by Lavern Merriweather
Yesterday, I happened upon a video showing an older male bus driver getting into a verbal spat with a young female bus rider in Cleveland that led to a physical altercation where he stood from his seat and gave her a nasty uppercut. The driver then proceeded to grab her by the shoulders and shove her off the bus where she re-entered the bus and the fight continued. With him grabbing her by the hair and her trying, in vain, to take several swipes at him as a group of other passengers came and pried the two apart.
Now, before I even continue, let me say I abhor violence against women and yes he could have shown some restraint. However, let’s get some proper perspective. He is a civil servant trying to operate a heavy and volatile vehicle with no safety protection on it. In addition he is in charge of keeping the lives of all the riders as well as his own as protected as he can while navigating some extremely rough bumpy streets, obey all traffic laws while getting his riders to their destinations in one piece, and stay on a schedule. That takes a lot of discipline, control, attention and not to mention patience. So, I don’t think anyone should begrudge a bus driver when they finally lose it one day after being disgustingly harassed on one of their routes, especially when that person is a mouthy little brat with zero respect for her elders who thinks she can challenge someone twice her size to a fight all while he is doing a very difficult job at that so when the bus driver, in this case, rose from his seat and gave that female passenger a smack, I wasn’t at all upset by his behavior. In fact I feel she had it coming for provoking him and insulting his female family members.
By the way, don’t remind a man he shouldn’t hit a woman without also reminding her that she shouldn’t be talking ish about his momma/daughter/sister/grandma or saying she will ‘whoop their ass too’ which is what this young woman did then she went to him and hit him in the back of his head and spit on him.
Try as they might, I don’t know too many people who will be able to defend this young woman or her actions, and she is a grown woman. Despite those stories referring to her as a ‘teenager’, unless biology has changed in the past many centuries, 25 is an adult not a child which is what she should have been acting like instead of a wannabe version of Trina’s the ‘baddest b**ch’ or thinking that she could hit another adult and face no consequence. Wrong, Miss Thang. On all counts, not only did he hit her, he shoved her off the bus where she came back on and tried to hit him again. At that point I flat out refuse to have any sympathy for this fool. She could have very easily, among other things, just stayed off the bus. But by her coming back onto the bus and continuing to mouth off to the man who struck her shows that she has either some stones missing or the utter lack of ability to learn anything from her previous mistake. I’m guessing the latter.
When the other patrons on the bus screamed at him that she was a female he responded in kind “If she acts like a man, I’m going to treat her like a man”, Bravo. You don’t step to anybody knowing that they could flatten you like a pancake unless it is self-defense. And considering that the driver was in the more vulnerable position, I seriously doubt this was the case. It may take two to tango, but it only takes one fool to start a fight and then all hell breaks loose.
Yes, I know there are some who will say he could have acted differently and been mindful of the fact that she was a female and smaller than him. Well, guess what? She could have also! I mean after all, she was the one who got knocked to the floor leaving her embarrassed and crying. We have all had bad days and situations where someone else said or did something that made us want to develop Jackie Chan DNA and show them who is boss. Yet, we don’t, because we are supposed to be a civilized, polite society. However, there should be times where there are the exception which is what we have here.
I don’t know this bus driver personally, but I seriously doubt he’s the type who takes his job so lightly that every little comment made would cause him to react like this. On top of that, he is an older black man that has probably been called every name in the book. And in a job where you have to deal with the public every day had his fair share of verbal abuse from riders. So, when one day he decides to let his emotions bubble over because some woman thought she could play the gender card, I for one ain’t mad at you bro. Don’t piss off a man to that point, and then, cry out “you hit me because I’m a girl!” No I hit you because you are a fool who messed with the wrong bus driver and got what you deserved.
Brotha Wolf’s Response
While I get where Ms. Merriweather is coming from, I think there are other issues that must be taken into account here. But first, I wan’t to say that I haven’t seen the video, and I don’t plan to either. The reason lies in one of the ‘other issues’ I want to touch.
The first issue is the violence going on among ourselves which is coined in the mainstream as ‘Black-on-black violence’. The term describes the problem of black people committing acts of violence against each other. Yet, the term is a misnomer in that it believes this problem is isolated in the black community. Intraracial violence is common among ALL groups. However, hardly anyone mentions white-on-white, Asian-on-Asian, or Latino-on-Latino violence, but I digress.
American society seems delighted in showcasing violence, especially if it is among or caused by poor blacks. Let’s be truthful. It’s sensational entertainment for the general public who is amused by negative stereotypes of black people. One of them is that blacks are the most violent, socially inept, criminal race in any civilized (meaning white) society. Right now, the video of this chaotic confrontation, which was first shown on the controversial website World Star Hip Hop, is now viral. Whether the hits are genuine or not is another topic.
The other issue is the website from which this came from. Worldstarhiphop.com (WSHH), at first, sounds like a website that showcases rap and hip-hop, even the grassroots brand. Sadly, it is (one of) the ‘Jerry Springers’ of the internet. All of their videos shows (mostly) black people committing acts of violence and crime, presents rap and hip-hop from the lyrically challanged, and shows off (mostly) black women getting freaky, for lack of a better word. In other words a white racist coming to WSHH is like a kid entering a candy store.
As much as some of us, myself included, hate to admit it, there are black people who worry about what other people think of us. For way too long, we’ve been seen as nothing more than demon spawn, animalistic, inbred degenerates, and WSHH is part of the anti-black crusade. Because of the crusade that went as far back as during the days of slavery, many black people today have a vacant esteem problem. Our history and sense of worth have been violently stripped from our identities, and as a result, you have blacks who have built-in disdain for themselves. You will see it in videos such as the one described by Ms. Merriweather. You will see it in the multitude of other videos found on the host site. You will see it on other websites with the same content. You will see it in the media in front of the camera, speaking into the microphone or behind the scenes. And, you will see it in real life either in your own family, your relatives, your friends, your enemies or with total strangers.
As long as this black inferiority complex continues to get warped into our minds, hearts and souls there will be more incidents. The poor woman is obviously suffering from this ‘illness’. The poor man felt his life in danger, and took care of it physically. Ms. Merriweather has stated that he mostly likely suffered other kinds of abuse from some of his passengers while working, not to mention the street hazards that he has to face and tackle. His sense of worth probably has been diminished to where his patience wore thin. The young woman, who had a terrible day apparently, wanted to take it out on someone, anyone. She choose the bus driver as her punching bag. The driver couldn’t take anymore from her. So, he did something about it by giving her one across the jaw.
This is part of the reason why too many brothas are harming and killing each other, why brothas are harming and killing sistas and sistas are harming and killing brothas, why sistas are harming and killing each other, why brothas and sistas try to chance their appearance to look ‘white’, and this is why I am so ashamed and my head hangs low.
Violence against each other, including against our sistas, has got to stop!
As long as there are emotional and mental problems festering in the black community caused by living in a white supremacist society and the history of racism, and there are people willing to record it and sell it to the public, it will continue causing not just physical harm but psychological depression. This is the underlying goal of society, to have black people hate each other and themselves.
It makes me wanna holler, which I will do in a future post.