When I was young, I was always taught to treat others kindly, no matter what their financial status or appearance.
Prejudice is an ugly trait, and the idea of being horrible to another human being for no reason is one I’ve never been able to understand.
I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. In fact, there are millions of people like me. Billions, even. We are the majority, fortunately.
Which is why it’s little surprise that the internet reacted fiercely when footage was uploaded showing a homeless man having a bucket of cold water poured over him in a Dunkin Donuts.
The man, named Jeremy Dufresne, reportedly often stops at the Dunkin Donuts in Syracuse, New York. On the occasion in question, however, he was abused by an employee of the chain simply because he was resting his head on his hands as he waited for his phone to charge.
The incident, which took place last year, saw Dufresne enter a Dunkin Donuts establishment so that he could charge his phone and get some warmth in his body.
According to reports, he was charging his phone so he could call his mom to tell her good night. He says he only put his head down for a minute.
It was then that one of the workers dumped a bucket of water on his head.
“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne said, as per Syracuse.com.
“And he took it out on someone else, like me.”
Making matters worse, the employee was filmed doing it, laughing as he upturned the bucket. The video was posted to Facebook, with the intent being to get more people to laugh at Dufresne. Instead, they immediately leapt to his defence.
The employee responsible, Shakeen Robbins, was fired for his actions, though he said after he deeply regrets what he did.
Dufresne, meanwhile, said he understands Robbins was likely just having a bad day.
Since the video went viral (it garnered more than five million views on Facebook) Dufresne’s ordeal has been seen by many.
This includes NGO-founder Al-Amin Muhammad, who runs We Rise Above the Streets, an organization dedicated to helping the homeless. A GoFundMe Page was set up for Dufresne, one which reportedly made more than $24,500 against its goal of just $150.
Sadly, things like this happen every day all around the world, and it’s all we can do to highlight and stop them when we get the chance.
I really hope Robbins knows he did wrong, and that he’s learnt his lesson.
Please share this story to let all know that it’s never OK to bully people simply because they’re not as fortunate as you.