Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Answer You Would Not Expect

I've had great responses to my post about Mr. Uniformed's restaurant hijack. Many were impressed by the fact I managed to keep enough presence of mind to say compelling things instead of "F*ck You!" (me too, that doesn't always happen.) Some thought, though, that I should have said "F*ck you." Loudly.

Today I read a Washington Post article about the landlord of an abortion clinic. He gets a lot of protesters calling him at home, making creepy comments about his daughters, showing up at their schools, and generally getting in his life in a really creepy and menacing way. The article was about how he turns the tables on these people, and gets friends and other people to call the original callers back, to give them a taste of their own medicine. Apparently it's grown into a national movement. It made me think of the release of personal information about the cop who violently mis-used pepper spray at Davis, and how people were encouraged to contact him.

There's a young and angry part of me that says "Hell, yeah! Get them back! The only way to change the system is to be revolutionary, and information is the new revolution." And I love that part of me.

There's another part of me, though, that has gotten much mellower with age. That thinks that as horrible as these things are, to stoop to that level isn't really right either. That part of me has gotten a lot louder since Beatrix was born; I am not saying that parenthood does or should do that to everyone, but it certainly has to me. I love my daughter with an aching internal fire, and I would fight tooth and nail against any threat to her.

And what to do about the fact that, in either case, the situation dis-humanizes people. Are the people threatening the landlord's daughter with harm and/or death honestly able to turn off the fact that this is another person, and that this is NEVER a way to treat someone else, no matter how little respect you have for them? Is the counter-response equally de-humanizing?

So, for me, do I take the "safe" route and put protecting my daughter paramount? Or do I take some risks, in order to (hopefully) make the world a better place for her?

What are you doing?

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