could have been so different tonight and I would have had to face the consequences for it. Many may argue.. “yea that would be the case for anyone pal”. No it wouldn’t.

It would be my life on the line if I decided to go after the 2nd person who has tried to intimidate and provoke me on the streets from what I believe is a racial attack . It would be my job title they use to shame me on the news if I had reacted in anger to an assault made on me as I made my way home.

 I can see the daily mail’s headline now “ Thug Primary school teacher , sentenced for attacking young men in a senseless act of retaliation”.

It would have been my wife that would have to hear some sort of terrible news about her husband, less than a week after being married and two days into moving into our new flat.

I didn’t write this piece to incite or promote violence. I am not a violent man and my whole way of living is dictated by the law of love preached in christianity. I wrote this piece to remind people that I am human and there are feelings and emotions I struggle with, particularly when I am pushed and provoked in a place I call my home. I was born and raised in the UK all my life. I have just moved into an area everyone swears to be “safe” and yet every so often I have an experience that reminds me I am not wanted here and I’m not safe at all.

There are people who have lived in this area and have never been provoked in the same way. It could be complete coincidence or it could be because they’re not black.

I also write this to highlight the pressure many of us black men face. We are stereotyped so much in the media that when we start our careers, we have to go over and beyond to prove we are not what the media have worked tirelessly to portray us as. When we are provoked or faced with a situation that causes us to make a quick decision [often n self defence], everything we have ever worked for and everything we have loved can be lost with a click of a finger.

As much as my wife tried to help me get over what happened tonight, she’ll never understand that I never got over the first time it happened, or the second time. She’ll never understand that if I chose to stand up for myself or retaliate, Yea I did it out of pride, but I did it because I didn’t want to keep being the victim. She may not understand the anxiety that I feel when I think about her walking alone and someone targeting her in the same way. She may never understand that sometimes my sense of justice goes against everything I’ve been taught as a respectable christian man.

Yea I know, people do things and we should be grateful for our safety. But why should I be sooo grateful for something people rarely have to worry about? Why do I have to keep playing the victim? Why is nobody prepared to protect me in the first instance? Why would they judge me so quickly if i retaliated? Why would I not be granted a second chance because I chose to stand up for myself like my ancestors did when they were being terrorised in their own homes?

I want to live freely, but at what cost do I do that without losing my mind because i’m forced to live with someone’s heel on my neck? Does anybody understand me or am I just another angry black man? Some of you, who will have a strong opinion about what i’ve said, may never know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of what i’ve gone through. Therefore this isn’t for you. It’s for me and mine.

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