Thursday, May 8, 2014

No one "deserves" mockery or ridicule—though bullies and thugs always say their victims deserve what they get

At This Needs to Be Said » Balloon Juice, I gave one of my stock replies to someone who claimed Freddie deBoer got “the ridicule he deserves”:
I’ll stick with Malcolm X’s advice: “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” If deBoer hasn’t put a hand on you, he doesn’t deserve ridicule. Though I realize there are people who think ridicule is the reason for the web.
I just googled "deserves mockery" and "deserves ridicule". Both give over a million hits. Some people love the idea that their targets deserve to be abused, but when I think of who deserves ridicule, I remember this bit from Shakespeare:
POLONIUS
My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

HAMLET
God’s bodykins, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
 A few more quotes:

"Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities." —Oscar Wilde

"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." —Frederick Douglass

"When you're mean and when you ridicule people it's a sign of your own insecurities." —Nicki Minaj

"Ridicule is the first and last argument of a fool." —Charles Simmons

"Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches." —Milan Kundera

Related: Respect everyone