For most of my life, I’ve been a radical pacifist. I believed that violence was literally the very last of last resorts… that violence should only ever be committed by you if, and only if, you are directly being attacked and are directly fighting for your life… and even then, you should commit the barest minimum amount of violence possible, working only to save yourself rather than hurt them.
But then we reached 2012, and Trayvon Martin was murdered by a man who was all but given a ticker tape parade for it, and was acquitted in 2013, sparking #BlackLivesMatter.
And then 2014 rolled around, and Michael Brown and Eric Garner were murdered by the police and there were no consequences.
And then there was 2015, and Baltimore, and I wrote the post White Supremacy and Violence (that’s the original link, not the most recent one with edits, which you can find here). That really should have been my first clue that my pacifism was being challenged, but it wasn’t.
The challenge wouldn’t play out publicly, or even consciously, until much more recently. No, not Richard Spencer getting punched in the face. It was when a preacher got wacked upside the head with an aluminum baseball bat. I found it impossible to feel bad for said preacher, and even wrote it about here on this blog. The reality is that I felt some level of schadenfreude for it, and didn’t, and still don’t, feel bad for that. I could only laugh at the preacher, having felt, and actually still feel, that, while he may not necessarily have deserved an aluminum bat to the head, he absolutely deserved something more than a tongue-lashing.
I went back to being quiet about it, not really thinking about the fact that, after that post, I couldn’t really justify calling myself a pacifist.