Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dr Phil, Jena Six, and one old man

I was having a cardio stress test a few days ago. In the waiting room, Dr. Phil was on TV regarding the Jena 6. One black woman about 50 years old, one white man about 70 years old and myself (white, female, 55) were watching the TV while waiting our turn. The man said, "I can tell you how to solve this problem. Take every one of these black men out behind the barn and whip them with a razor strap and that'll solve the problem. Just beat the tar out of them. No amount of talking is ever going to solve this problem."

First of all, I could only think of how embarrassed I was - especially for the black woman who was hearing this. I am not a big Dr. Phil fan, but I could not see how beating the tar out of someone will ever solve this kind of problem. I happen to believe that education, compassion and communication are the main tools to solve society's problems and to prevent many problems. Sure, discipline and guidance are important in keeping children out of trouble. But there is a point that we as a society must get to the root of the problem. And how will we ever figure this all out without communication and education? Obviously, beating the tar out of people has not worked yet. Time to find another solution.

I promised myself one thing. I will never sit and listen to another person say this kind of thing again without stating my opinion. At the very least, I will try to apologize to my fellow humans for the insensitivity of other human beings. So to the lady waiting, I am sorry I did not speak up for myself and for you. Next time I will.

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At 10/12/2007 9:07 AM, Blogger EC (Lisa) Stewart said...

Oh good God. I would have blown up. Actually seethed, spewed, and then blown up -it would have been disastrous.

I think I would have started with something like, "You ignorant fool. It's people like you that continue to oppress and keep hatred alive. While I don't believe that violence is the answer, I do believe that you're the one who needs to be whipped. You disgusting gluttonous mass of self-righteous filth."

Okay, perhaps I would have choked on the name calling, but if we don't speak up and against, it will perpetuate. Unfortunately, we're told that keeping silent dilutes the potential inflamation. However, I believe that this 'silent non-reaction' gives this b*stard silent rights to continuous with his cretinous behavior.

At 10/12/2007 9:18 AM, Blogger Jeanne Rhea said...

Oh, Lisa---I so wish you had been the one there! I really do believe that you would have at least said something. I can't believe that I did not. My blood pressure---normally very low---had sky-rocketed just because I sat there stewing. Took my going to lunch and getting away from the man for it to come back down.

At 10/12/2007 5:28 PM, Blogger EC (Lisa) Stewart said...


Sometimes, no, in many cases, when folks like us hear venomous expulsions from the ignorant, we tend to paralyze in place. The white supremacist sucker punched you and you were still reeling from the hurt. Unfortunately, as open minded and accepting as we both are, we are completely dumbfounded by the myopic demeanor they exhibit.

I do tend to believe in karma and I hope that people like him who do get slapped with bad karma recognize it for what it is -we would.

However, a wise man once said, "One cannot reason with fools." Perhaps this was the very reason you refused to respond. Probably a wise one, too.

At 10/13/2007 8:32 AM, Blogger Jeanne Rhea said...

You may be right. I don't think one could reason with him. I think I will send this to Alan and ask him what he would have done. I have noticed that some young people are better able to handle this kind of thing than older ones.


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