I was on the bus…

The setting was weekday, midday, so the bus wasn’t too crowded- maybe fifteen or so people. There was a woman sitting towards the front of the bus, talking very loudly to her friend.

Very Loudly. I was across the aisle and back about four rows and I could hear her loud and clear. Over the bus noise. Over the traffic. Over my airbuds playing my Chilling playlist…

The woman was a member of a minority group. And she was talking very loudly about members of another minority group. Very loudly. And very negatively.

Very negatively.

She was saying some really nasty stuff- many stereotypes. Many insults.

She was sitting under this sign…

She was sitting under the sign that specifically tells us that there is no place for hate on our transit system.

Does signage like this actually help anyone see the light about the thoughts that run through there heads and out their mouths?

Can you change someone’s mind just by “reminding” them?

Or are people going to do what people want to do and not listen to what any person, or any sign, says?

Did this woman think she wasn’t doing anything wrong because she wasn’t physically attacking anyone? Did she think she wasn’t doing anything wrong because she wasn’t saying these things to an actual member of the minority group that she was maligning?

How do you think we get rid of hate both in our transit systems and in the world?

73 thoughts on “You Can Say It

  1. Well, signs aren’t a magic elixir in overcoming bigotry and hate, but they can’t hurt. At least this sign makes the statement – in public – that the subway system thinks this is an important issue. If only SOMETHING could make a real difference. 😥

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Obviously not. But don’t blame the sign. Blame all those who push through with their bigotry and cynicism. Personally, I like the idea of a public sign encouraging respect and inclusion. Even if one person a day or a week gives it a second thought it’s worth it. And if not, no harm done.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. But could the money spent in signage be used in a way that actually helps people? Like, if I had a vote on how my tax dollars should be spent, signs like this would fall to the bottom of my list

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Whatever. What if a philanthropist decided to pay to put cheery, positive signs up encouraging a better world, instead of just advertisers putting up signs to buy things we don’t need? Would that still bother you?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Yeah probably. Because I’d rather they put the money to something else. I think it’s show but no substance. I prefer substance. As someone else said, it’s preaching to the choir. The sign I would like to see is nyc has no right on red. None. And it’s the norm in most places. If you’re going to put up a sign, make it no right on red in nyc so people don’t get hit by out of town drivers when crossing the street. To me, that’s a sign that will save lives yet deemed too expensive

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Signs such as these really don’t change the behavior of the folks who need changing. These signs preach to the choir, and serve as a statement of position for the ones who display the signs. Sadly, we have become sign-blind in this oversaturated landscape.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Big big questions! I read something yesterday about the money spent on signs and media messages about drugs, beginning with Nancy Reagan’s ‘just say no’ campaign, and the failure as drug use and deaths continues to climb. I asked myself – could the money have been spent more effectively? I suppose if even one person sees a sign or hears a message and is saved/helped it is worthwhile but I suspect the money could be used in a more direct way toward the same end. Chris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I wonder too. Can this money be better spent? I know putting up signs is a concrete way of saying “we’re doing something” but is a person who doesn’t believe this way going to actually listen?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Personally I think the only way to get rid of racial hatred is to stop listening to the media and government. They actually fuel the hatred, while trying to come across differently. Instead of uniting our country, they are only furthering the divide.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The sign is a nice thought, but I doubt it’ll change behavior of people like the one you described. It reminds of “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here” signs. I wonder if people slow down after seeing those. You made a good point in the comments about modeling tolerant behavior. That’s a great action. A person has to believe that’s a good idea to do that. And if they don’t care, I think it’s a tall task to persuade them to think otherwise.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I think on occasion a sign might remind a few to keep their trap closed. But it would be a rare occurrence. I really think at least half of our world is so full of hate and ignorance that maybe the genie won’t go back in the bottle, so to speak. It’s sad. We are no longer a civilized world. Wow, I feel like the biggest Debbie Downer! lol But I do have hope. Thanks LA for the brain exercise!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hardened hearts perhaps? I think what we feed our minds is so important. The lyrics of songs, the language of the television we watch and so on really does affect us. If it didn’t why would corporations spend 65 Billion (with a B) in 2020 on advertising.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’d spend the money on education programs at play schools & kindergarten, to create respect & connection from early ages. I’m not sure an older, noisy woman is gonna change her opinions- I use myself as an example! But a sign gives the bus driver a framework to ask her to tone it down doesn’t it? What a bummer no one official did so…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the other part of this…no one is going to say anything to this woman because it’s words, and not directed at a specific individual, but at a group in general. Technically she didn’t do anything

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I will be interested to scan the comments after I offer my opinion. I think that visible reminders are useful but not for everyone. There is a percentage of our populations that sees themselves as separate and these persons lack empathy. They can’t receive criticism and they have a sense of entitlement and therefore the rules of society somehow don’t apply to them (in their opinion). They usually in my opinion don’t see themselves as breaking behavioral rules (bending them slightly only).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Was the hater bashing Asians for whom the sign is aimed at ?… because it’s not a general abolish hate sign. It’s also a sign about reporting hate crimes to the NYPD, again not a sign telling a hater to shut the fuck up! Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. It was about reporting hate crimes. But however you look at it, it’s aboit not hating another minority. And no, it wasn’t against Asians. Two other minorities were involved. But hate is hate. And if someone was of the maligned minority, it’s pretty bad for that person to hear it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I rarely look at signs on buses, trains in shop windows etc. As far as getting rid of hate goes I don’t think we ever will, it’s part of being human.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Someone who holds such vile views and who feels able to speak about them loudly in public isn’t about to pay attention to a sign, but I suspect they’d also not pay attention to anyone – even someone in a uniform – attempting to shut them up. I tend to think of that type of sign as being either a legal requirement, or as making a show of doing something without actually taking any action.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I believe the signage is a hollow, money-wasting virtue signal. It’s like putting a little Hello Kitty bandaid on an arterial spray. The people who were so brazenly spewing their hateful rhetoric learned that behavior very early on. It is likely a result of poor/no parenting and culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What did you do? Did you give her a look or did you try not to look? As for signs, that one, no. Most people don’t need that sign and the ones who do will probably do the opposite for spite.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think if a woman was comfortable talking that loudly on public transport, putting down another group of people according to stupid stereotypes, there was no point in saying anything to her. Some people are beyond help.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well obviously she didn’t look behind her and read the sign!
    Just kidding!! More like she obviously didn’t care which is so sad, but a true picture of a lot of people in this world. We can have all the signs and laws we want but that does nothing to change their hearts!
    They need to know what love is. People who so outright hate like this, I don’t think they love themselves. I don’t think they know how.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hate, like love, is part of the overall system of the cosmos – bad things happen, good things happen, you cannot have one without the other. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t educate, work together to mitigate and eradicate systematic oppression, etc…no, we do these things, yet we also hold the understanding that some people will never get it, some people don’t want to get it…we continue to work towards equity, and to infuse more love into society anyway…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sign, sign. Everywhere a sign. Blockin’ out the scenery, Breakin’ my mind.
    Do this, don’t do that, Can’t you read the sign?

    As despicable as it was, it’s her right to speak her opinions. If she’s that type of person, a sign isn’t going to make any difference. You’re correct in that the money spent on an often-ignored sign might have been better spent doing something more proactive to help combat negative behavior and mindsets.

    Liked by 1 person

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