And roughest for me when I'm out with my children.
- A few weeks ago, I took Jazmyn to her orchestra rehearsal at BU. When we entered a Green Line train station, I was accosted by two MBTA employees- one on duty, one off- that I needed to pay for Jazmyn. They were wrong- she was eleven. I told them as much. They demanded ID. I told them I didn't have to give it to them. They accused me of being a liar.
I walked down to the platform and fumed; Jazmyn handed me her phone so I could call and make a complaint. The Customer Service person was very apologetic and requested that I get the on-duty employee's badge number. He refused to give it to me.
My husband was incredulous that someone would treat us like that. Of course he was- he's a six-foot tall, white male- he would not have been treated like that. He went with me to try and get the man's badge number. The discussion degenerated to the point where my husband pressed an assault charge against the employee. I am not making this up.
Just this week we got a phone call that the employee had been suspended. Good... but not good. I don't want him to be suspended, I don't want him to lose his job, I don't want him to have something on his record. I want an apology from this guy.
- This Sunday, as Jazmyn and I were returning from her rehearsal, we were literally minding our own business and waiting to cross the street when a very hostile bicyclist asked me to move. "Ask" is too gentle a term- more like "ordered". When he addressed me, he called me a derogatory word for a female organ and modified it with a gerund that begins with "f".
This man was so hostile to a complete stranger that I immediately assumed a mental illness of some kind. I have told my children repeatedly that people like that should not be engaged because they are unpredictable. I did not take my own advice because 1) this man used those words 2) in front of my daughter. I told him not to talk to me like that. He asked me if I was going to get my "gang banger boyfriend". I told him I was married. He told me to go home; I told him to do the same. I was unharmed; I was lucky.
Once again, my husband was incredulous and outraged. Jazmyn, however, just might be used to this.
- I wasn't harassed today. Of course, because I didn't have Jazmyn with me, I had Simon. Instead, as the train pulled into the Chinatown stop, we saw one man get assaulted by five other men as he was trying to retrieve the phone they had stolen from him. I didn't know what was going on other than that it was one against five. I yelled for the men to stop (which, in retrospect, may not have been the best thing to do with Simon in tow). It wasn't until after they got on the train that I realized what had happened, but we couldn't stop the train. The young man filed a complaint, but the other men were off the train by the time they had located it.
Here's hoping that they can find the little bastards who did this on the basis of their Charlie Cards and the cameras at the train stop they exited. I do want to see these young men punished, not just because they committed an unarmed robbery, not just because they assaulted the man as he tried to get his property back, but because they were cruel and they were cruel in front of my seven year old son. I don't want to see them go to jail, but I want them to make up for it.
What are my children learning?
This is cross-posted from the author's personal blog.