I have been writing on this site since 2017, and for longer on another blog.
I was told a few months back that some of my colleagues had “found out” about my blog and were afraid to be in the same building as I was.
At the time I thought it was foolish. They all knew me and worked with me. I was not an unknown person. But more recently I have realized that, yes, people can be genuinely afraid.
So let’s talk about violence.
It has never even remotely entered my mind to hurt a colleague physically. Never. Not even the colleague who told me that I (me, this writer) “just don’t like those little brown people from south of the border.” The idea of hurting a colleague — or anyone — is abhorrent to me. And it troubles me not a little that I should even have to address this. But I do have to address this. Some of you feel afraid, and I respect you enough not to mock your feelings or to tell you that you shouldn’t feel the way you feel.
Try that in a marriage: “Honey, you shouldn’t be angry at me because . . . .” No, she feels angry. Her feelings are real. Telling someone they shouldn’t feel the way the feel isn’t helpful.
Violence is a theoretical concept to me. I do write about it. But I don’t practice it. I have no experience hurting people. (OK, my last fight was 40 years ago as a drunken frat boy and I got whipped). I have worked with people I disagree with for my entire life. Not just my current employer, but in Grad school as well. I’m used to being the odd-man out on matters that truly interest me. I keep my opinions out of the work place almost entirely.
Yet, a thinking man — to be a thinking man — must speak publicly.
I don’t talk about my employer because, frankly, my interests lie upstream from politics and policy. I’m interested in philosophy and linguistics and theology and history and go wherever I think I need to go with those things. A broad field indeed.
I take responsibility for my ideas, and for the consequences of how my ideas affect me. I knew what I was getting into when I started writing publicly and I fully understand that there would be pushback. I’m OK with that. I need to write — in Maslow’s hierarch of needs, writing is my self-actualization.
But I will never hurt you.
Anyway, I’ve addressed it.