Sunday, April 7, 2013

Huddled Masses

I went to the post office Friday which has to be my least favorite thing to do, but remarkably the line wasn't out the door.  There was only one couple at the counter. a Muslim couple, and they were having a communication failure with the postal clerk.  She couldn't understand where they wanted to send their package and their English wasn't the best, so she started yelling louder as if they were deaf instead of confused.  I thought I heard them say Saudi Arabia, but she didn't acknowledge any such thing because listening wasn't her strong suit.  She gave them a piece of paper to write down the information and when it was indeed Saudi Arabia, she told them to step out of line to fill the necessary forms out.  A glimpse of her nice side finally started emerging which seemed to take much longer than necessary.

While I watched all of this unfold in front of me, I wondered if the shoe were on the other foot how in the hell I would mail a package from Saudi Arabia to Kansas.

That night I was watching the local news and there was a story of a 24 year old medical student who went out for a jog and hadn't come back.  He was not carrying his cell phone or wallet and due to his age he wasn't likely kidnapped, but he'd been missing for a whole day and his parents were distraught with worry.  He lived at home in an upscale neighborhood with no obvious problems.  The family was of middle-eastern descent and his mother sobbed when she talked of him.  I couldn't imagine where her mind was going in this confusion of a missing son.

Buried in today's paper was a very short story of this missing jogger found dead.  Off the trail, no obvious signs of trauma but an autopsy is pending.  Page six?   Two nights earlier his family sat on the couch in front of a news camera and begged for help to find him.  The outcome of the biggest crisis in their life ends on page six? 

Would the story of this kid be more breaking, more urgent, more front page if he were white?  I'd like to think not, but we daily separate who is worthy and who is not, who deserves courtesy or immediate help and who gets yelled at or dismissed for not if God has personally assigned Americans his chosen people and therefore immune from doing unto others.

Be it mailing a package or going for a run, it must require nerves of steel and a daily dose of bravery when you decide to make a life in the land of the free.


  1. I noticed the same thing today; however, I think the reason it was probably was how it happened. When those two sisters were found dead in the park earlier this year, it was later found that they committed suicide. I was shocked there wasn't more coverage about it, but I think there wasn't a lot of coverage because the police knew the circumstances around the situation. Not saying that that happened with this young man, but I sure would hope that the police would be more cognizant to make the public aware if there was a suspect on the loose. Regardless, it was hard to watch his poor mother on the news pleading for his return. Just hoping his family finds peace in whatever way possible

  2. Just read your Blog.
    One of your " Best " !
    I love it when you make me think
    a little less about my own problems and more about the problems of others.
    I sadly agree with your observation.

  3. Wow Missy...
    you tagged one of my favorite pet peeves. Other than a airport, the Post Office offers a extremely diverse gathering. Every frickin time I go in it's a "high wire" act of frustration. As a customer I can see the problems so easily.... why can't the Post Office? I suggested that they have a person helping people in line BEFORE they reach the counter so they're all set once they reach the counter. The suggestion to the person in charge was greeted with "here, fill out this form"... oh no, you fill it out and take credit for a good idea!
    (Insert "deer in the headlights" look here)
    Who the hell wants to be lectured by the snarky, condescending employee for not filling out a correct form?
    50% of the customers in line have a question about what exactly to do so as not to make a error. I would think the clerk would be happy just to do the job they were hired to do.
    From Your Bro -