As I sit here posting this I am wracked by guilt having just witnessed a spectacle and acting as nothing more than a silent spectator.
I had stopped by the local grocery store to pick some staples and was waiting to pay when my attention and that of every other person there was diverted to a woman shouting obscenities at the one of the store staff .
Apparently there had been a mixup with ringing up her order and the woman resorted to name calling, using incredibly abusive language at the poor guy who eventually stared shaking as he attempted to remedy the situation . A fact that she seemed to relish and kept pointing out “why are you shaking ?”
In addition to ” are you gay”? ” call your lesbian manager and let me deal with her ” . I was torn between wanting to go and confront her and wanting to keep out of it. I kept looking around hoping that a few of the tall apparently strong male customers would intervene on behalf of the petrified staff member but to my disappointment everyone of them averted their gaze made their purchases and left.
As I left the store I was so angry I was shaking both the at ill treatment of the staff member and my own indecisiveness to intervene and speak up .
Why did i hesitate for that matter why did everyone else? What if we were in that position would we want someone to step in and come to our aid? What gives people the right to treat other human beings with so little respect? Does having money dehumanize them? Take away their sense of morality? empathy?
If a person is unfortunate enough to be working for you does that mean they have no dignity , self respect?
I feel ashamed both at myself and at humanity if these are the values we intend to pass on to our children of oppressing those weaker than us and not being able to stand up when we witness injustice ??