Wednesday, December 4, 2013

what would you do?


Gather round kids, I've got an interesting story for ya.

I totally felt like I was in an episode of What Would You Do, hosted by John Quinones. Have you ever seen that show? I felt like maybe he was hiding in an unmarked black van in the parking lot outside. Maybe hidden cameras were disguised in Paradise Bakery registers or trash cans in the corner?

It was a typical shopping day for me at the mall in the early 2000's. I was on the upper level heading back toward the food court to get a drink refill at Chick-fil-a, where I approached a little girl, maybe 5 years old, unattended. First, I was shocked that she was just standing there alone with no adult in sight that could claim her. Then I got really appalled when I heard more distinctly what she was chanting so loudly, almost a yell. Racial comments about the black women standing in line at Chick-fil-A. There was this little blond girl, repeating the same phrase, over and over and sometimes pointing in the direction of the women.

I looked around and EVERYONE knew how inappropriate this behavior was and how crazy it was that she was there, alone. EVERYONE was whispering and shaking their heads as they ate their lunch, but no one tried to talk to the little girl, except me. I drove closer to her and said something like, "Sweetie, shhh. What you are saying is not nice. Where is your mom or dad? What you are saying can hurt people's feelings." I looked around feeling helpless, thinking, should I request security, as she kept opening her mouth. I seriously didn't know what to do.

This little girl started walking away toward her adults finally. I approached the women in line and apologized to them on behalf of the unbelievable scenario. It's obvious that this girl's guardians are teaching her to be this way and how sad that made me that day. Such thinking is learned.

I don't know why I this incident came up in my mind in the last week, but I thought it would be blog-worthy. It's just a good reminder to me to be more kind, to be more considerate, to stand up for what is right even if no else is and to love more. Wouldn't you agree those are important, especially around this time of year? Can you imagine how more postitively people would react? The world would certainly be brighter.

Like John would ask, what would you do if you were in a similar situation?
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Lex said...

dang. that sure is an awkward situation. good for you for trying to talk to the girl!

Night Owl said...

That had to be awkward. Did the kids parents ever show up? and you know she had to learn that from home.

Blush and Barbells said...

oh that poor little girl. Can you imagine what her life is like? I want to cry thinking of how her parents have abused her.

Martha Woods said...

Awkward! I would definitely alert a security guard that the kid was unattended. I don't know if it would be wise for me to say something to the parents--it'd be hard to say it nicely, and not just blurt out, "What the eff is wrong with you?!" Sad that people actually raise their children in that way!

holli said...

wow! Heart breaking that the young girl was being raised in that way. And we wonder about our youth and teenagers these days. You totally did the right thing and i would have done the same thing. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

I would have called county child services as well as a security guard as that is a hate crime , using a child to do that to someone. they would have questioned the parents and given them reprimands . I was a child social worker for years and I would demand the parents be taught a lesson. That is disgusting and people like that should not be allowed to have children. Children raised in that type of environment that learn verbal abuse is ok will only grow up to harm animals and people

Karrie S said...

Kudos on handling it the BEST possible way! This is what I would do: My jaw would drop open, and I would say out loud: This can not actually be happening. Then I would basically go up to her and say something in a snotty mean tone. Like: Where are your parents. You are way too young to be by yourself, and you better shut your mouth before those ladies kidnap you to beat you up and leave you for dead. Keep your disgusting opinions to yourself.

I don't know if I would really say that. It would depend what kind of mood I was in. Obviously that is learned behavior, but you CAN NOT assume it is the parents. It could be an older brother or sister, or the mom's boyfriend. The parents might not have told her to do that. I remember being 5, and showing off to get attention from my parents in public. If she was with someone that hates black people, she could have been doing that to get attention from that person.

Because you didn't say what the little girl said, it would depend on how harsh it would be ;) I might have just said "you better shush before they hear you. You can't say that to someone".

Karrie S said...

This is in response to the comment left by Lexie.

It is scary that you are a social worker. You are super judgmental and ignorant. Sociopaths hurt animals, NOT racists. There is NO way in hell I would call child services without knowing the full story. If the adults can see the kid from where they stand in the food court, they aren't doing anything wrong. This is America. You can almost say anything you want to. You can even be a racist. If you are not threatening someone, then it isn't a crime.

What "lesson" do you think you are going to teach them? You don't even know if it's the parents! You don't even know why she said it! Maybe she overheard something she wasn't supposed to hear! To jump at such conclusions REALLY bothers me. You think you are going to change a racist person's mind?! Like that hasn't been taught in the public school curriculum FOREVER now? (if they are in a mall in the 2000s, then I'm sure they got the message by now)

Just because you are taught something as a child, doesn't mean you grow up to be a racist. Even adults can change. Because it's happened in my family. Your last two comments bother me more than anything a 5 year old could say. Because she doesn't know better or understand what those words mean and what they could do to people fully. They don't truly understand what offensive is yet. They don't understand the consequences of some words.

People like YOU are the reason why some people shouldn't have kids. You are no better. You judged that little girl's parents (who might not have been the ones that said anything like that) and have the kid taken away, before you would even talk to the little girl! It's possible that whatever adults she was with could have even heard her.

Your last sentence is so logically flawed I am so pissed, I can't even type fast enough. Calling people names isn't verbal abuse. It's not nice, but it's not abusive. Manipulating people into fear is verbal abuse. Calling people names OVER and OVER, day after day is verbal abuse. Most kids that grow up in that home realize how it affects the parent being abused, and have two choices. To grow up and continue the legacy or grow up and not do it because it affected them some way. They DO NOT ONLY grow up to harm animals and people. Sociopaths harm animals. VIOLENCE in the home can cause a child to act out in VIOLENCE towards people. NOT being racist.

I don't think being racist is ok. I think you should treat all people the same, so I don't even think like that. But I think it's worse to be over judgmental and ignorant like you are in your comments. UGH.

Sam @ From East To West Coast said...

That is awesome you stepped in when other adults should have done the same but chose to sit back. It's heartbreaking to see young, impressionable children learning bad habits because that's how their parents raised them.

Amber @ My Life in High Heels said...

Love that show: What Would you Do!

Happy Friday girl

My Life in High Heels

Raewyn @ Be A Warrior Queen said...

That is crazy! I'm so happy you said something in a teach-able way. We all need to be more like that!