certainly we can do better

One of the teens I work with was hit by a car last week. He was walking across a street in NE Portland. And as he crossed, he had just enough time to make eye contact with a driver speeding toward him before he jumped, smashed into the windshield and flew over the back of the car. By the time he could get up, the guy was long gone.

So many reactions to this. First of all, thank god this teen had the presence of mind, in those split seconds, to jump, because otherwise I imagine he would simply have been smooshed.

Secondly. WTF. I am not a violent person by any means, but I am so angry that a person can hit a teenager, see him fly over the roof of his car, and keep driving. The inhumanity of that is staggering. Yes, I can to some extent understand being worried about getting in trouble, or being scared of legal hassles, or being in a hurry, or even being incapacitated, but that was a person who you just caused to fly through the air and land in the road behind you. Are you even going to see if he’s still alive? Make sure another car doesn’t finish him off? Are there really things in your life that matter more than the fact that you might have just killed someone?

Thirdly. And I may be oversensitive to this because of the kiddos I work with, but I can’t help but think about what this teen looks like. He’s a teenager. He’s black. He was probably wearing his hood up. I sincerely hope that the way he looked played no part in this person’s decision about stopping.

GOD. I tried to reign it in a little when this lovely, fragile, now-limping human being told me about this today, but what the fuck. It makes me so angry I can’t do anything but cry. So angry. Portland, humanity, everyone: we can do better than this.


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