Harassment in Downey

Dear Editor:It is a clear night. Local businesses in Downey have done a steady business for Sunday and are preparing to close up their shops. Many drivers in their cars begin to filter out into the street from a near by parking lot. One vehicle in particular filled with an unknown number of young men begin to call attention to themselves. Shouting unintelligible sounds, jeering and obscenely gesturing with their hands they are trying to get the attention of a female pedestrian waiting for a traffic signal. Continuously waving their arms, calling to her with fake offerings of sexual interest, whistling and cat calling, their bullying takes on an ominous and threatening tone. She looks at them for a moment, seeming to be concerned about her physical safety, and then turns away nervously tapping at the light signal button to call for the walk sign which seems painfully slow at this point. There is a pause, she turns as if she hears someone coming up behind her to do physical harm from the back. No one is there. The SUV filled with rude males regroup their efforts to humiliate her. Then finally the traffic signal turns green, she gets her walk sign and with impending dread and some trepidation moves steadily through the crosswalk. The driver of the SUV moves with the traffic due west from her north. But then she makes a westerly turn and continues forth on the course of the SUV ahead. As she reaches the next crosswalk, the SUV with the malevolent occupants seem to have made a turn in her direction. Menacingly, the rude occupants of the SUV continue to cause her concern, apparently unaware of a marked Downey police cruiser waiting at the signal heading directly toward the SUV. As the light turns green and the vulgar parties begin their next effort as they pass the woman there seems to be an almost immediate lull in their arrogant hollering when they are suddenly surprised to see the cruiser. The woman was a 45-year-old masculine-appearing lesbian American minding her own business. Not long ago President Obama lifted the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban in the military. And in more recent times the President has put his approval forth in support of gay marriage. While other parts of the country seem to be progressively heading to a new proactive kind of thinking, Downey still seems to have a few throwbacks to another era. The Neanderthal era. Greta Campbell Downey

********** Published: May 31, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 07