Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

The Upper-Cut of Hate

My wife and I were one of those freaks that use to go Disney without kids.

One time we were waiting on a show when we heard a man say to his daughter, “Because she is a bitch. That’s why.” 

My wife and I looked at each other and we couldn’t believe what had happened. We had rushed to reserve a good spot from where to watch Disneyland’s Fantasmic. An usher had come by to move people out of the walking pathway and into the designated waiting area.

The usher asked the man in front of us if he could step behind the rope and he begrudgingly oblige but when the usher was out of distance and his daughter asked him why they were asked to move, he crudely responded, “because she is a bitch. That’s why.”

As if this woman’s responsibility to uphold and enforce safety guidelines was a personal affront to this man’s existence.

I was reeling through the entire show. I couldn’t believe this man was already poisoning his daughter’s view of the world.

What kind of adult do you grow up to be when your parents teach you to interpret norms and regulations as personal transgressions?

And what was my role in that situation? Parenting Robin Hood? Was I supposed to swoop in and save the day? That kid still goes home with that dad because everyone has the freedom to raise their kid however they see fit.

Why do I feel surprise? We have no regulations for people to have kids. The only requisite is that they are fertile and… actually, that’s it. We have more regulations in place to let people drive than to let people procreate.

I don’t want to live in the kind of parental state that the government gets to decide who gets to reproduce and who doesn’t. It is too close to eugenics and the guidelines would change every two years with midterm elections. It could easily turn into a biological redlining of sorts.

Besides, how would that look like? Everyone’s fertility is linked to a mainboard and you have to pass a multiple-choice test before your reproductive organs are activated.

It is still mind-blowing that everyone gets to reproduce and, more importantly, that some of the smarter people in the pool are choosing not to.

I couldn’t help but think about this event that happened more than ten years ago when, during the pandemic, I clicked on a piece of news about a woman who refused to wear a mask on her flight. After repeatedly being asked to put the mask on, she decided it was a mature response to throw an uppercut punch at the flight attendant resulting in the flight attending getting a nice scar on her cheek and losing two teeth.

That story makes me sad. In part, because it is a crude reminder that while there are a lot of us trying to obey the rules, striving to become better humans and aspiring for a civilized society and community. There are still others that choose to behave like savages.

The other reason this story makes me sad is because of the many prejudicial blindspots I discovered I had while reading this story.

The first one was the airline. I didn’t know the airline but I knew it was one of two. My first guess was Spirit. They charge for everything. Your ticket only gets you in the door. Then after that, everything is fair game. Do you want a food tray? $5. Do you want toilet paper? $5. Do you want a seatbelt for take-off? $5. Do you want a seatbelt for landing? $5. Or pay $7 and keep the seatbelt the entire flight.

I bet is in their safety manual. “Flight attendants should expect to have a rowdy crowd. As a matter of fact, if they want to restrain the passengers in their flight, they should consider paying the fee for the seatbelts.”

But it wasn’t Spirit. It was Southwest. I fly with Southwest because of their outstanding customer service but really because they are cheap.

I can’t say I was surprised, after all, you can’t expect much when the process of boarding is commonly referred to as cattle call. There is an automatic dehumanization that happens the moment you accept being compared to a cow, just so you can fly places and vacation.

When I watched the video, I saw the flight attendant approached the customer, then I saw the woman Muhammad-Ali-ed the flight attendant with an insane uppercut.

I grew up in Colombia in the 90s. I saw a lot of senseless violence. I still get queasy when I see real violence. I can watch UFC just because there is a quality about it that seems cartoonish. As if expecting it makes it okay. “Oh, so, that one dude, just use the other dude’s testicles and turned them into a bow tie. Yeah, that makes sense.” But when you see a normal situation end like a UFC fight, it’s absolutely jarring.

My next blintdspot was the most troubling to me. I was expecting that woman to be white because that’s what we were fed by the news cycles during the pandemic, ‘crazed white Republicans are refusing to wear masks.’

To my dismay, the woman was Hispanic. 

It didn’t only help me realize that what the news portray, and reality don’t always line up. But also, that I carry an expectation for all the people of my ethnic background.

I think most Hispanics, and all immigrants for that matter, work hard to provide for our families and to contribute to our communities. I believe in integrating myself into society by interacting with as many people from different backgrounds as is possible. I don’t know how I came to form this expectation for myself. Maybe it is because I believe the first step to civil harmony is to show those who don’t know us that we are not that different than them. That’s why such a blatant transgression didn’t only feel like a trespass to civility but a trespass to the Hispanic community.

But why is that?

That’s an insane expectation and I wondered if other people of color feel the same way. I felt as if I was personally betrayed by this woman even though this woman doesn’t even know me or should care about me. She is in her world caring about her problems, why would she have to feel like she is a brand ambassador for her ethnicity?

I’m sure I’m not the only one cofounded by this act. I’m sure there was a racist person somewhere in a rural area of the United States wondering what he hated more mask mandates or Hispanics. Maybe he could compromised by stating a racist back-handed compliment, “way to go, beaner. Turn her into guacamole.”

The video had me so disconcerted that the first time I watched it, I thought she had her kid with her. The second time I realized it was somebody else’s kid who had to witness this entire brawl.

I was relieved that it wasn’t her kid and I hope she doesn’t plan on having kids. 

This is the kind of woman that shouldn’t have kids. We don’t need more kids raised by crazy parents. If I was this woman’s father, I’d recommend she didn’t have kids even if she was pregnant. “Are you sure you want to keep this kid? Because last week when I was teaching you how to drive, I told you to hit the brakes because there was a stop sign. You were so upset that you got down and beat the living bejesus out of the sign.”

“Nah, I’m having this kid and she is going to learn everything I know which is nothing. But she will know how to throw an uppercut from the upright position.”

There are many reasons why we need to overcome racism. But one of the ones I think is the most important, is so we can start discriminating against truly human beings.

But if we can get over racism, then maybe it is time to start considering some form of standardized test to use our reproductive organs.

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