I witnessed a crime…

Crime is the price society pays for abandoning character.
James Q. Wilson

(courtesy Publix produce images)

First, let me preface this tale with a small disclaimer…I hate going to the grocery store
on a Saturday.

This tale, however, begins because of my having been gone most of last week,
and half the week prior, and thus my pantry was in great need of re-stocking.

Despite feeling that I should don a surgical mask due to my grandmother crud,
I went on, mask free, lest I send coronavirus shock waves through our small city.

I headed off, much to my chagrin, to my local grocery store of choice.

As I turned onto the drive leading to the parking lot, I noticed a group of about 7
teenage girls. They were walking along the sidewalk and I thought they might veer off,
crossing over in front of me–
crossing over to our city’s greenbelt walking-path near the grocery store
which leads back to our high school—

But no, they continued on the sidewalk up towards the grocery store.

This was not exactly an area of town to be out strolling…
because it is congested and a high traffic area.
Plus it was a cold blustery day.

I continued on my way to the parking lot, figuring the girls were probably walking to the
nearby McDonald’s.

The always enduring high school teacher, who lives forever deep within me,
always wonders when I see a flock of kids, out and about, simply walking where
kids would not normally be walking.
It’s something akin to a teacher’s eyes in the back of his/ her head.
Always watching, always knowing.

I parked, gathered my bags and made my way inside, grabbing a cart.

I started toward the produce section when I saw the same set of teens walking
rather quickly towards me, out from the store towards the door.

“Boy, that was fast,” I thought.
In and out they were as in I had no idea they had even been heading to the grocery store.

They had no bags, no cart, no nothing.

Yet as they rapidly passed by me and the fruit section,
the gal on the tail end of the entourage reached out and grabbed a peach.
She held it tight in a clenched fist while looking back to see if she had been seen.

And yes, she had…she had been seen.

I had seen and she saw that I had seen.

So I did the only thing I thought to do without causing some sort of ruckus—
I simply gave her the death stare of any high school teacher who had just
spied poor behavior.

Part of me wanted to loudly holler out for the young woman to put the fruit back
as I wondered what else had been picked up as they were walking with quite the
quickstep to the exit.

So here are the obvious facts to this little incident…
I am a 60-year-old white woman.
The group of 7 girls consisted of black teens.

Now those two little facts alone should just be obvious observations…
yet they are enough for most of today’s hypersensitive politically correct,
progressive liberal lot to accuse me of racism, as well as something
I’ve just learned about today, “white fragility.”

Yet the only facts are:
I am white and old.
They were black and young.

And from those two obvious facts…our culture will race to pull all sorts of accusations
out of the air.

I later told a friend about what I had seen at the grocery store and her response
was that it was sad they wanted something healthy and probably didn’t have any fresh
food at home.

The rolling of my eyes set in.

Well, I can certainly tell you that the nicked pinched peach was an afterthought while
our culprit was simply passing by an open bin. There was no focused intent on taking a
piece of fruit.
It was just sitting there and she was passing by and simply slipped a hand down to
grab one as in, “oh, let me grab that as I make my way out the door’.

And might I add that any peach sitting out this time of year would be an imported
rock-hard poor excuse for a fruit…not even palatable.

My response to my friend was not to make some sort of liberal excuse for stealing.
Because that was what it was…stealing. It would be the sort of excuse we’d hear
from our progressive left…an excuse for doing wrong.

So okay…to be fair…

I suppose we all recall the days of our own youth…
days of reckless abandon when we too nicked and pocketed something seemingly harmless
like a piece of fruit, a yard ornament, a street sign, a glass from a restaruant…etc.

Yet sadly today, what we now readily give a pass to is, none the less, blatant stealing.

It is always hoped that we will each grow up and mature…learning, knowing and realizing
right from wrong.
Right from wrong as well as learning that the notion of taking what is not ours
is one of those top 10 commandments—as in “DO NOT…”

It is hoped that we grow to have remorse for our past wrongs while we work toward
living a life that is better than…a life of positive morality.
A life of setting wrongs right.

Yet unfortunately, the idea of what was once perceived as wrong is now
perfectly ok…and we make excuses as to why it is now right rather
than wrong.

We have made excuses our demigods…excuses for every ill that befalls
our culture.

We could once justify wrongs as right in those life and death situations.
Situations of war, or of need vs want, or of the necessity of life vs death…

Yet did that make them any more right than wrong?

Probably not…but the taking of some bread or milk lest a child starve
was deemed justifiable…the assassination attempt of a tyrant like Hitler
was justifiable to the pacifist Christian pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer because
the taking of the one life would spare the hundreds of thousands he was annihilating.

However, we now have created the notion of excusing and justifying behavior that is
obviously wrong for simply every day lives…and this notion has been long percolating.
We’ve made an art of turning wrongs into rights and defending such to the hilt.

Our culture no longer desires to call a wrong, wrong.
Rather we make excuses.
We make sad pathetic excuses for needs not being met.

