Their caricatures of me aren’t me.

Their caricatures of me aren’t me. November 21, 2012

Language is powerful, and so, when we find ourselves with enemies, we use their own language against them. Oppressive people do this to me often.

They tell me I must tolerate their hateful, abusive religious beliefs.

They tell me that speaking out against their slurs is taking away their free speech. 

They say I must coexist by remaining friends with people who actively work to take away the rights of my other friends.

They call me a bad pacifist when I get angry (even if I do not act out in violence). They tell me that to be anti-war, I must stop fighting altogether.

They say that if I love someone, I should forgive them and give them chance after chance, regardless of whether or not they change.

But I won’t give up these concepts that easily. I am not the “anything goes” liberal that they try to caricature me as. I am gifted with discernment. I have a clear picture of what I know is right and wrong, and I use these words and concepts within the context of that picture.

I am not tolerant of injustice.

I don’t respect free speech when it’s hate speech.

I won’t coexist with bigots and misogynists.

Just because I am anti-war does not mean that I will not non-violently fight back in society’s wars on women and other oppressed groups.

It is not love to allow someone to continue to abuse or oppress me or others.

By twisting my words, they try to paint me as “wishy-washy,” “limp-wristed,” too weak or cowardly to take a stance against evil. But I think they do that because, deep down, they know I’m not too weak or too cowardly. I think they hide behind my own words because they know their caricatures of me aren’t me.


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  • I struggle a lot in this area. I hardly speak out because I don’t want to be too aggressive, so I do the exact opposite and be extremely passive! I’m learning to be more assertive with my criticism.

    Also, the part about coexisting with bigots cuts to the bone for me. Not because I am a bigot, but because for years I’ve tried being buddies with them. Now granted I do have some friends who are more conservative than I am on certain topics, but we are able to discuss things in a civil manner. But guys like Chris Rosebrough? I stopped talking to him a long time ago.

  • Well said. Amen, and boy howdy.

  • Rae

    Yes, this! I have the “freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from criticism” discussion, or with libertarians, the “freedom of speech means freedom from ~government~ interference with your speech, but private entities can react however they want” discussion.

    And, this is completely off-topic, but WHERE in the world did you get that Coexist thing in the photo? I looooove it! (I have a t-shirt with a similar concept, but not with Serenity on it!)

    • I don’t know. My fiance got it for me. I’ll have to ask him when he gets off work.