Well in the City, you can't really pull out a weapon, even if you feel threatened. Remember Bernhard Goetz
...The four men that Goetz shot were carrying screwdrivers so they could steal quarters from Pac-Man machines at video arcades. Goetz testified that he was threatened to give up $5. Two of the victims, Canty and Ramseur, said they were only panhandling. Cabey did not testify. He had been shot once at point blank range and was paralyzed from the waist down. In 1996, he would win a $43 million civil judgment against Goetz....
Goetz went to jail for shooting up a pack of young blacks on a subway that surrounded him and asked for money. I've been in similar situations where I've been physically assaulted by black guys. But they all ended peacefully when other passengers came to my defense. After all, I'm an old white-haired man! And I came out unharmed, even though my glasses were knocked off, and a cup of Starbucks knocked out of my hand. I remain very thankful that these situations didn't escalate any further.
My attacks on the L system when traveling through black neighborhoods were definitely racial...I wouldn't have been singled out as a target if I weren't the only white person in the train. But having been raised a Quaker, I think the intelligent response to attacks, is something other than violence....despite the current thinking in our country.