‘You don’t agree with me so I hate you!’

stand-your-ground-lawI’m still feeling a little rattled.

I was loading groceries into my car when an older woman with perfectly sprayed hair and a sparkly gold top came stalking over to me.

“You are dumb as crap!” she said with a sneer.

“Excuse me?”

“Dumb as crap!” she repeated, pointing at the magnet on the back of my car that said, “Health care for all.”

I have a few liberal leaning stickers, such as, “God bless the people of every nation,” and “Question war,” plus one that says, “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this crap!”

She started walking away and I said, “Losing a child to our broken health care system has colored my opinion.”

“Keep chattering, Miss Dumb as Crap!” she said.

She opened the door to a huge gas guzzler of a car and threw her purse in. On the back of the car was a bumper sticker that read, “I wear lipstick and I own a gun,” which is OK by me as long as you know how to use it safely and you don’t go around shooting people you don’t like — like me.

“I suppose you’re a Christian,” I said as I walked my empty grocery cart to the corral on the other side of her car.

She sneered at me again and got into her car.

“Well, there goes the love of Jesus,” I announced loudly as she slammed the car and other people in the parking lot smiled. One woman looked at me and shrugged her shoulders.

So, she looked like the aggressor, which she was. I looked like the reasonable one, which took a lot of effort, believe me.

But why did she hate me just because we disagree? What’s more, what made her think we didn’t have ANY common ground?

If she had been carrying her gun in a stand-your-ground state, she could have pulled it out and shot me as I walked toward her with my empty grocery cart, even though the cart corral was on the other side of her car.

She could have claimed she felt threatened, especially if I wasn’t white.

That is no exaggeration.

George Zimmerman was declared not guilty after shooting an unarmed teenager — after stalking him and chasing him down — because he felt threatened.

We live in a culture where it’s OK to hate people who disagree with you — in fact, it’s encouraged.

We are told people who disagree with us have little or no worth, that they’re stupid and that we can aggressively corner them and tell them that.

And in stand-your-ground states, we can then open fire on them when they get mad right back at us.

I felt absolutely furious at that woman. Who the hell is she to judge me, knowing absolutely nothing about me as a fellow human being?

It took some real self-control not to yell insults back at her.

But someone had to be the grownup here, and I already knew it wasn’t going to be her.

Since George Zimmerman has been set free, it seems to me like it’s open season on anyone you think can be provoked into making you feel threatened.

2 comments

  1. Pat Werhan says:

    when I read “Losing a child to our broken health care system has colored my opinion.” … I thought of you… not knowing you had written it.

  2. Hello,
    I wanted to comment to let you know 2 things. First, that my professor used your site as an example in class. So I would take that as a great compliment. And secondly, I know the feeling of having someone assume something about you, in your case..that you are dumb! It is hurtful and induces strong emotion. Even though you may never see that woman again, we can wonder why she took the time out of her day to speak so unkindly to you, but then we already know part of that answer..don’t we? She is possibly miserable, stuck in her ways, and bored enough that she needed to insult you for her daily dose of entertainment. And then of course, if we let it go, at east we can praise you Leslie, for using this blog as a way to better yourself, your world and educated other of the negative experiences you have had, instead of verbally attacking people int he grocery store parking lot. I commend you for keeping your cool, use this experience as a learning experience. Regards, Necole V.

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