Being totally turned off by the physicality of the Cleveland bus incident, I initially tuned out. It was emotionally unsettling from hearing the newscasters’ tongue-in-cheek reporting to viewing their ‘I don’t live in that world’ body language. My first instinct was to write something about violence begetting violence or some other claptrap phrase about those who strike first, strike last.
A week later, someone I know had watched the Whoopi Goldberg segment on ‘The View’ and then excitedly defended the driver by demonstrating the uppercut blow and laughingly showed me with a stutter-step, how the woman reeled backward. Declaring the woman ‘had it coming,’ and that ‘she would think twice the next time she opened her mouth’ finally vocalized me. I was at odds with my memory of the ‘Color Purple’ character Whoopi Goldberg played and that her opinion would support this kind of violence. At no level was I okay with this. It wasn’t funny.
At home I watched the video. I watched ‘The View’ piece. There were no winners. I saw hostility, anger, rage, justification for bad behavior and vehemently expressed judgmental commentary. The violence ran full circle.
What no one addressed was the fear. It was pervasive but camouflaged by violence and eventually masked as entertainment.
Intolerance and judgment create a ‘survival of the fittest’ world. We live here because we miss opportunities do anything about it.
Kicking and clawing for existence is the last human instinct before an individual disappears from the radar. How far through the cracks of society must a person sink before we, as Americans, see it as more than misfortune or lack of opportunity and failed personal responsibility?