I immediately thought to ignore it as soon as I saw its headline: “B*tch, Get Off My Bus: Driver Uppercuts the Sh*t Outta Teen Girl In Cleveland!” but folks on the Twitter just kept talking about it and curiosity ultimately got the best of me. Not so surprisingly, it’s as awful as I imagined it to be.
The video in question features a bus driver dealing a Mortal Kombat-styled uppercut to a belligerent young woman who he had apparently had enough of. The video has amassed more than 3 million views in just 24 hours.
The video opens mid-argument with a 25-year-old woman speaking disrespectfully to a bus driver. With the recalcitrant woman calling him a “b*tch” and a “n*gger,” the bus driver responds that he would bring both his daughter and granddaughter to whoop her tail.
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After exchanging a few more insults back and forth, with the bus driver commenting that it looked like someone had “sliced her face up,” things get serious when the woman — partially blocked by a man standing in the way — reaches over and apparently hits the bus driver.
The driver immediately responds, “You’re going to jail now!”
But what happens next shocks everyone: he stands up and uppercuts her, knocking her to the ground, and then drags her off of the bus along with her belongings. When someone screams, “Uh-huh, that’s an F*ing female, the bus driver yells, “I don’t care! She wants to be a man; I’m going to treat her like a man!”
Watch the bus driver uppercut video here:
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Bus drivers are often subjected to nasty insults of the lowest common denominator from passengers dealing with their own demons. I’ve witnessed the inappropriate behavior plenty of times when riding public transportation. It’s admittedly sometimes harsher in select cities, but does such a reality make this type of violence excusable?
For people to argue that a grown man had every right to attack a teenage girl regardless of how despicable her disposition is an unfortunate reminder of how ingrained violence and misogyny remains in our collective psyches.
This is the culture of violence manifesting itself in real time.
I can’t say that I’ve never lost my temper and reacted violently, and in hindsight, wrongly, but as a grown man, and more importantly, a public worker, you’ve got to have better sense then to snap on a passenger. He punched her in the face and physically threw her off the bus.
Where’s his self-control?
Cleveland Cleveland Regional Transit Authority officials have reportedly seen the video and are currently investigating. Until their investigation is complete, the driver, who is yet to be named, has been relieved of his duties and will face suspension.
The RTA released this statement:
RTA saw the video posted on YouTube of the operator incident on October 11. Through the investigation, we believe the incident occurred on Sept. 18. Upon identifying the driver, he was immediately suspended and removed from duty. His behavior is absolutely unacceptable.
I try not to police other people’s sense of humor, but to find amusement in this clip says so much about one’s character. There’s not a punchline in his punch. Yes, even if you’re under the impression that she “had it coming.”
Many of the men who have come to defend the driver across social media have stuck to protocol when defending violence between a man and a woman. It’d be wrong no matter the gender; yet, it looks even worse given the gender and age gaps. And even if you think he acted in self-defense, which while still problematic would add a different level to the conversation, that’s not what happened. Instead, the bus driver was fed up, hit her, and physically removed her from the bus.
If you didn’t know by now, this is what most people call assault.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick