It’s an open letter! It’s an analysis! It’s a warning! It’s a manifesto! It’s fodder for debate!
Veteran Ethics Alarms commenter and provocateur Steve-O-in NJ is in fine form in his smoking Comment of the Day on the post, “And THIS Is Why Critical Race Theory Needs To Be Banned In Our Schools.”
Here it is:
You know, this is as good a time as any for me to reveal my open letter to the people behind this indoctrination and those who go along with it.
Hello out there:
You might not know me, but I’m your neighbor. I’m the one neighbor who doesn’t get talked about as someone you should accept and be decent to. I’m not your black neighbor, your Jewish neighbor, your gay neighbor, or your Asian neighbor, though I could also be any of those things, and I’m definitely not your neighbor who is here illegally. I’m your neighbor you think is a decent person, but know little about, or who keeps to himself, or who you really don’t think much about at all.
I’m your neighbor who might have given you a hand when you were hauling that huge piece of furniture up an awkward stair, or helped you shovel out after the last blizzard, or who kept an eye on the place while you and your family took that long-awaited trip to Disney. I’m your neighbor who stood across the street and clapped when the Memorial Day parade went by, or took from the same urn of lemonade at the town picnic, or stood twenty feet away from you as most of the town sang Christmas carols at the tree lighting. To all appearances I’m just an ordinary person, who goes to work, comes home, gets the kids off to school, and does all the things ordinary people do.However, I have a confession.
There is a terrible secret behind that white-painted door. A truth too terrible to mention lurks in the dimly lit hall. Something horrible awaits at the bottom of those steep wooden stairs that lead down to the laundry room and the basement closet that hasn’t been opened in who knows how long. What is it? Am in the Federal Witness Protection Program because I saw something I shouldn’t have? Do I belong to a second “family,” the kind that makes offers no one can refuse, in addition to my own? Do I secretly hold a 00 license, and any day might I get the phone call that sends me on an incredibly dangerous mission vital to the security of the West? Am I something supernatural, like a vampire? No, it’s something even worse than any of those things: I voted for Donald Trump for president, and I think both attempts to impeach him were wrong.
How could that be, right? I don’t seem like an evil person. I never said anything openly hateful. I never really said much about politics at all. This doesn’t make any sense. Do you feel shock, that a to all appearances decent person could commit this cardinal sin of cardinal sins? Do you feel betrayed, that a person like me could go about his life under your very nose and never say a word about it? Do you feel disgusted, that maybe you exchanged a few words or a handshake with me under what would otherwise be normal circumstances, and now you’re somehow polluted? Do you feel angry, like you want to run out your door and either attack me or scream at me to set me straight on a few things? Do you feel like you want to vandalize my house or car or harass my family, like you want to drive me out of the neighborhood, anywhere but here? Do you see me in a different light now? Am I a racist, a xenophobe, or just a plain Nazi? Are you asking yourself where I went wrong, or where my parents went wrong, or what did I experience that messed me up so badly?
If you’re thinking any of this, I have a few questions of my own.
When did a difference of opinion, or the decision as to who to vote for become a capital offense? When did choosing a different candidate than you become grounds to treat someone like a cross between a leper and an untouchable? What makes you think that the kind of thug tactics that any number of organizations used to bully those they disagreed with are perfectly all right when directed against another American who you disagree with?
Let me shine a light on two facts that seem to have gotten lost in all of this. Hatred is hatred, and bullying is bullying, no matter the target or the justification. Don’t give me that crap about punching a Nazi being inherently virtuous or that hatred of hatred isn’t hatred. The minute I pledge allegiance to some mythical forever Aryan regime, or start beating people up I disagree with, or I attempt the mass murder of those different from me, feel free to race to their defense. Having different heroes than you isn’t the same as pledging allegiance to some mythical regime that wasn’t and can never be. Disagreeing regarding policy issues that aren’t as cut and dried as you think they are isn’t the same as beating up those I disagree with. Saying that I don’t buy the ideology you swear absolute fealty to isn’t anywhere near taking even one life, leave alone the attempted genocide and violent destruction of any race.
What’s funny here is that you never once look into the mirror at what you yourself are doing, or set up the mirror to look at what you are doing vis-a-vis what you accuse me of doing. You’re the same folks who said it was perfectly okay to refuse to display allegiance to the flag, in fact that it was praiseworthy to seek attention by a public display of disloyalty. However, you also demanded that everyone utter the phrase “black lives matter,” and if they refused, or if they said “all lives matter,” or some other phrase, you accused them of racism or white supremacy.
