"The Klan is going to burn down your house."
These are the words that Brett spoke to my sister shortly before threatening to kick my ass. I don't know exactly what lead up to this statement, nor did I hear it with my own ears. My sister had a class with him, though, and it was there that he said it.
Brett was an excessively tall, goony-looking kid who was in 7th grade, as was my sister, when I was in 8th grade. His face looked smashed flat, like somebody had hit him cartoon-style with a shovel. Given his facial deformities, he had the most tragically ironic name I've ever encountered. His last name was Flat.
My sister was a big Tupac fan in 7th grade, which was one of the reasons she and Brett didn't get along. He had just died, and Brett said he was in Hell, getting whipped and picking cotton. The fact that my siblings and I are white and Filipino half-breeds probably didn't help make Brett like us, either.
The day he threatened my sister, I approached him in the lunch line. He towered over me, but I wasn't scared of him. He seemed vaguely retarded, and thus unintimidating.
"What the fuck are you saying to my sister?" I asked him.
"Tupac is dead!"
"So the Klan is going to burn down our house?"
"Yeah. You little Fill-a-peen. You should be out in the fields, picking beans."
"Fuck you, you fucking retard hillbilly. Don't talk to my sister."
I wandered off to find my friends. I told them what happened, and then looked for Brett to show them who he was. We found him sitting by himself, eating his lunch.
"This is the guy," I said, "The fucking hillbilly who is saying the Klan will burn down our house. Hey, fuck you, inbreeder."
Brett lifted a leg into the air, exposing a cowboy boot.
"You see these boots?" he asked.
"I'll kick your ass!" he told me.
"No," I said, "I'll kick your ass."
It was a pretty empty threat. Brett was much bigger than I was, and I didn't really imagine we'd ever come to blows. As soon as I said it, though, Brett got up and walked out of the cafeteria. The rest of us got some food and sat down to eat.
A few minutes later, the vice principal appeared at our table.
"Are you Paul?" he asked me.
"Come to my office when you're done eating."
I finished my lunch and walked to his office. Brett was sitting in there.
"What's this about you threatening Brett? You're going to kick his ass?"
"No. Brett has been harassing my little sister, saying that the KKK is going to burn down our house. He told me I should be in the field picking beans, and then he showed me his cowboy boots and said he was going to kick my ass."
I never referred to my sister as my little sister. I knew in this case it would probably add sympathy to my side, though, so I used it. I also conveniently left out the part where I said, "No, I'll kick your ass."
The vice principal turned to Brett and started yelling at him.
"Don't you ever make threats against people, and especially don't ever make racial threats or use racial slurs!"
"But...but..." Brett tried to say something, but just broke down in tears. I was excused from the office, and suffered no repercussions from the incident.
Brett never said anything like that to my sister again. He vanished from school a couple years later, but from what I understand, stayed in the area.