EXCLUSIVE: Mother Of Teenage Student Attacked On SEPTA Train Believes Attack Was Racially Motivated

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MARC Rider

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When I was a Freshman at Central High School, about 1968 or so, I got jumped on in the Olney subway station before I boarded the train. I'm not sure I dealt with the guys correctly, but when one of them tried to put his hand in my pocket to see if I was lying about not having any money (I was), I told him to f*** off and pulled away. Then I saw a fist heading for my head, and the next thing I saw was stars, just like in the cartoons. Fortunately, I maintained consciousness (maybe I should have taken up boxing) and let off a string of vulgar profanities in a very loud voice. The attackers thought, I guess, that if I could curse like that, I was tougher than I appeared, so they left very quickly, leaving me very sore with a lump on my head. When I got home, my Dad (who's a doctor) checked me out and said I was OK, but that I was lucky the guy wasn't using brass knuckles. I couldn't figure out why my father knew so much about brass knuckles, but the lump went away, and I finished high school without anybody bothering me on the subway again.

Was the attack on me racially motivated? I'm not sure, but it could well have been just that they thought a skinny little 14 year old was easier pickings for petty theft. By the next year, puberty had caught up with me, I grew a mustache and longer hair, and started wearing blue jeans and motorcycle boots to school. My younger brother told me years later that I gave the appearance of being a tough kid from South Philly, not some college-prep sissy from Center City. Hey, whatever works.

One thing that was different about this recent attack that was reported above, is that the attackers were girls. Things sure have changed since I was in high school.
 

neroden

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Feb 23, 2014
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Ithaca, NY
I warned local government in the 1990s -- when we got a tour of the then new jail -- that they were making some bad gender stereotyping assumptions when they designed jails with lots and lots of space for men and practically no space for women. They didn't listen, and ten years later they were trying to get funding for a retrofit to convert some of the cells for men into cells for women. Sigh.

I'm not entirely sure why so few women committed violent crimes in the past, but the differential is closing, which was predictable once women got equal rights.

If I occasionally come across as an arrogant know-it-all, it's because of things like this, which I got right at age 10 while the entire "professional" establishment was getting it wrong. Sigh.
 
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