You’re the same people who cheered on “mostly peaceful” protests that reduced downtown Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, NYC, and a bunch of other places to ashes and got over 40 people killed, then quoted the meaningless statistic that only 7% of the demonstration and protests got violent. Tell me, if you struck your partner and injured him/her only 7 days out of every 100, would that mean your relationship was a “mostly peaceful” one?
You’re the same people who called an outright secession enforced by armed thugs the “summer of love” and “democracy in action,” and cheered on attempts to burn down a Federal courthouse. You’re the same people who cheered damage to DC unseen since the British burned the place in the War of 1812 and sneered when the President was moved to a secure place when it looked like the security of the White House might be compromised. Yet when one protest by those you disagree with got out of hand, did a lot less damage, and didn’t rack up anything like the death toll of these riots, you called it treason, insurrection, and a million of the worst possible political sins, and called for blood. You acted like you were horrified that members of Congress performing a “sacred duty” had to flee, and even now, Washington D.C. looks like an armed camp, with plans for it to stay one until at least the fall, no reasons given. You’re the same people who tried for four years to undo the 2016 election, by claiming Russian involvement, claiming the President was insane or unfit, claiming this or that. You even ran ridiculous ads calling for the electors to break with the results of the 2016 election and throw it to the loser. Yet, when Trump said he didn’t buy the results of an election that involved huge amounts of unsecure mail-in ballots, in which Big Tech ran interference for his opponent, in which the media put its thumb (actually its whole fist, but that’s just keeping score) on the scales against him, in which there was an overnight blackout just as it looked like he was about to win the swing states, after which they all flipped, you said he was a dictator and an authoritarian. We’ll never really know if or mow seriously the election was compromised, because case after case was thrown out on procedural grounds, before the record could be developed. But you know they were “laughed out of court,” so they must have had no merit, right?
You’re the same people who said to lay off Bill Clinton when he committed adultery and perjury, because he had important work to do, but impeached Trump twice, once over a conversation, once with no investigation, and are still grumbling that the other side twice failed to “get on the right side of history” and convict. Well, this is where the road forks. I’ve been content to just go my way and leave you to go yours, despite the fact that for a while I’ve known every time you look at me you’re calling me all sorts of hateful, ignorant, profane names in your head, and awarding yourself points for thinking them up and bonus points for a particularly cruel one. I even tried to reach out and be fundamentally decent. What changed my mind was that LA Times op-ed about how someone like me did something nice for someone like you without being asked to do it, and not only did the recipient of the favor not reciprocate (which is okay because the Boy Scouts—you know, that group you and your allies trashed and made continued existence impossible for because it was pitched only at boys?—taught not to do a good turn in the hope of receiving a tip or other service in return) but squirmed at owing an obligation even of simple gratitude to someone they didn’t agree with. That article ended with the idea that giving a quick thank you and a wave was more than the person he disagreed with deserved, because that person was just that bad, and, until that person reformed and came over to where he was, he was persona non grata.
You’re the kind of jerk who back in college would nod with a stony face to a greeting, pass the salt when asked, and murmur a noncommittal “hmmmm” before turning away from someone like me, like civility to those you disagree with was a sin. We’re not pedophiles, we’re not convicted felons, we’re not terrorists, we’re not traitors, we’re not seditionists, and we’re not lepers. We’re done accepting you treating us worse than you’d treat almost any of those people and applauding yourselves for doing it. You stay on your side of the fence, and we’ll stay on ours. Henceforth, don’t talk to us, don’t come near us, don’t even look at us. Expect no favors from us, unasked for or asked for. If you need someone to babysit your kids while you attend some necessary event, or give you a ride somewhere because your car is in the shop, or give you a hand installing that huge flatscreen TV, or to hold the ladder while you trim the hedges. Don’t ask, because the answer will be no. Don’t be surprised when we walk right past you and say not one word. Also don’t be surprised if one day we up and leave, because honestly, although you may think you’re such a good person that anyone should be honored to be in your presence, it’s really no fun at all to live with someone who hates you, looks down his nose at you, and thinks you are a cross between Alfred E. Neumann and the Emperor Palpatine.
I’d much rather live among like-minded or at least neutral people, or out in the country where you don’t really see your neighbors, and when you do, you mind your own business.
I’d say have a nice life, but I really don’t care two clods of dirt whether, when, where, or how you live or die.