The same bullies who booed Martin O’Malley off the stage at the Netroots convention a few weeks ago for saying “all lives matter” and the mob that shoved the elderly socialist Bernie Sanders off the stage for basically being too white (I guess?) are now spreading their hateful tentacles into my family. Last week my 21-year-old son was called a racist, a terrorist, and was compared to a Jew who was defending the German Gestapo, simply because of some comments he made on Facebook in response to this tweet:
— gregory_a_k (@gregory_a_k) August 10, 2015
My son said a bunch of (apparently) hateful, racist things like:
I ran into this tweet the other day and it frightened me. The fact that people are even willing to say this makes me sick to my stomach. The police are human…they make mistakes. Yes, their mistakes have typically worse consequences, but do you think an officer is proud or happy when he has to shoot a suspect? He has to live with that for the rest of his/her life.
(How could I have raised such a monster?)
He also made this (allegedly) terror-inducing comment:
How is this bringing peace and awareness to your cause? Shutting down speeches, cities, and highways all in the name of “justice”? Striking fear into the hearts of our police and getting whatever you want because the police are afraid to make arrests? How is this fair to the country, having people running around abolishing anything orderly and screaming for their cause? This movement, if it keeps going the way it is, will make for a downward spiral for the country. Cities will be shut down, the police will have no authority over criminals. I mean, do you realize what you’re fighting for? Essentially the only way to stop police killings is to destroy the police.
He added, “This may not always be a fair country, but it’s the one I love.”
Horrifying, isn’t it? (You can blame either the eleven years he was homeschooled or the two years he went to public school, depending upon whether or not you agree with him.)
Some guy my son doesn’t even know — a Ferguson protester who lives in Indianapolis…and teaches public school — responded to my son’s Facebook comment and basically told him that he’d better learn his place (his place is to sit down and shut up).
I especially like the “racists who look like YOU” part. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be so proud that the movement he led to ensure people would be judged by the content of their character is now dominated by activists who believe only “black lives matter” and that people should be judged solely by the color of their skin.
Of course, this bothers me as a mother because I know my son is not a racist (nor is he a terrorist or a Gestapo sympathizer in case anyone is keeping track). But it also bothers me as an American. My son wasn’t being rude or disrespectful. He wasn’t using foul language or calling anyone names. He was calling for dialogue and understanding. Instead of a dialogue, this Facebook stranger (who has a picture on his Facebook page of that roasted pig wearing a cop hat) hurled epithets at my son and told him to shut up. That kind of rhetoric (if it can even be called that) does nothing to promote understanding or build bridges between people who disagree. It only brings about division and anger and ensures that these wounds will continue to fester. In a democratic society — as in a healthy adult relationship — “be quiet and listen” only works when both sides willingly agree to those terms and they take turns listening to one another. When one side forcefully imposes that standard on the other — and especially if the reason for doing so is because of something immutable like skin color — the result is a very unbalanced relationship — and, as we’re seeing, an egregiously unhealthy country.