Since this video went viral the story has become increasingly bizarre (as these things usually do on the Web). When I first watched the video my initial reaction was, ‘That is one stupid guy’. My initial reaction was of course a response that based on my lifelong adherence to the one rule my parents instilled in me and my brothers from the time we were old enough to start swinging fists – You never hit a female.
The same rule applies with my sons. Super Mom and I started preaching this to our sons and they have wisely adhered to that counsel even when they were little guys getting smacked, scratched and mauled by little girls. They politely, but sternly say, “Don’t do that!” and walk away.
The bus driver in this video was suspended from his job of 22-years. He deserved it right?
Well, not so fast – it appears witnesses to the now infamous ‘uppercut’ have come to the defense of Artis Hughes, the bus driver at the center of the fracas.
The video does not show what happened prior to the shouting match and the ensuing fray but witnesses now corroborate Hughes’ story. In sworn statements to police, passengers on the bus say that Shi’dea Lane, the ‘victim’, was combative and verbally abusive towards Hughes from the moment she stepped on the bus. She escalated her verbal assault on Hughes by spitting in his face and attempting to throttle him. It was this act of violence that sent Hughes over the edge and incited his retaliation.
It is clear that Hughes was upset. If I were a bus driver and I had to deal with people like Lane on a daily basis you can imagine that I would be upset too. But did that merit the retaliatory gesture?
Along with my parents’ advice I was also taught to ‘turn the other cheek’ when someone strikes you. This is almost humanly impossible for me because I am a man, with anger issues and an ‘act first, apologize later mentality.’ It only takes a tiny spark to ignite my fuse. I’m not perfect and even though I have lived with the ‘don’t strike females’ rule all of my life, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t come across females who have really made my blood boil.
All this aside, I have to side with Hughes. Why? Have I changed my stance on hitting women? Absolutely not and I don’t nor will I ever condone that behavior. But the fact of the matter is that people like Lane who insult, bully, berate, choke, spit, curse and violate other people and expect to be treated as a ‘victim’ are due for a rude awakening.
In what universe do you think that treating people like that and then turn around and say, “I was surprised that he hit me,” after you had spit in his face and tried to choke him? The guy was defending himself and you have the audacity to say that you were ‘surprised?’ You were only surprised because someone finally stood up to your harassment.
Yes, Hughes should be held accountable for the retaliation but Lane has to own her own actions that led to the retaliation. If I walk into a store and begin a profanity laced, all out attack on a store clerk and then proceed to physically assault him, I can’t expect the store clerk to look me in the eye and say, “Sir, you seem upset. Can we talk about this over a cup of hot cocoa and some freshly baked cinnamon buns?” Nope! I can relatively expect that store clerk is going to do everything in his power to defend himself from what is obviously a threat to his life.
Are we as a society to tolerate the sort of behavior exhibited by Ms. Lane?