Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Living Godwin's Law

Today, while I was walking from the West End BPL branch to Whole Foods, a woman in the sidewalk blocked my path. She was holding a poster with Obama's face on it, and with Hitler's iconic mustache scribbled on. "Excuse me, what do you think of Obama's mustache?" she asked me.

"It's pretty offensive," I replied as I stepped away and continued on my path. But then I stopped and realized, "No, that's not enough of how I feel about it." And so I turned around and called out to her, intent on making it clear that it wasn't that I was a commie liberal (although I totally am, and completely proud of it); it was that I'm Jewish.

Of course, she pointedly ignored me, even when I was inches away from her. I should have known that would be her tactic, to avoid doing anything except offend the residents of the city of Boston.

I've been feeling angry and violated the whole rest of the day, so far. And for several reasons.

- By refusing to acknowledge me, because I said I found the poster offensive, this woman made it clear that she's not interested in discussion. She's not interested in talking about the issues. Again, she's not even interested in recognizing that anyone who disagrees with her has anything legitimate to say. Anyone who disagrees with her is less-than, and can be ignored as an inconsequential, unimportant, worthless person.

- I did not choose to engage with her at any point in time; she stood in my path and insisted, physically and verbally, that I engage with her. It is quite rude and unacceptable to push yourself in someone's face, interrupt them as they are going about their lives, accost strangers whom you do not know, with the actual hope that you might offend them. It is even worse to do so and then pointedly refuse to let the person engage on their on terms.

- There are several family members that I never met, and several more that never existed, because of Adolf Hitler. I'm not alone (certainly, my family didn't fare NEARLY as badly as many other families, no question), and Jews are not alone. And what that means is that whatever the point of the Obama-Hitler posters (apparently, if you can't use logic and reason to validate your angry feelings against someone, you just draw on the mustache!), the main result is that you harass, offend, hurt, and trigger many, many, MANY people who either survived the Holocaust, lost family members or friends, or simply belong to one of the groups that was deemed undesireable, that Hitler tried to eradicate. How the fuck does that achieve anything?

Either way, I'm still livid. I'm even more livid that this woman is probably very happy that she got a reaction out of me (damn commie liberals, right?), and she probably sleeps very well at night believing that she's helping a good cause. And even worse, she's one of many; she's not the root of any problem, just the offshoot that I had to deal with.

When things like this happen, there's not much I can do about it. I'm obviously going to keep standing up for my rights. I'm obviously going to keep talking about this incident to remind people that regardless of whether you agree with someone policies, you don't have the right to harass people. And I'm going to keep being a liberal commie super-feminist. This person may have succeeded in her completely pointless and questionably-ethical plan to piss me off, but she also succeeded in just making me more dedicated to CRUSHING EVERYONE LIKE HER BWAHAHAHAHA!

So, good job, evil Nazi-poster asshole.

(Godwin's Law, originally referring to internet discussions, states that as a discussion or argument continues on and on, and gets longer and longer, eventually, someone will make a comparison to Hitler/Nazism, regardless of whether or not said comparison is legitimate.)

1 comment:

  1. How horrible. I'm so sorry you had to encounter that. I don't understand that kind of mentality--the idea of purposefully hurting random strangers is alien to me. But I seem to see it more and more. I don't know if I'm just more aware, or if it really is becoming more common.

    Incidentally, I'm here from Shakesville where I've really enjoyed your comments.