Standing by the traffic light on my local college campus, I heard a loud scream behind me and whirled around to see two guys in a pickup. It was so random that I couldn’t think what to do–but next time I’d just go over and say, “Hey, I don’t like being treated that way and I want you to stop.” I don’t think it would actually stop them, but it would break the cycle where one person hurts another on purpose and nobody says anything.
Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?
Having websites like this is a great start. But I think it really starts at home. If kids learn by example that respect doesn’t involve fear or violence, and that safe spaces are “the norm” while attacking people–including verbally and emotionally–is socially damaging in a real and long-lasting way, they won’t grow think it’s funny, cool, impressive, or harmless to make random gestures of aggression at strangers. Obviously nobody taught these guys using that kind of example, so they’ll have to figure it out for themselves.
Location: Chapel Hill, NCShare on Facebook