It is a want versus need mentality.

There are excuses for poverty.
Excuses for inabilities.
Excuses for limitations.
Excuses over race.

Had the girls not been racing toward the exit, I could have offered to buy her the fruit.

But then we’d both have been acknowledging what she had done…
and the reality is, she didn’t want acknowledging.

So this little incident brought my thoughts back to an article I had just read earlier
in the day on The Federalist.

How ‘White Fragility’ Theory Turns Classrooms Into Race-Charged Power Struggles
White fragility theory is counterproductive and divisive.
White teachers should not be discounted, bullied, or shut down during anti-bias trainings in schools.

An article that, as a former educator, I could readily relate to…
For I saw this indoctrination coming down the pike nearly two decades ago.

The article focused on a recent talk given by academic and author, Dr. Robin DiAngelo
to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in Atlanta.

She’s written a book and is a bit of a self-proclaimed expert on “White fragility”

Who knew, but it seems that white fragility is indeed a thing.

Her book focuses on “why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism.”

The answer, she says, is “white fragility,” defined as “a state in which even a
minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”
This “racial stress” is the direct result of “implicit bias,”
which runs so strong in white people that it is a core reason racism persists in America.
This claim is based on a worldview, advanced by an increasingly influential field
called Whiteness Studies, that racism is inseparable from the reign of Whiteness.

What is Whiteness?
It is hard to say, but the basic idea is that all the institutions of society
are “white”—made by white people, ruled by white people,
and kept in place by white people to make sure that white people continue to benefit from “white privilege.”
These institutions are infected by white supremacy,
a result of the long arc of racism in American history.
Whiteness works through implicit bias, which refers to a whole range of unconscious behaviors,
speech, and beliefs that keep white supremacy in place.

Needless to say, I think this sort of thinking is nothing but a bunch of crap.
This sort of mindset leads to only more trouble.
It leads to a deeper misunderstanding.
And even a greater and much wider divide.

But then, I’m white… so…yeah, of course, I would think that.
Or so would say, Dr. DiAngelo.

And therein lies both the rub and the irony.

Let us dare not speak of racism directed toward whites or disdain and vehemence directed
towards Christians or toward pro-life supporters, or towards traditional marriage proponents,
or towards conservatives or towards anything or anyone who embraces traditional values…
especially towards issues of morality…issues of right vs wrong…

Because in this brave new world of which we now created and find ourselves living…
it is a world where wrong is now right and right is most certainly wrong…

There is no true biology.
No boy or girl.
No girl or boy.

There is no God
There is no Savior
There is only the State

We have created an excuse for each and everything…
along with more and more reasons as to why we must dislike and mistrust one another…
We must quiet each and every last one who dares to disagree with the new state’s mindset.

But Believers know that this is Satan’s plan.

To divide and conquer.

We must never forget…the battle may be raging, but the war is already lost.
So let us not be on the wrong side of the winning vs the losing when
it is all finally said and done.
And that will require a constant need to shout the Truth while the
chosen ones attempt to silence anyone who dares to utter such a Truth.

Hate, wrongs, mistrust, division, disdain, oppression…lose each and every time.

Here’s the link to the article.


So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James 4:17

31 comments on “I witnessed a crime…

  1. hatrack4 says:

    Wow. Great story, and if you’d spoken to the girls, the other girls would have probably pummeled you with the six-packs that they had hidden under their coats.

    But when I was a ruling elder, we had several instances of theft in the church, all petty, but they added to a sizeable sum. Another elder said, “The church is in the business of helping others, and the thief needed it. Thus, the church did its job of helping the needy.”

    I thought that to be such an abomination. I couldn’t figure out whether he was sane or not. Then, I heard some gossip (gossip: probably not true but titillating). It seems that this elder’s wife was in charge of money gathering after a bazaar run by the church women’s group. A woman at one table took her money earned, including a $50 bill, and handed it to this money gathering wife of a elder. Another woman counted the money before putting the proceeds for the day in the safe. They only made a couple of hundred dollars, and none of the folding money included the $50 bill. The people selling at each table knew that they had raised a lot more than that. But, I guess the wife of the elder needed the money, so the church did what it was supposed to do and let her help herself to it. But that was just gossip…

  2. Tricia says:

    I’m gad you took the time and effort to give that girl that teacher death stare (boy am I familiar with that!), as many people would not involve themselves. That girl needed validation from a higher authority that what she was doing was wrong which you fulfilled. Even though she still stole the fruit hopefully at least some guilt went along with it.

    Now on to the nonsense of “white fragility”. I remember being in a coffee shop awhile back and seeing a young black woman reading that book, the title of which made me nearly spit out my drink. This systemic racism or sexism or whateverism theory is so poisonous to society as you so aptly put and it made me sad for the girl reading it.

