in the torah. god makes a big point about people listening. one of torah’s most important sentences begins “hear o’ israel.” deuteronomy 6:4. it is the pronouncement of the one god and is known as the “shema.” through jewish religious services, it is repeated many times. perhaps, it is because god knows that humanity has a listening problem.
recently, there was an alleged “asian hate” crime incident. the real story of the incident, however, is one of the listening problem. it is a problem that is plaguing modern society. the story is of an individual who refused to listen to authority. as a result, he suffered consequences. this, unfortunately, is only a half of the story.
as a parent, i went out of my way to make sure that my children respected authority. i would not tolerate them being disrespectful of an elder. in public, i always made sure that they were respectful to their teachers, shopworkers, etc. from time to time, they received lectures about the need to do so.
in the alleged “asian hate” crime story, an article revealed that the alleged victim had been told multiple times by a bar owner that he needed to leave the area which was a bar area. the victim was 18 years of age. arguably, he should have understood that the drinking age in california is 21.
prior to going further with the story, it is important to discuss california’s laws concerning the sale of alcohol. business are required to have liquor licenses. liquor licenses are purchased and can be quite expensive. licensees are subject to many laws and regulations. license violations can lead to fines and license revocation. thus, a licensee can literally lose their business if their license is revoked.
california has a statewide enforcement agency, the department of the alcoholic beverage control ,to address these matters. further, the abc has regulation officers. abc will conduct sting operations to see if there is compliance with state’s rules and regulations. one enforcement issue is the servicing of alcohol to minors. the abc website devotes a whole page concerning their minor decoy program.
in sum, a minor present in bar presents a serious problem for the owner. thus, a bar owner seeing a minor, irrespective of race, should act promptly to address their presence.
in the alleged “asian hate” crime story, an 18 year old filipino was reportedly sitting in an area outside the bar while waiting for his parents, thinking it was open seating. according to him, the bar owner frank rossi repeatedly told him to leave after learning he was underaged. the filipino american teen said he interpreted the request to leave as racially charged. “that’s, like, traumatizing to me,” he added. after he refused to leave because he was waiting for his parents — who were reportedly waiting to get food at a nearby pizzeria — a bystander who was also a patron of the bar punched him in the face. ” asianjournal.com
thus, we have a teen refusing to listen to authority. it would have been interesting to have asked the teen whether he understood that his age prevented him from being in a bar location. nevertheless, he chose not to listen to a store owner.
in response the event, his parents went on a social media campaign to destroy the business and raised allegations of racism against them.
in the reports, however, these allegations may be unfounded. the article notes that ” nelson lum is a retired sfpd sergeant and member of the sf asian police officers association. he spent two decades covering the north beach area. he also knows the owner and his father and stated that the bar has always been welcoming and treats customers equally. lum said no calls he’s ever responded to at gino and carlo have ever been related to racism or hate incidents. ” asianjournal.com
so, we have a story of a son who does not listen to multiple requests to leave and parents who are defending him. as we can see, deafness to knowledge and understanding of others may be a family trait. an important lesson of listening to authority and the consequences of not listening may be lost to them. without this lesson learned, this child may be put at risk should he continue with an attitude of not listening to authority. the next time, it could be a police officer, armed with a weapon, commanding him to step out of a car and cooperate. the consequences, in that circumstance, could become fatal.
in sum, listening is important. if one listens to what was said, they could take the time to confirm what was said. in the story, the teen knew that the alleged issue was that he was underaged. if he wished to confront or dispute the owner, he could have taken out his phone and researched the issue. perhaps, he could have found out that the bar owner was correct and that he needed to follow instructions.
i would only hope that this family take the time to read up on the fact that there is a state mandate that underage minors are not served in bars and that the bar owner was acting within the spirit of the law.
the violence that occurred against the teen is not to be condoned. there is, however, an important lesson for him to learn about listening. likewise, there is an important lesson to this family to fully investigate a situation before seeking a path of vengeance and destruction.
are there apologies owed?
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