While lately quite a bit of what I've posted here has been gut-reaction stuff, the kind of thing written quickly and without the benefit of a lot of contemplation, the story of Karen Huff Klein deserved more; I knew that almost immediately after banging out my little screed on it yesterday afternoon, one which did nothing to exhaust the feelings I had about watching an elderly woman being bullied from my mind.
My new piece at the Daily Banter, which is up now, looks a little deeper into what happened to Klein on that bus in upstate New York, the anger over it, the backlash to it, the good that's coming out of it, and what it says not just about kids these days but, maybe, about the way certain kids have always been.
Here's the opening:
"I still remember the heartbroken look on his face as he stood at my doorstep in his little green-striped shirt and Toughskins khaki shorts. His name was Doug and he lived up the street from me — and for some reason he desperately wanted to be my friend. He was my age, maybe five or six, and he’d come by every afternoon to ask me if I wanted to play with him since he didn’t seem to have many kids willing to. His eyes would always be fixed on the ground in front of him, as if he were a dog that someone had beaten into a perpetually submissive stance; he was never anything less than a pitiful sight. But I didn’t take pity on him; I didn’t question why his parents never seemed to be around and why I would always see him walking alone to and from the playground at the end of the block; I simply told him to go away, that I didn’t want to play with him and didn’t want to be his friend and didn’t want him in my house. When my mother would show some decency and humanity and invite him in, I’d wait for her to disappear from sight, then press him toward the door and tell him to get out. I’d say those exact words just before slamming the door in his face: 'Get out.'"
Read the Rest at Here