Sometimes standing up for what’s right hurts…….literally.
Earlier today, my husband was assaulted outside of our local Home Depot after standing up for a Muslim woman who was being harassed by a couple of white men.
As my husband was walking into the store near some other customers, he heard the two men making derogatory comments to a Muslim woman about her ethnic and religious background. My husband responded with two simple words:
After he finished his errand, my husband was loading the car to leave when the same men drove past, shouted more expletives, and assaulted him by throwing an unopened can of pop at the back of his head, making it explode. He did not get a good look at them or their truck, mostly because his glasses were thrown off.
Unfortunately, we just left the hospital. He has a concussion and had a CT scan to check for bleeding.
The two men who assaulted him were clearly unstable – at least that’s how I feel about anyone who throws a solid object out of a moving vehicle at someone’s head. These men had no problem harassing this woman in front of others. This treatment of our neighbors has reached the point where people feel comfortable doing this in public, as though there is nothing wrong with it.
Well, they are wrong. Absolutely wrong.
Despite the fact that my husband now has a concussion to add to the Traumatic Brain Injury he already had, I am very proud of him. I’m proud he stood in the place of that woman. I’m proud that he fought hatred with truth. I’m proud because that was a hard choice. I’m proud because he choose to stand up to bullies, especially potentially violent ones, when it would have been easier to just walk on by.[bctt tweet=”We don’t treat people like that around here.” username=”unitecloudmn”]
But, that’s not an option for us. As Christians, we feel it is our responsibility to say something, even when it means
another concussion. I’m reminded of the Old Testament story of three men: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo. They were men of God and when the king ordered them to bow to his idol they refused. The king threatened them with being thrown into a furnace. Their response (paraphrased of course) was:
“If you throw us in the furnace our God will save us, but even if he doesn’t, we won’t bow down.”
As a Christian, I know full well what kind of consequences can come from standing up for what is right. But, that shouldn’t stop me from doing it. Whether God intervenes or not, whether I get a soda can chucked at my head or not, I will continue to stand up for Muslims, people of color, the LGBTQ community, the poor, and any other groups being treated poorly.
I can only hope that I take the place of another innocent person in this climate of hatred – and that, by doing so, the climate will begin to change and we can look forward to a time when we no longer need to worry about these types of interactions.
Next time you see this behavior displayed around you, please join me and my husband in saying:
“We don’t treat people like that around here.”