Bullies and Daughters

I don’t agree with how my daughter responded to the outcome of the election but I do understand it and share her sentiment. Half the nation went a little nuts with protesting in the streets and others writing racist epithets on other people’s property. What my daughter did was criticize people whose votes helped elect a man whom she considered to be immoral and who modeled racism and sexism. Not quite the same as throwing stones at police.

She was highly emotional in the aftermath of the recent election. She is the mother of two non-white kids, for mercy’s sake, and is not the first mother to rise up in anger when perceiving that their kids are threatened; a reasonable fear given the bigotry and bitterness on display throughout the election. Defensive mothers can be ferocious. I’m the grandpa, here, and I am every bit as fearful for my grandchildren as is their Mom and Dad.

It would be nice if one chose to walk in another’s shoes before attacking, especially when one professes to be a libertarian whose mantra is “respect the rights of others to think, believe and feel what they want.” Why not stop and think, “She’s wrong, but then I don’t know how I would feel in her situation.” Can you begin to imagine how you would feel worrying that your black son might be stopped by police at a time or place where his presence could be misconstrued?

Most adults have learned to show a little restraint and back off when someone they should care about is in the midst of an emotional crisis. They let tempers cool before chiming in with their own opinion. Others seize such occasions to stick their noses in and pick a fight with those who are vulnerable at such times and then they brand their target as a bully. They have to have their say even when they must surely know that doing so will fan the flames, escalate the intensity of such exchanges, and result in deep resentment.

Such people are instigators and it seems pretty clear to me who the real bullies are, here.