Once Again … We Have Met The Enemy …

Those of us who write, who share our words, thoughts and ideas with the public, have a responsibility.  That responsibility is to get our message out with respect, without crossing certain lines of integrity.  In 2009, a picture spread across the internet depicting President Obama taking the oath of office seen through a rifle scope with the President in the crosshairs.  That crossed the line.  Many, many other disturbing, disgusting and downright grotesque memes have been created, pictures shared, and articles written that crossed the line.  That is one of the downsides of free speech, but since we cherish and protect our right to free speech, we must also use good judgement.  We must police ourselves so we do not open a door for somebody else to do so.

I’m sure you have all seen the photo of Kathy Griffin holding a prop that is supposed to represent the bloodied head of Donald Trump.  I will not place that picture on this post, nor on any other, as it so blatantly crossed a line that it does not belong anywhere, certainly not on this blog.

Ms. Griffin has since apologized, whether with sincerity or not, I do not know.  It does not matter.  There are some things that cannot be fixed with an apology, and this is one of them.  Words spoken in hate can never be unheard, and images such as this one cannot be unseen.  With the far-reaching, long lasting capabilities of the internet, apology or no, this image will be around for a long, long time.  And children will see it and have nightmares.  Donald Trump’s 11-year-old son Barron was reportedly quite upset … understandably.

In order to post such a heinous photo, in order to imagine the idea of doing so, one must possess a warped mind, one without the filter of a conscience.  I neither know nor care who thought of the idea, whether it was Griffin herself, or a publicist, or Joe down at the pool hall … it was wrong.  It is equally wrong for anybody to share that photo on social media, yet some are doing so.

In a conversation this morning about this photo, I said that anybody who shares this photo is wrong, but then, the more I thought about it, I concluded that anybody who does not condemn this behaviour is, in their silence, tacitly approving.  I do not mean that everyone has to post on their Facebook account that they condemn Kathy Griffin and the photo.  However, for myself, since my blog is all about culling out instances of injustice and cruelty, and shining a light on them, how can I ignore this? If I speak against the hate of people like Wayne Allyn Root and Jeremy Christian, then I must also speak out against Kathy Griffin and those who assisted her in creating such a terrible image and spreading it far and wide.

I have no love or respect for Donald Trump, as you all know by now.  However, this really wasn’t about Donald Trump … this was about respect for society as a whole.  How many people have pulled up their Facebook account only to have that image in their face?  Thousands?  Hundreds of thousands?  Millions?  How many of them were children?  How many were disgusted?  How many laughed?  How many shared the image with even more people?

Griffin is a stand-up comedienne who has released six comedy albums, all of which received Grammy Award nominations. She was, until a few minutes ago, slated to co-host CNN’s coverage of the annual New Year’s Eve program with Anderson Cooper, but early this afternoon, CNN announced that they have terminated their agreement with her.  She has basically thrown a lucrative career in the trash bin … and for what?  She lowered her standards and will pay the price, which is as it should be.  Perhaps if she had bothered to think about what she was doing …

I do not feel sorry for Trump, though I’m sure some will.  I do not feel sorry for Griffin.  I do feel sorry for those of us who have to see this sort of trash every day, and I feel sad that some people have completely lost respect, lost compassion for others.  There are so many more important issues, but stupid things like this distract our attention. Democrat or Republican … everyone should find this type of behaviour unacceptable.  Yes, we have freedom of speech, but let us use some good judgement and common sense, let us not forget about respect for others.

28 thoughts on “Once Again … We Have Met The Enemy …

    • Yes, you are exactly right. And those followers have been all over this one today. And making it worse are the non-followers who are applauding this action by Ms. Griffin and basically saying, “nyah-nyah-nyah” to the Trump supporters. Sigh. Where have people’s brains gone???

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  1. You’ve highlighted the issue and the problem with very commendable accuracy Jill.
    This sort of act is simply the mirror image of the Alt Right. And it is correct that there was a media shut-down.
    We must avoid giving them fuel and instead aim for the high-ground or if using Comedy be mischievous rather than hateful.
    This post gets to be re-blogged.
    Well done Jill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate the re-blog so much! This is one that I felt everybody needed to think about. It is about respect … if we lower ourselves to the lowest-common-denominator, how can we ever hope to begin to heal the division in this country? I loved what Michelle Obama said one time during the ugly 2016 campaign: “When they go low, we go high”. And she was so right, but unfortunately there are some who don’t get that. All day I have seen Facebook posts by people who applauded the actions of Ms. Griffin and said they would boycott CNN for terminating her. It’s nuts!!! Where are people’s brains??? Sigh. 😥

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m fortunate I didn’t see the picture, at least not yet. There’s enough real horror in the world flashed in our faces without fake horror that’s supposed to be funny. The lady will suffer for her mistake. It isn’t just going to go away. Society still has some rules and she smashed them. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree … and yes, you are lucky, though I don’t know how you missed it, as it has been plastered all over social media. And today, people are applauding Ms. Griffin and threatening to boycott CNN for her termination. Sigh. Something is not right in this nation.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do not know of the images you describe Jill, but your description of the hatreds they inspire is enough to make an informed choice not to look.

    We all have the capacity to join in cruel jokes, especially if we feel somehow justified in joining with mass consent to provoke a response. It is a bit like hitting a vicious dog with a stick, thereby making the dog even more defensive and vicious.

    I struggle every day to find the balance, to watch myself for errant behaviour not worthy of a ‘good character.’ It begins with thoughts….because thoughts are the same as deeds.

    It is never funny to revel in the effects of harm to another. We must tell ourselves this because it is so hard not to laugh at the banana slips we see reminding us that we are humans and very far from ‘perfect.’

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    • Be thankful that you missed the image … yesterday it was all over Facebook. This evening, I was sickened by seeing so many people applauding the perpetrator of this disgusting display. I simply cannot fathom the mentality. Sure, as you say, it is easy to get caught up and laugh at some things that we ought not find funny. We have all done that. But this was so … so ‘in your face’ violent, grotesque, and cruel … and yet people are even planning to boycott CNN for terminating Ms. Griffin. I hope that I am better than that … I know my readers are better than that … I just wish we were all better than that. You hit the nail on the head when you said, “It begins with thoughts….because thoughts are the same as deeds.” However, thoughts do not NEED to transfer into deeds. We all have thoughts that we are not proud of, but most of us have a filter, a conscience, that prevents us from carrying out those thoughts. Sigh … whatever are we becoming?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel fully identified with your wise words and I subscribe them.

    Like others, Trump’s error lies in not understanding Chesterton’s statement: “A limited force always flows into violence, the supreme energy is shown in lightness.” This can be verified by anyone who contemplates the sky, a dancer or a bird flying.
    Let us not fall, like Trump, into the same error.

    Greetings from Spain, and my recognition and respect for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my friend! Yes, we must guard against falling into the same error as Trump, and not lower ourselves to his standards … if, in fact, he has any standards! We must remember to listen to that voice in our head, our conscience.

      And greetings back to you from the U.S. I have never been to Spain, but I think it is a beautiful country!

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  5. Excellent piece….Commendable, to say the least. She certainly crossed the ‘line’ even, though it can be said that ‘Mr Trump’ has crossed several lines of decency that many others would not do…Note his crude behaviour at the NATO get-together…for example…mindful that he is supposed to be the President of the most advanced (sic) country in the world.
    Well done, Jill. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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