    This stuff not only divides us and creates more friction, but it stunts the mental and emotional growth necessary to grow and be a better person. If everything wrong about your life can be pointed to some invisible shield called “systematic racism” than why bother with self reflection and making changes? Nothing you do will matter anyway so may as well stew in your juices and become a woke social justice warrior. But hey, you may get a book contract out of it sadly….

  3. I wholeheartedly agree. I had the privilege of mentoring several African American children and will always love them. All children whatever their color or ethnic origin must be taught right from wrong. We do them a disservice if we compromise our ethics on the basis of race.

    • I so agree Anna— I taught in a city school system for 31 years— I had a wide range of ethnicities as far as my students went— at first it was a blend of black and white but over time we grew in numbers with Hispanics as well as Muslims and Indians— yet I considered each “my kids”—-
      However the sensitivity workshops for teachers began years before I was near retirement. We were told we had misconceptions, hidden prejudices and that we must look at our black kids through new and improved lenses as the lenses we had simply seen through for all our live, looking at all our kids, were now very wrong—

      We could not fail kids but rather offer alternative assignments or tests until everyone could pass— in leveling the playing fields, as the experts now demanded, we did no one any favors despite numbers rising in all ethnic areas in improved scores— but were they really improved ?

      Teachers could no longer really punish poor behavior as office referrals were monitored and if a teacher had too many, then that teacher was called in for ‘training’— teachers were always at fault during conferences and principals rarely sided with the educator as law suits were the fear of every administration—-

      I retired 7 years ago— at the time I had real mixed emotions but I now know it was best because teaching is no longer what I recognize — I no longer recognize the kids as learners —- in the rush to “fix” the country’s school systems, we have done irreparable harm to all involved— now throw in the transgender issues within a school — what with sorting out who can or can’t play on a traditional male and or female team, who can or can’t go into a certain designated bathroom or locker room and we lost long before we started 😞

  4. oneta hayes says:

    So sad. White fragility? So if I plead guilty, I am guilty of racism. Maybe so. It used to not be so. But recent years have changed me. At this point, I probably would have pretended I did not see because I would not want to deal with the “racism” involved. Disgusting! That’s racism. Racism is letting the color of one’s skin change my behavior. I grieve what is happening to me and to society.

    • I do too Oneta— I lost a dear friend of color several years ago due to this growing insidious lunacy. It grieved me deeply because I didn’t understand— I didn’t understand the reasoning for such an uncharacteristically cold vehemence— we were colleagues and close friends— she was much younger but we had weathered many a storm, just as friend do.
      She began a doctoral program and had an extremely liberal advisor— I saw a slow shift in her views and demeanor and then there was a deep rift severing all ties— I now understand.

  5. atimetoshare.me says:

    I love it when you get riled up.

  6. Interesting, Julie. I miss the olden days, which probably never really existed, but the days when everybody watched out for one another’s children. I guess that’s more of a small town thing, but you couldn’t shop lift, everyone knows who you are, and your aunt works there anyway. The root of what you are describing is actually an inability to love people properly, a cultural restriction placed on us by the powers that be. One problem with our culture of perpetual victimhood is that people can’t receive love and wisdom from others. Ironic because what your peach stealer was probably hungry for was attention, love, some boundaries, safety, evidence we live in a civilized society that doesn’t tolerate such things.

    • There was a time, when I was still teaching, I would have known these girls but I’m now too far removed— but that teacher reflex remains—I knew they were up to no good— and you are correct in saying there is an almost unconscious desire and even need for boundaries and for actually being ‘watched over’ —that knowing sense of being wholly cared for —that is the key need in so many of these kids — in part because we have such a trend of children raising children- Yet there is such an entrenched disregard for adults, especially white adults, that they wouldn’t listen if I had said something— I saw that while still in the classroom— teachers were no longer respected let alone listened to and the administration fed into this, in part due to rising fears of the threat of being sued — this is problematic within our country’s educational system— we have empowered the ‘inmates’ while neutering the ‘keepers’ (all for a lack of a better analogy)

  7. Citizen Tom says:


    If think “white fragility” corresponds to the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. That’s a phrase coined by Michael Gerson, one of George W. Bush’s speech writers.

  8. Karen says:

    I would roll my eyes too at your friend’s statement “it was sad they wanted something healthy and probably didn’t have any fresh food at home”. While it might be true, but I seriously doubt it, I think your friend and many of mine just aren’t realistic. If they were young white girls, dressed in the latest trendy clothes, what would they say if they were the ones that stole the fruit? I’m sure our friends would come up with another excuse of why the peach was stolen.

  9. “A teacher death stare”. Oh boy, do I know that! Thanks for sharing.

  10. […] want to first thank Julie of Cookie Crumbs to Live By for tipping the scales on this one, the scales in the produce section at the grocery store, I […]

  11. Dawn Marie says:

    “Yet unfortunately, the idea of what was once perceived as wrong is now
    perfectly ok…and we make excuses as to why it is now right rather
    than wrong.” Indeed, Julie. Indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.