Monday, November 26, 2012

Labels




I was raised in the south in the days when certain people were not afforded the same rights as others.
Every Sunday, I would ride with my grandfather to the parts of town where these folks lived,  and we sold them eggs and vegetables from his farm. They took me into their home and bounced me on their knee and fixed me food.  I can close my eyes and taste it today.
On Saturday, when farmers congregated at the county seat,  I was not allowed to acknowledge that these folks existed. They knew what the score was. They couldn't acknowledge our existence either.





Back in those days they put labels on Iodine bottles to deliver the message that the contents of the bottle were poisonous.  So poisonous that there needed to be a warning that transcended language so people wouldn't drink the stuff. Something that any one could decipher. Even a child.


They settled on the skull and cross bones.
I understand the discrimination that labels foster. I understand that it is dangerous to apply labels that only reflect the ignorance of an misinformed society.
When the clear and present danger someone represents to the people around them, far exceeds the cost of typecasting this person, it is incumbent on those aware of their potential to do what ever it takes to shield others from this harm.
Calling some one evil is a tacky thing to do. It is rude, subjective, and only serves to diminish this person's standing in the community. But if this person is evil, I think we owe it to others to get the word out. Calling someone evil is not actionable in a court of law.
The statement is not specific enough to cause harm. No one would act on these words. Unless they had already come to the same conclusion and needed a push in that direction.
Sugar coating what we know about an evil person is worse than tacky. It's as bad as a person not reporting a murder for hire plot.
If you knew someone was going to be whacked, I would think the intended victim would want to be notified.
"I didn't want to get involved," doesn't mean much to the person that gets murdered.
The words we use to label a person are irrelevant. As long as we speak the truth, the semantics of word choice shouldn't matter.
Evil people like to be known as evil.
I say we give them what they want.







3 comments:

mulderfan said...

Ditto!

My NF is evil, but only toward his "loved ones". He gives off an aura like a simmering pot of hate juice. Slouched in his chair, eyes hooded, a sneer on his face, just waiting to pounce.

Still does a really mean "pounce" at age 93 but as he USED to say, "Only the good die young."

He's willed his body to the University of Toronto Medical School and shouldered me with the responsibility of seeing it gets there because NGC "can't cope".

I'm only taking him if I get to watch so maybe I got the evil gene too!

Anonymous said...

I agree, evil is evil. Of all the letters that should be written to her, I think that's the one that might hit home. Saying something like, "we don't buy your stories, we know you are evil. You were always malicious and hateful and never meant to do good to anyone at any time. We can see through you and have always known what you did. We aren't buying the b.s. anymore, no more games."

Sis

vicariousrising said...

Amen.