Friday, February 22, 2013
I have been monitoring without comment a dispute between members of this community regarding the use of unflattering characterizations of the defendant, his wife and family, and their supporters. I hoped that you all would resolve your disagreements, but you are stuck. Therefore, I am going to step in without picking a side and provide some guidance that I hope will assist all of you to settle your disagreements and refocus on Justice for Trayvon.
Although this is my blog, I am not Pharaoh and do not feel comfortable playing God. You all are good people and there is no reason that I can think of why you cannot resolve your disagreements and get back on track without causing hard feelings. To do that each side is going to have to acknowledge that the people on the other side have legitimate reasons for feeling the way they do. My take on the dispute is that no progress toward a resolution has occurred because people on both sides are focused on proving the other side is wrong.
One side believes that the defendant, his wife and family, and their supporters have demonstrated repeatedly by word and deed that they deserve to be treated with contempt. People who subscribe to this view insist that they not only have a right to express their anger and disgust, they have a duty to do so.
As one who has been viciously attacked and smeared with knowingly false allegations asserted as the truth and then repeated by sock puppets on many internet sites in the hope that the lies will acquire legitimacy by virtue of such repetition, I can say with certainty that they have no regard for the truth and no respect for anyone who disagrees with them or anyone who seeks justice for Trayvon. I have to continually struggle to keep my emotions under control because a part of me wants to retaliate and give them a reason to fear me for the rest of their lives. I am a very emotional person and I cannot deny and ignore how I feel.
I am capable of detaching, however, and when I do, I see why they have targeted me for character assassination by lie. They attack and seek to silence me because on a daily basis I expose the lies in the defendant’s statements and the weaknesses in his defense. The intensity and desperation of their attacks reflects how effective I have been. Since they have established and dedicated entire websites to spewing lies and hatred toward me, I can and do take enormous satisfaction from my accomplishments.
To me, Justice for Trayvon is about doing something to promote justice in his case. It’s not about self-validation by treating his killer, his wife and family, and their supporters with scorn and contempt. Whether the defendant and his wife have the combined intelligence of a box of rocks is not the issue. Whether they have each gained excessive weight since his arrest is not particularly noteworthy either. I know they are pathetic malcontents whose lives are going nowhere. The people who want to destroy me with lies have issues they need to deal with because their dedication to destroying good people with lies is a ticket to hell.
The other side is concerned that respectful and reasoned discussion about the evidence and the issues, which is what brought them to this site and why they remain, is degenerating. They point out that several people who ask questions and criticize others for a tendency to drift toward cliquish behavior and group-think get attacked and accused of being trolls.
I think it’s easy to judge the conduct of others when the person doing the judging is unable to understand or relate to the emotional response experienced by the person they are judging. Could the answer lie in the direction of acknowledging the validity of the emotional response while suggesting that seeking justice for Trayvon may be a more effective way of applying the energy expended on mockery and insults?
I want everyone to work through this problem to find a solution they believe in and can support.
This house will tear itself apart from the inside out if the desire for vindication precludes a mutually respectful and thoughtful discussion toward a solution that recognizes and validates the emotional reactions that lie beneath the skin.
We are here to ask questions, exchange opinions, learn new things, practice tolerance and treat each other with respect.
I am searching for a middle ground between the opposing views expressed here so that there is freedom to express righteous anger and indignation with mature restraint, tolerance and acceptance for those who occasionally get carried away, and respect for those with whom we disagree.
Finally, I hope everyone understands and accepts that sooner or later, despite best intentions or maybe because of them, each one of us is going to cross a boundary and hurt another person’s feelings or piss them off. Endeavor to cut them some slack and be as willing to forgive them their trespass as you would like them to forgive yours.
After all, since sinning is our birthright, there never is a time better than now to accept what we are, resolve to learn by our mistakes, and forgive others as we would like to be forgiven.
George Zimmerman believes that only chumps think that way. He has chosen to exist outside the collective. Sooner or later that belief leads to isolation, depression and despair beyond imagining.
The rest of us are stuck with each other and we have to learn how to live together in harmony and thank the God of our understanding that we are not George Zimmerman.