>The story of Linda Brown is a sad one, but not on the subject of mental illness as you might think. It’s a sad statement about how many of us are selfish assholes.
Linda Brown drove up to a clothing store in a hummer, walked in and announced that she had won the lottery and wanted to buy up to $500 worth of merchandise for each person. Everybody thought this was awesome and started grabbing stuff and phoning their friends telling them to come down and take advantage of the deal. All carts were grabbed and started getting filled. Lines were snaking everywhere. She spent several thousand until her debit card reached its limit. Then she left the store, austensibly to get more money. Then it was discovered that she had not won the lottery, she in fact was mentally ill, and couldn’t pay for all this stuff. Cue the mayhem! Some people started throwing stuff. Most just walked out of the store. Police had to be called to control the crowd. Store employees had to clean up the resulting mess for a day and a half.
And we call ourselves civilized. This is what we do when we think we’ll get a bargain. Why don’t we go ahead and trample a Wal-Mart greeter or steal the groceries of a man while he dies? Oh yeah, we already did. And the thing is it’s not like we’re all starving and desperate. At least then, the descent into animal-like behaviour could be excused. These people were at a clothing store just shopping like normal human beings when this happened, and then they all turned into assholes, and then savages when it wasn’t to be.
I would hope that, if I was in that store, I would not have acted like such a tool. I at least hope that once the atmosphere of being in a group of people all doing the same thing had cleared away, people felt guilty for their behaviour.