One day, late evening around 17:00 almost 18:00, me and my friend, who is Vietnamese-German, headed to the new Taiwanese restaurant that just opened not so far from Herderplatz. We decided to take the route near Bauhaus University Library, where we had to walk down the stairs behind the library. With the design of the building, we couldn’t see right away that there was a group of probably 6-7 teenagers, all male and white, standing drinking and smoking nearby.
The moment we both noticed each other, my friend and I unintentionally stopped and looked at each other. Something made us feel insecure, and a short moment later, we continued our walk. Their eyes opened wide, their mouth turned its shape to smile…or more like smirk, looked like they saw their prey.
They started making noises mocking us, saying words in German that I don’t understand. We tried to pretend that we don’t hear a thing, and keep moving on, but the stairs are quite long. They shouted “Konnichiwa” repeatedly, and my friend decided to walk back and confront them. They didn’t seem to regret or realize what they did. They still made fun of my friend. We were too tired and outnumbered so we left with their voices shouting…woo…woo…behind.
When I went back home, I did not know what to do so I expressed my frustration via an info-graphic post about Asian racism and racial slur with an angry caption mentioning “I wish someone can educate those teenagers near Bauhaus Uni Library”. Another friend of mine contacted me, if I want to make a complaint feel free to do so. I told him I want to but I can’t see where it would lead to, I can’t see how the solution would come when I don’t even know those kids.
Then I just realized, do I just fall to another trap of institutional complaint? In this case, I am not scared of how it might affect my position since they are probably in the same social role as me (even though they definitely have white privileges as their weapons) like in some examples from Sara Ahmed. It is more of the red tape that hasn’t existed yet that threatened me indirectly and stopped me from making the complaint as well as unpromising result, so I rather make my own complaint through instagram story.
It is quite surprising for me how I thought I would be able to handle myself and get away with a proper complaint. I am still figuring it out, are there any more reasons behind it? Am I trying to avoid something?