ABOVE PHOTO: YouTube video shows Cleveland bus driver Artis Hughes punching a female passenger, 25-year-old Shidea Lane (photo at right), with an uppercut to her face. Lane told Fox 8, "It felt like I was on Mortal Kombat."
(Photo: youtube video/Fox screengrab)
Now should Cleveland bus driver Artis Hughes have given Shidea Lane an uppercut worthy of a prizefight? No. But what folks need to realize these days is that men are different, women are different, and older folks are tired of young folk's mess...
By Denise Clay
I was in the Laundromat last weekend looking for something to do when I clicked on the link sent to me by a friend of mine of the fight between Cleveland bus driver Artis Hughes and Shidea Lane, a passenger that was giving him a hard time.
Usually when folks send me stuff like that, especially from the website WorldStarHipHop.com, I know that it's gonna be unusual at least, and ratchet at worst.
(For those of you who don't know what it means to be ratchet, go to NoWayGirl.com and you'll see what it means and then some...)
In this case, the video was unusually ratchet. It shows Lane screaming obsenities at Hughes and then making a move toward him that's not caught on camera. He then says that she's going to jail before getting up and knocking her down with an uppercut that would have made an in-his-prime Muhammad Ali say "Wow! Nice punch!"
I had to watch it again to make sure that I wasn't seeing things. It was an older gentleman hitting a woman like he'd hit a dude, which he later excused by saying "If you want to act like a man, I'm going to treat you like one!"
And like a fool, she came back on the bus. Back for more. Which he gave her by throwing her off of the bus.
I sat there and looked at this for a minute, ready to take Lane's side. I've seen women abused by men who probably took a vicious swing like the one she got from Hughes on them. It's not cool. Men have no business hitting women under any circumstances.
But then I thought about the day I had had in my Art classroom at an alternative program here in Philly. I had a kid who was being unruly in class say to me "See, this is why teachers get hit..." when I told her to sit down, be quiet and do her work.
My response was: "Okay little girl...you wanna take a shot at Ms. Clay? Go for it. Take your best shot. But understand, if you're grown enough to take a swing at me, I'm grown enough to show you that it was a bad idea."
I then followed it up with the best piece of advice I've ever gotten from my late father: "Don't let your mouth write a check your behind can't cash..."
And that's another thing we have to look at here.
While I don't condone violence against women in any way, women have to realize that the men you are dealing with in 2012 are a whole lot different than the men you would have dealt with in, say 1962. Or '92. Or even 2002.
Men in this day and age will not only hit you back, they'll have someone record them doing it and post it to YouTube. That's because for the men of today equality means you hit me and I'll hit you back. Granted, it's a pretty jacked up definition of equality, and it's almost Mitt Romney-esque in its wrongness, but it's the one that they live by.
And to most of the men I've spoken to about this, even the ones that I grew up with who would normally have just pulled the bus over, called a cop, and gotten Lane escorted off, spitting on them, like Lane did Hughes according to witnesses and the police report, is a hittable offense. Granted, none of them would have gone Mike Tyson on girlfriend like Hughes did, but they did all tell me that there would be consequences and repercussions.
But here's another thing that this video should tell us: older folks have had enough of younger folks being disrespectful to them.
Take for example the confrontation between my student and I. If I had a nickel for every profanity laced, inappropriate tirade I've heard not only in my classroom, but also on the bus, on the subway, and just about anywhere else young people and older people meet, I could stop writing right now and just sit by the pool of my mansion in the Caymans...
While I don't condone how he handled this, Hughes had probably had enough of young people getting in his face, making an already tough job that much harder. It's time that parents start to realize that the kids you send out into the world are your representatives. If you want the world to see you as a person to be respected, raise your kids to be respectful...
But if you want to be seen as ratchet, we're getting that message from your kids as well.
So it might be time for folks to realize that in a much tougher society, it's best to err on the side of respecting people and their boundaries.
Otherwise, that check that you wrote with your mouth might wind up marked "insufficient funds"...and could make you an Internet star for all the wrong reasons...