Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I am Ashamed

Something happened to me on Sunday and I have not been able to get it out of my mind.  It’s been haunting me for days so I decided that I would have to write about it.  I need to let you all know what happened and why I feel so terrible about it.  And I am hoping that getting it out there will help me to move past it and feel better. 
My predicament arose as I was on my way over to visit my friend Jason on Sunday evening.  It was a beautiful day – the nicest of the year so far and I decided to stop at Tim Horton’s on my way and pick him up a coffee.  Jason has a minor caffeine addiction and despite the fact that it was 7:30pm on a Sunday and the warmest day of the year so far I knew he would appreciate the gesture.  When I pulled into the Tim Horton’s I realized this location did not have a drive thru window so I would have to go in. 
When I came to the entrance I was a little irritated to see that there was a line up that went almost out the door.  I was going to be there for a few minutes.  As I was standing in line cursing the fact that this particular Timmies did not have a drive thru window when there was a disruption.  As two gentlemen walked past me to leave some middle aged women were walking in.  All of a sudden I hear one of the women yelling at the men who had just left.  No, this wasn’t just “Hey, watch where you are going?” kind of yelling.  This woman proceeded to yell racial slurs at these gentlemen (who appeared to be Indian) and say things that do not deserve repeating.  Then, was bragging to her friends about what she had just said. 
I could not believe it.  I was in shock.  How dare this woman think she has the right to yell these horrible things at these men, who, as far as I could tell, were perfectly polite and friendly on their way out.  Now, this is the point in the story where I feeling ashamed.  I stood there in line, seething with anger, glaring at this woman with all the anger and hatred I could muster.  I am certain that if I could have shot laser beams out of my eyes at that point I would have.  But, I just stood there and didn’t say a word.  The longer I stood there the angrier I got but I still didn’t say anything.  And, the truth is, I should have said something.  I should have stood up to that woman and told her that what she said was not appropriate and that she had no right to treat those men in that manner.  How dare she?!?  In her stained track pants and rotting teeth. With her trainer park mentality and her loser attitude she did not have the right to treat another human being that way. 
But, I just stood there.  Silent.  And I feel retched about it.  I was too worried about myself and what might happen that I didn’t stand up for these men that didn’t deserve to be treated in this way.  I can not stop thinking about this woman and her awful words.  It has literally kept me up the past few nights.  I want to apologize to those men who I will never see again.  I want them (and all of you) to know that I promise to never let this happen again.  In the future, I will not allow someone to be mistreated this way and not say something.  From this day forward, I will always say something.  I will always defend the oppressed.  I will not be scared to speak up.

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