Thursday, June 17, 2004

Was She Over The Line?

Few years ago, I chatted with my close friend (let's call her ... D) who is also Deaf. She mentioned about an incident where she witnessed a hard of hearing African-American guy (actually, he can speak very, very, very well and can hear very, very, very well) beating up on his girlfriend who is Deaf. That girlfriend is pretty close with D.

Of course, D is very assertive and smart woman. She intervened to protect the woman. And in the process, D became involved in a huge argument with this dude. This dude was so frustrated because D was winning the whole thing. Suddenly, he turned his voice on and stopped signing.

He turned the tables on her and berated her. Confusion ensued. He was taunting her and at the same time, making fun of her because she was not able to understand what he was trying to say. Things got ugly to a point where D got upset, she decided to do something drastic. That I thought she was brave to do that.

She went to her truck and opened her door, ready to escape ... before she could run off, she shouted to get this dude's attention. She shot a comment that caused this dude to go berserk.

"For you, I wish the slavery did not end!"

Needless to say, she left the scene.

Was she over the line?

My opinion is ... no. She did not. She was winning the arguments when the battle was fair between her and this dude. Then he decided to use his voice to oppress her. D has the right to fuck him off by throwing him off the tracks.

Few years later, a similar situation happened to me. Look at me, I'm not attractive. I'm chubby. I'm hairy. I'm 30. My English skills are not great. I try my best. Blah, blah. I did not go to a well-known school like Harvard or Yale.

I got involved in a huge fight with Awon and Benis. Awon is extremely smart, cute and articulate. He goes to a well-known school. Honestly, if Awon and I go to a gay bar, Awon will have a line of men trying to hit on him while I have no one in the line. His writing skills ... just wiped me off the map. Not that I complain. But the fights that we had with each other was purely ridiculous. After I tried my best to explain what was happening, Awon was very upset and resorted to ridicule me based on my appearance, my writing skills et al. It was escalating to a point where I wanted it to stop and it was very demeaning and hurtful.

It is enough that I already acknowledged that I'm not all that. But Awon has everything going for him and yet, he ridiculed me. I could not make fun of him based on what he looks, thinks or how he writes. He is *perfect*. I quickly remembered D's tactic and I did something that abruptly put everything to a screeching halt.

"For you, I wish Hitler finished his job."

You see, Awon is jewish. Not practicing, though. But when I said it, he was devastated. Finally, it shattered everything that we had been fighting for. Of course, over the time, we made up. Awon is one of my dearest friends. I love him to death. I will defend Awon from anything else but I think I have the right to attack him and he has the right to attack me. I'm not encouraging people to use this tactic all the time but sometimes, people needs to use this tactic as the last resort to shock one to back off and think about it.

Was I being over the line? Of course not. Yes, I was being mean. I had to do something to stop it. Do I regret saying that? Yes, of course. But I think it helped us appreciate each other more than ever. And I certainly love Awon. Why do I love Awon? Ask Beth.

Awon, love you babe! You better come to Manhattan on June 25 or Benis and I will divorce you! Mwah, mwah and one more mwah.


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