Thursday, December 11, 2014

No Perfect Devils or Victims

Last week the internet and Twittosphere lit up with the story of a Harvard Business School professor who berated and hassled the owner of a Chinese restaurant over a 4 dollar discrepancy/overcharge for his takeout food: the classic rich, entitled jerk lording over a poor immigrant with his twisted notions of "principle." The guy certainly was a jerk in this case, but he is also a person whose work sometimes focuses on consumer protection on the web, and whose family includes Marian Wright Edelman, do-gooder-extraordinaire of the Children's Defense Fund. And the poor immigrant being intimidated while just trying to scratch out a living with his little family business? He's actually a tattooed hipster who won a national cocktail competition. He easily could have been savvy enough to keep the prices on his website updated.

This kerfuffle was actually a minor, almost humorous exemplification of the dynamic at play in the larger, extremely tragic events that played out between police and citizens throughout the year, from Ferguson to Staten Island.

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