Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Whose side are really you on? And who's really on yours?

This incident happened here in Tampa last week:
"A lesbian couple leaving the Jimmie B. Keel Library on Monday night said they found a harassing note on their windshield..." (read more by clicking here) - ABC Action News (WFTS TV, Tampa)
A friend of mine, who is a lesbian, was understandably alarmed and posted the article above as well as the following comment to her Facebook wall:
"This happened here. What a complete coward and ignorant moron."
That's it. That is her comment on the situation in its entirety.
Here are the first two replies she received in response from friends...
"I'm a republican, but not all Republicans think that way. There are many very narrow-minded people out there, both Republicans and Democrats... John Q Republican [alluding to the anonymous signature on the note mentioned in the story - CB] is a ball-less human being."
"Horrible, but do not lump us Republicans in together. These are just people with limited ability to be compassionate and tolerant. Unfortunately, I see this kind of behavior on both sides of the aisle."
That's funny. Nobody said anything about Republicans. Anybody else find it an unnecessarily defensive reaction from these two people to defend the Republican Party, in spite of the fact that there are no references to any political party (other than the faux "signature" on the note mentioned in the story), critical or otherwise, in the story or my friend's re-posting of it?

More troubling, to me is that they felt the need to do that first, instead of acknowledging that their friend has a legitimate reason to be pissed off/worried/disappointed etc. about the incident itself. Rather than offer comfort and support to a friend who has expressed apprehension about a pretty clearly expressed threat, they chose to stand up on behalf of their party affiliation. The only reasonable explanation I can come up with for feeling the need to do that is a guilty conscience. I wonder if they believe that their 'side' would have their back if they were threatened, to a greater extent than an actual friend (without the quotes). If so, I pity them. For one reason, they're sadly mistaken and there's no way to learn that than the hard way. Second, obviously they have no real friends.

Regardless, making something not about you by making it about you (or some group with whom you choose to align) isn't showing compassion or tolerance. It's preemptively covering your ass because you're more worried about getting some stink on you than you are about the legitimate concerns of somebody you label a 'friend'. And if that's you, you're at least as much of a coward as the piece of shit leaving anonymous hate notes.

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