Thursday, April 4, 2013

about people who think death threats are less important than jokes

SJWs say anything that doesn't support their ideology is derailing. In the comments at Locus Online Perspectives » An Apology, death threats are dismissed by several SJWs as being less important than an April Fool's joke. I suspect those people have never gotten death threats. I have, three times:

1. When my family was part of the civil rights struggle, we got anonymous phone calls from people who claimed to belong to the Ku Klux Klan. Dad taught me how to carry the shotgun to him if they came. They never did, maybe because he spread the word about the shotgun. But we still couldn't get fire insurance because the word was out that the Klan would burn us down.

2. When I wrote Captain Confederacy, I got a letter from someone denouncing it as an offense to the Confederacy and the white race. It was written with a William F. Buckley over-the-top conservative literary style that I rather admired, which suggested to me that the writer's satisfaction came from the writing, so I didn't worry. But I did wonder a few times if there might've been something more serious behind it.

3. During Racefail '09, I got a furious threat in email that I deleted because I suspected it was only an extreme form of slacktivism. If I hadn't had the two earlier experiences, I would've taken it more seriously. But it was still troubling, and it made me watch for more craziness from that community. People committed to a faith sometimes do horrible things to prove their commitment. When Emma and I went to a Wisconsin convention after that, the staff, entirely unbidden, assured us they would keep an eye out, and we were grateful.

So really, if your cult rationalizes death threats in the service of your cause, discussing your tactics is not derailing.