We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
When do you stand up and be brave, and when do we step back and let someone else take control, or responsibility? Wed night was one of those moments for me, and I stood back and let someone else take control. Now, I am questioning if I should report an incident to campus police.
During a film in class Wed night, when the Professor was out making copies, a student decided to answer her phone. Loudly, she held an extended conversation with a coworker, interrupting everyone's film experience. After not hearing the man across the room asking her to take it outside, he elevated his voice and added some profanities. THAT got her attention, and she let the fullness of her fury rage verbally into him. After demanding he treat her like "an 'effin lady", threatening to take out her mace, and hurling multiple insults at him in regards to HIS rudeness, she stormed out of class to finish her "important" phone call.
The young "lady" came back after a few minutes, hurled a few more insults and light threats, and then the Professor returned. No one said a thing. No one informed the teacher of the very uncomfortable incident that had occurred seconds earlier.
No one reported the inappropriate behavior with her verbal threats to campus police either.
I feel WE the class, and myself personally, have let the bully win. Why was I too afraid to report this incident, or at the very least try to speak some common sense to this girl? Perhaps she didn't realize how loud and intrusive her conversation was? How have I become what I cringe at when I watch the news, that is, a onlooker, afraid to get involved?
The most ironic thing is we were watching a documentary on Charles Hamilton Houston, a black lawyer who helped play a role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws, a role model for one and all on "doing the right thing". Houston put right before his own safety & comfort, and led the way for others to have the courage to follow. In my fear, I didn't see the lesson right in front of my eyes.
"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.