A matter of vocabulary and social media

This is a very touchy subject and hits close to home.


I have now seen two sides of this story. We have two characters here, the cop, and the movie theater manager. We know the cop did something horrible to Melanie, something violent and atrocious. But we need to separate the actions of the cop from the actions of the movie theater manager. I believe these two white men, who were not employed by the same agency, have been lumped together by gang mentality on social media. I believe these two individuals should be viewed separately, their actions and words considered separately. Also, Melanie’s actions and words should be considered separately from those of the girls and other children who were involved. This is not a black/white issue. It is far more complex. It has turned into GroupThink around black and white, in essence, “splitting.” What people are doing is pressing the panic button, and I think we need to take a step back right now and examine exactly what has happened.

The world is not black and white. The world does not work that way. We aren’t divided into “races” or categories, nor are any of us superior and some inferior. We are humans who interact in complex ways.

We know that only some of the interaction was filmed and not all of it. Only a few minutes. The interactions inside the movie theater were not filmed. Melanie assumed the kids had paid, but now, the manager is stating that her assumption was incorrect. I do not fault her here, however. She had no reason to know they hadn’t or had.

Ask yourself…..If you saw kids (they appear about 17) being kicked out of a movie theater, what would you do? Have you ever seen a kid kicked out of a store, such as a convenience store or a diner?

Recently, my attention was drawn to woman being kicked out of a local business. I did not see it at first as I do not see well, but others around me ooohed and aaaahed as police escorted this young woman out of the small establishment. I did not see if the woman was a minority race. I could not actually see her, but people said it was a woman. I saw cop cars and blurry-looking figures that I assumed were cops walking around. I heard a large dog barking inside a car. I guessed it was a police dog. People remarked that there were many cops and cars.

One person said, “It’s not worth it. Why do people do that? They will only get caught.”

I think the observer’s reaction is typical of most people. To stand back and let the cops do what cops do. To shake her head in disbelief.

It is highly possible that we simply do not know what happened inside the movie theater and somehow, the story from the manager is fabricated. I doubt it though, because if it was fabricated he would not also be emotionally devastated by what happened to him on social media. Think about it. If what he had done had racist intent, he would have boasted about what he did! Because that’s what racists do. Instead, he was devastated.

Again, what the cop did (and we do not know, but it is terribly upsetting, and actually, triggering, to listen to…) is totally separate. I think it was horrible and needs to be dealt with separately not only by being dismissed from his job, but this needs to be dealt with by the courts. I agree that Melanie should be somehow compensated for damages. It is separate from the manager’s actions.

There is no comparison between what happened to me at my workplace, where they were actively seeking a reason to fire me and did so because I used the word “slave” in a sentence. I used it in a joke when I was handed a cup of coffee by a white coworker and was joking, “Thanks, slave, I didn’t have to get up from my seat.” We had just received threatening emails saying we had to limit our personal breaks.

When I was fired the white, male managers stated that they knew damn well I had no racist intent when I said what I said. They stated that they were deliberately twisting around my words and they HAD to fire me because of “harassment policies.” Really?

Translation: “Julie, you are inconvenient to us because we don’t want a blind person working here.”

Again, the comparison here is loose, because I did not direct the word “slave” at anyone.I certainly did not name-call nor use it as derogatory. I was making a friendly joke thanking someone for coffee as comic relief. Underhandedly, of course, I was stating, I HATE BEING TREATED LIKE A SLAVE HERE!

I believe the managers knew this. They knew that keeping me there as a worker was asking for trouble for them. I may not see well, but I have damn good insight.

I do not for one minute think it was okay to call children “animals.” Does it even matter what race they are? It is not okay to call anyone an animal. I’ve been referred to as one, referred to as a non-person. By the way, it really does affect you very deeply.

Also, DID THE KIDS PAY OR DID THEY NOT? This is totally unclear. Just because it is raining outside and they have other place to go is no reason to assume they paid, or did not pay. There are other ways to kick kids out without hurting them by calling them animals.  It is horrible that this panned out the way it did.