A few days ago I posted a piece on my personal blog. It was a piece that expressed my feelings of fear and outrage at the result of our recent presidential election. I did not force anyone to read it, and I don’t have a large following. But the trolls found it, and it was picked up by the conservative website campusreform.org. The “reporter” cut and pasted parts of the piece and put them on the site. She tried to contact me for comment but I refused to engage, as a quick scan of campusreform.org told me everything I needed to know: It is a place where people incite hatred toward anyone who leans liberal, and their mission seems to be to get academics fired for having opinions that differ from theirs.
Within the hour, hateful and threatening messages were arriving in my Twitter feed, my inbox, and on my Facebook page. Here’s a taste - Warning: some of the language is offensive:
“Scumbags like you need to be dragged behind the building and have the scum and stupid kicked out of you, you filthy trash.”
“The more inane shit you write, the less people will pay attention. You are at a 10 on the stupid shit meter-maybe dial it back to a 7.”
“Jess Kapp is a dope. The liberals are going “full retard” this year. They must have just watched Tropic Thunder together.”
“Wow, this dumb c**t has a lot of repressed sexual problems...”
“That’s right, baby cakes, and there is NOTHING you can do about it. All you’ll be able to do for the next four years is whine.”
“Ms. Kapp is not a professor. She is a senior lecturer, which means she is not in a tenure track position. She seems to be mostly in a supine position…she should keep her mental knees together.”
“Good to know she will be out of a job soon.”
“Oh, a Huff Post contributor, that explains it. The place where the staff are all white lesbians that hate men.”
These comments attack my intellect, my sexuality, my gender, and my livelihood. They are dripping with misogyny and hate. They are nothing more than echoes of the hateful rhetoric we have heard from Mr. Trump for months on end—words that we, as a nation, allowed him to speak and then validated by voting him into office.
When I posted my piece on my personal blog, I was exercising my first amendment rights, and I have no problem with anyone, liberal or conservative, doing the same. I am a strong believer in the first amendment. What I do have a problem with is hate speech and threats, and the validation of such behavior.
I have absolutely no problem with someone being republican, conservative, or religious. I have friends and family that are all of these things, and I love them and respect their views. I grew up going to church, and find great comfort in many of the things I learned through faith. The most important thing I learned? Be kind to others. Do not do harm to others. As a moral human being, I would never threaten to take someone behind a dumpster and beat them up for having a difference of opinion. The hatred has to stop. The lies have to stop. The disseminating of false information has to stop. The notion that knowledge is bad, science is bad, women are bad, homosexuality is bad, different religions are bad, different skin color is bad, different ethnicities are bad, and education is bad, have to stop.
What is happening in this country right now is but the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. It is not about republican versus democrat, it is about disavowing hate. If our president-elect and the people he chooses to lead with him don’t represent this, then we need to speak loudly to reject them as leaders of this great nation.
And if our president-elect is allowed to rant unchecked, why shouldn’t we all be allowed to respond in our own peaceful, non-violent way? I hope more of us will choose to do so.