I was thinking back, and the first time I ever waded into the political discussion waters online was in early September 1995, which means it’s been about 2 months shy of 23 years. At first, I argued in several forums on what was initially called the ‘Net, but mostly, I argued on Usenet, which is all but dead these days for anyone not illegally downloading movies or porn.
In my 23 years, I have generally been relatively civil. You can tell from this blog that my demeanor tends to be rather laid back and I don’t wish harm on people or anything like that. On the other hand, in my 23 years online, right-wingers have, quite literally NEVER been civil. I got my first credible death threat early on, in November 1995; from a former Florida cop and member of “The Order” (who assassinated KOA radio host Alan Berg) decided that my name, “Milton” meant I had to be a “Jew,” and therefore I needed to be exterminated. Then, a few years later, another miscreant, also from Florida, decided he wanted to stalk me and he did. He followed me all over the Internet for years. For a while, he found out where I worked and pumped a right wing co-worker (she proudly told everyone she used to work for Ken Starr, to give you an idea) for information. I figured it out when she suddenly started coming into my office out of the blue and asked about my personal life, and I started feeding her bullshit, which, sure enough, started appearing in his posts about me. To this day, more than a decade after that, he continues to maintain an archive of everything I have ever posted and posts out-of-context snippets, in a bid to make me “look bad.” Of course, it doesn’t work, unless the recipient chooses to believe them. A few years ago, a lefty journalist used those very snippets to attack me on a blog he made up just for me to “discredit” me. I am still having to screen comments on this blog because right wingers (and a few left wing extremists) continue to attack me mercilessly. They and my stalker have no idea that I took back my power a long time ago, and that I really don’t care anymore.
Of course, I have that ability because I am a recipient of white privilege. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be a Person of Color and be smeared constantly by the right wing and the Republican Party and pretty much be forced to own your fate.
I just have one question when it comes to “civility”?
Why are all of the calls for civility pointing in one direction? Why do they always point left?
I can’t tell you how many emails I get, taking me to task for using “bad language.” The first response I usually give is, “they’re just words.” And they are. They’re fun to use, but in the end, the word “fuck” is a printed series of letters or a harsh sound that lasts nanosecond. However, what strikes me about the people who bitch (oops – bad word) about my use of language is that they equate not using foul language with “civility.”
Really, who is more civil, really? Sarah Sanders, who, as Trump’s Press Secretary, lies on a regular basis and demands that we believe it, or Lewis Black, whose act contains a long string of profanity? That’s easy; I would trust Lewis Black to babysit my small child; I’m not sure I would trust Sanders, since she might lie to them and traumatize them. Hell; for all we know, she might even decide they’re “too brown” and put them in a cage in a Texas warehouse.
Civility is about how you treat people. If you want people to be civil to you, you have to be civil to them. And no; it is not “civil” to slander the first Black president for eight solid years. It is not “civil” to slander and call the first serious woman candidate for president with lies and nicknames like “crooked Hillary.” It is not “civil” to shout “lock her up” at your convention. And it is not “civil” blame “the Democrats” for everything under the sun, because that’s a lie. Just yesterday on Twitter, someone told a blatant lie, and when I called out the lie, they called me a “Nazi” and I blocked them.
Lying is not “civil.” Calling people out who uncover your lying is in no way “civil.” Yet, we have a “president” who, as of the weekend, has told 3,251 verified and documented lies to the American people since taking office. (Source) That’s not “civil.” He insults good people on a regular basis. Just yesterday, while lying about Maxine Waters, he also called her a “low-IQ Individual.” Is that civil? I’m pretty sure it’s not.
See, when I first started discussing politics online, the “uncivil” right wingers largely acted like assholes anonymously. They would make up a fake name, establish a fake email address and then smear people as if they were anonymous. Trump has made it okay for right wing assholes to be right wing assholes in public.
And let’s be clear here; “civility” is only an option, it’s not a requirement. I agree with Maxine Waters; if you see a Trump apologist, treat them as you would treat anyone who is a racist, bigoted asshole, short of violence. If you don’t want to wait on them where you work, then don’t.
- They support an evil that was visited on this nation as the result of an electoral mistake, combined with copious amounts of cheating.
- They support a policy on the border that is absolutely illegal, even before you account for ripping innocent children away from their parents and otherwise terrorizing them.
- They support a trade policy that is already having a negative effect on the economy and they support tax policy that guarantees growing debt and deficits for the foreseeable future.
- They support a man (i am using the word loosely) who thinks the heart of our justice system, due process, can be discarded when it becomes inconvenient to his xenophobia.
- They support a man who is wholly incompetent and who thinks he knows so much, no one can tell him a thing.
- They support a man who praises police for their excesses, if he mentions anything at all.
- They support a man who trashes our closest allies and who openly embraces brutal, murderous dictators and praises them for their strength,
- They support a man who, again, has told an average of 6-7 verifiable lies PER DAY to the American people.
- They support a man who has shown time and time again that he simply does not care about the people he works for.
- They support a man who violates the law and the Constitution daily by using his office to siphon taxpayer money from the Treasury.
- They support a man who kowtows to white supremacists and who has brought more than a few of them into the White House. One of them actually crafted his border policy.
- They support a man who stands accused by nearly two dozen women of rape and/or sexual assault and who bragged about his proclivity for sexual assault to Billy Bush, as witnessed by millions on national TV.
- They support a man – and in fact, an administration – that has not been held accountable for anything, including the abandonment of Puerto Rico ((and to a lesser extent the US Virgin Islands) in the wake of devastating hurricanes nearly a year ago.
We have a “president” and a regime in place right now that actively works against the people of the United States and who are actively working against the principles this nation was founded upon. They’re not even close to civil to the American people, why should we be forced to be civil to them. Fuck them and everything they represent. As I keep saying, I’ll show respect to the “president” when the guy who’s currently “presidenting” shows respect for the office. And I will start being civil to racist right wing assholes when they become civil to everyone else. That means, when hell freezes over. Like Maxine Waters, we should never be violent, but while they’re undermining our country and all it stands for, feel free to get in their face and let them know…
The Trump regime is an evil shit show and we intend to flush all of it as soon as is humanly possible. What the Trump regime is, is not who we are. And fighting incivility is itself “civil,” by definition.
Also published on Medium.