T Nation

Physical Confrontation


I got confronted with a situation today that I haven't encountered in quite a while. I work as a biz dev manager for a tech company and had a very heated verbal exchange with a supervisor level client contact.

The gentleman(I use that term loosely)in question, blantantly misrepresented his companies intentions, so he could get the satisfaction of rebuffing my services. His actions were so pompass and unethical, that I conveyed (strongly) my annoyance with having my time wasted. Keep in mind, this is taking place in a very professional, white collar enterprise environment.

So he proceeds to call me, get this, a "punk ass white boy" (I'm 39). Yes, he's african american. His entire motivation was to show a pretense of interest, so he could rebuff and shoot down a white man....UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE. To say that I was pissed, is an extreme understatement. I'm 39, with a wife and child, thinking my days of knocking someone out of their shoes were over.

I handled it as professionally as I could stomach, and moved on. However, all day I've had to battle that part of me that's disgusted for not being more aggressive.

I know without a doubt that I did the right thing, but goddamn that guy needed his bell rung....I despise racial bullshit.


I know how you feel bro'. Deep down inside every male is a primal fire that demands of us to kick ass and to hell with civil litigation. Men are not far removed from the base instincts of our forefathers that settled disagreemnets with fist instead of reason.

For myself, nothing brings this craziness out of me faster than racial hatred. The last king hell brawl I was involved in about 25 years ago (I'm 44) was started because some pud knockers gave a black friend of mine some shit. Hell, I wasn't even 18 and grew up in a steel mill town where fist fights were not uncommon, so I started a big old street fight standing up for my buddy. Like most fights, I like to remember it as I kicked everybodies ass and rode off into the sunset tilting my white hat towards the smiling ladies on the sidewalk.

But the truth is that it was 25 years ago, and I can't remeber how the damn fight ended, but I do remember not being as pissed off after the fight as before. Maybe the fight instinct in males is a safety valve to relieve the anger that rises up in our hearts when we sense an injustice, such as, you experienced at the hands of a racist black man that was trying to bait you into a confrontation ( my opinion formed from reading your post).
I run across individuals that are black and will try to bait someone of another race into a physical confrontation and then fall back on the racism agruement if the baitee actually follows through and knocks the guys lights out.

So I congratulate You on your self control since tacking one on this dope would of cost you dearly both financially and professionally. But I sympathize with you over your un-expressed rage! I really can't think of a satisfying way to blow off your anger in a socially acceptable manner, but maybe that is why Men like us lift weights so that we at least work the muscles in a gym that our ancestors worked on battlefields. We exhaust ourselves at work and at the gym so that at least we can sleep at night.


Just take great satisfaction in knowing that if that is the way he conducts business, he will never go anywhere in life. He'll probably just remain a bitter and confused moron.
I deal with people who pull moves similar to what you described all day.


I congratulate you on your restraint! It's not easy sometimes, especially with racists.


In some cultures/subcultures, speaking like he did is how you do business. I'm not defending this guy at all; he should save street-talk for the street. But: he may have thought being rude and obnoxious was the norm. Best response: "After I beat your ass, the contract is yours!" or similar.
Many Caucasians have trouble interacting with minorities/subcultures because of this.


Way to keep your cool. In a biz enviroment like that you definatly came out on top.

Being a cop I am accused of being a raceist all day.

In todays pansy ass world you just have to turn your head and think that if you were in another place and time how you would kick the living shit out of him and make him wish he was never born.


You did the right thing. I've suffered similar situations and I don't regret my restraint. I'm a life time martial artist and olympic weight lifter. I promise it is always best to walk away when you can. The day will come, unfortunately, when you cannot walk away; defense of loved ones, defense from attack, or backed into a corner. Then when you are forced to open that can of wup ass you won't have any regrets.


Thanks for the feedback fellas. I appreciate the validation regarding my response. Honestly, I still have a case of the red-ass and I'm fighting a few demons. Living in the south, I've certainly experienced/witnessed racial tensions. However, it's been a long time since I've dealt with it on a personal level.

I can only assume that his hateful motivation was fueled by reverse situations that he has encountered. Consequently, the hatred and animosity is perpetuated (i.e. hate begets hate).


You did the right thing for sure.

Did you ask for a personal biz-development meeting on a weekend? Maybe as you are going throught the Scope of Work together you could kick his ass outside the work environment?


Well I thought this is ironic because I got into a goddamn fight last night. I hit the guy twice, then he got up and hit me with a beer bottle in the eye. I chucked him into a table, then we got pulled apart.

Even though I hit the bastard, I feel like it wasnt enough because he hit me with a damn bottle and I've got the black eye. I feel like I shoulda done more, he should be fucked up, as he crossed a big line in the streetfighting world. But alas, there is nothing to be done now. I say be happy nothing happened, ignore the racist bullshit, cause goddamn that bone under my eye is killin me today. And the winner of the fight gets the assault charges...thats really all you ever win I think


Let me remind you of one thing that I'm sure a man of your position already knows, but like all men, needs to hear again from time to time. The biggest enemy is a lack of self control and your greatest victories are always over the "self". You did well and you proved yourself a man. The real "punk" just made himself look exactly what he is. From someone who knows where you are, you did the manly thing. Anybody can fight, but few people can control themselves when provoked. I've done the same for my son even though I wanted to unload on a deserving individual. It took days of reminding myself of what matters to let it go. You've got my respect.



To get even, you should have talked to his superiors and got his ass fired.


You did the right thing. Fighting with a customer, for whatever reason, is a losing proposition.

However, screwing an asshole over, is always sweet.

If he was a mid level supervisor for a decent size company, call his HR depratment and report the incident. Especially if others witnessed it, they probably hate him too.

I own a company. It's a real coalition of people in a very diverse city (NYC).
I wouldn't put up with that crap from one of my guys. You wouldn't have to kick his ass...he would be out the door. We only argue about one thing that passionately, the Yankees.

Anyway as a business owner I would want to know about that shit going on in my place. Word spreads and business is built on reputation. Good and bad.


Much obliged, DH. I agree with your sentiments 100%. Since becoming a father, I have definitely had a shift in "enlightenment" for the better.

Hedo, I strongly considered that approach, but ultimately decided to put it in my rear-view mirror. Karma will come back to bite him on the ass...eventually : ) .

LOL, I would like to witness some of the NYC, inner-office "Yankees" debates. I bet that gets pretty interesting.


You did the right thing, but you could always:

  1. Call a televangelist and pledge 10,000 using his name and address intead of yours (they will come to his house if you call the right televangelist)

  2. Get his home phone number-go to Goodwill and buy 15-20 hardback novels for fifty cents each. In the first blank page, take a bold sharpie and write

PROPERTY OF (name of guy)
(phone number) 50.00 reward

leave books in public places, bus stops, parks, etc.

  1. Put his car for sale in the classifieds at a bargain price-in the ad say, works second shift-please only call between 11pm and 3am

  2. Call his home (when he is not there) and when his wife answers say, this is Bill from (name of local video store) our records show that Mr.______ is late with three of his rentals, their titles are: (name of couple of really nasty sounding porn videos)

just a few suggestions


You know we all love the Yankees but being New Yorkers we all hate them too (but not as much as the Red Soxx's).


Thx for the ideas, KW. I got a great laugh out of those, well thought out, suggestions. I think my wife is out buying used books right now : ) ...good stuff


Good point. The winner goes to jail the loser to the hospital.