Don’t start and you won’t get
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Most viral web videos work as great conversation starters – just not in terms of social issues or questionable morals. They’re supposed to be lighthearted, sometimes unbelievable moments the world can share and react to via Facebook, Twitter, email and Tosh.0.
However, a video surfaced on the Internet last week of a Cleveland, Ohio bus driver named Artis Hughes, 59, hitting 25-year-old Shi’dea Lane after she antagonized him while he drove his bus route.
According to the police report filed by Hughes, Lane boarded the bus on Sept. 25 without paying her fare by claiming she left her book bag on the bus. Hughes then continued on with his route but told Lane to pay her fare, which led to her becoming belligerent and repeatedly cursing, threatening to hurt Hughes and spit on him.
The video captures part of the verbal argument between Hughes and Lane that quickly escalated after Hughes made a comment about Lane’s face. She proceeded to shove and hit him while he was driving his bus and that led to the uppercut heard ’round the web.
The general consensus on the incident was laughter, initially. I saw the link posted by at least a dozen of my Facebook friends comparing Hughes to legendary boxer Mike Tyson for his uppercut, which knocked Lane off her feet. Others posted the video more appalled by Lane’s actions than Hughes’.
I’d like to make it clear that I do not condone violence, but I’m well aware of the world we live in. I was brought up to never tolerate being bullied, and if you watch the video of Lane and Hughes on that bus, it is clear Lane was the catalyst in the violent altercation.
Lane is very similar to a lot of women I know, unfortunately – women who feel they can milk chivalry and think because they are women, they are immune to being hit by men, even if they hit the men first.
These are the same women who want to shatter the idea of the “weak woman” by acting aggressively, but then they pull the damsel-in-distress card when their actions are responded to, just like Hughes reacted to Lane.
Hughes should never have hit Lane the way he did; he overreacted. But what he did does not erase the fact that Lane could’ve prevented all of this.
Lane should never have boarded a bus without intentions to pay and then have the nerve to argue with a man for doing his job when she was clearly wrong.
It’s also inexcusable for Lane to threaten a man for saying she should pay for his service and then antagonize him to the point where she put her hands on him.
Neither the tape nor the police report specify how many people were on the bus that day. But a bus accident – one that could have happened when Lane shoved Hughes while he drove – that could have hurt all of those innocent people is far worse than one woman ultimately getting what she asked for.
This video should not be an example of a man hitting a woman but of one person writing a check she couldn’t cash and a man who overreacted.
Women like Lane need to stop resting on their reproductive organs as an excuse to act ignorantly, and instead we need to work on how we can be better examples to our daughters, sisters and peers.
We need to know when to take a loss like grown women and not act like children, so we won’t get treated as such.
As for Hughes, who is currently suspended by the RTA, anger management or mental evaluation might be in order. But it’s ridiculous to strip this man of a job he has worked 22 years to keep because of a woman who was overly defensive.
If anything, this is a lesson proving people who live like they’re invincible inevitably fall.