This is truly outrageous! I'm afraid our culture has become so self-centered that people don't think they have any kind of obligation to fellow human beings. It's like "Oh, that woman is in trouble but If I get involved...yada yada" thinking it will end up just being a hassle.

There still are some places where people may even instantly offer to help. (Well, at least if you are white.) Wisconsin is one of those places. One time my battery had run out in a shopping center. I'd open the hood and was heading to the back end to get my cables when a couple walked up and asked if they could help. I said, yes, indeed. I need a jump! They did that for me, I thanked them, and we both went on our way. Took only a few minutes. I've had situations like that many times.

Before I moved here I lived for 20 years in black neighborhoods in Rochester NY. One time neighbors saw me opening up the hood of my car and came right over to help.

Unfortunately, I know that the reverse likely would not have happened...unless I'd been there.

Funny thing about that last incident above. A cop was driving by, saw me standing there with the hood up and surrounded by black men. He stopped to check to see if I was ok. (!). I said, yes, I am. I live right there...and I pointed to my duplex. At that moment a guy who'd gone to get a tool for me came around the corner & I waved at him. Told the cop "thank you, but I have plenty of help."

His face turned bright red & sheepish. Obviously he had assumed I'd had to stop in a "bad neighborhood" and the was gallantly offering to "save" me from the "bad guys."

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith


Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.