Several days have past since we saw the video of a 25-year-old woman take a stiff uppercut from a Cleveland bus driver.
And, quite naturally, opinions taking the sides of Artis Hughes, the bus driver, and Shi’dea N. Lane, the female passenger, began circulating around the twitterverse and blogasphere soon after footage of the incident was uploaded to WorldStarHipHop.
But of all of the arguments made for and against all parties involved–A man should never hit a woman; A woman should never hit a man; She had it coming; The bus driver was older and bigger thus should have been more mature–one point has yet to be discussed:
Why didn’t either of these full-grown adults take advantage of key moments to disengage from the conflict?
In my view, the genesis of this conflict does not stem from gender, domestic violence, race or who was right or wrong; it is about self-control.
Hughes and Lane’s conflict reportedly began over whether Lane paid fare when she boarded the bus. Hughes claims the woman did not pay while Lane argues that she was looking for it and asked the driver to wait. Somehow, a heated, profanity-laced argument ensued where both Lane and Hughes began threatening violence against each other.
(And, yes, verbal violence IS violence!)
Couldn’t one person have kept their mouth shut and let the other shout and scream? If Lane did not pay, couldn’t the driver have pulled over and waited for police? That is standard procedure in most transit departments nationwide. Hughes crossed the line when he threaten to bring his family member (daughter and granddaughter, if I heard correctly) to beat on Lane.
That was the talk of a street thug, not a public servant.
And, if Lane refused to pay or could not find her fare in time to satisfy the driver’s patience, she could have gotten off and waited for the next arriving bus with fare in hand. She certainly did not have to curse the man, regardless of what he said to her.
Maturity and self-control broke down and ratchetness took its course.
Verbal violence quickly turned to physical. In the video Lane is clearly shown pushing Hughes–as he was driving the bus. Were his words–which were quite ignorant and mean-spirited–worth risking her safety and everyone else’s by pushing him while the bus was in motion?