This might shock you, but I’m not in favor of harassing people who don’t agree with me politically, even the most horrible of them.
As shameless as I think that President Donald Trump’s spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders and several others in the president’s inner circle of liars are, I can’t go that route. I don’t think we as a country or Trump's opponents accomplish much by wallowing in the muck of lies and visceral attacks with the president and his supporters.
I don’t want to be bothered by political opponents when I’m eating chargrilled oyster around town, either.
I understand where supporters of Maxine Waters and others are coming from. And Waters never mentioned the use of violence as the president claimed to whip up his base.
I know where they are coming from because I can envision the iconic photographs of the civil rights workers being harassed and spat on at the Woolworth lunch counter. I remember another act of horrid anti-civility when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford was walking to Central High in Little Rock followed by people physically threatening her and calling her the n-word.
And Lord knows I do remember the incivility of the Trump supporter who punched someone at a rally just for being in opposition to Trump. It’s horrendous and in defensible.
But what do we get for wading around in the same deplorable muck that Trump's supporters do? Not much, other than momentary glee of “See, we can do this to you, too.”
Let the Trumpeters continue to eat, drink and be scary wherever they please. Even as dangerous, frightening and anti-poor, anti-civil rights and anti-women many of their policies are, they deserve to be left in peace outside of the work environments.
What has happened since those situations occurred is that the so-called liberal media has bent over backwards to herald the call for the civility so as to show the conservatives that they are trying to be fair.
Even as the president has made fun of a reporter with physical limitations, even as a Republican congressman screamed “You lie” while President Barack Obama was speaking to the nation, even as the president urged folks to beat up people protesting at one of his rallies, and even as he initially refused to denounce white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., one of whom was responsible for killing a peaceful protester, as a nation we must be better than him and them.
I would hate to be sitting at a Baton Rouge restaurant and have a couple of knuckleheads who oppose my political views yelling at me while I am eating with my family, scaring the heck out of my grandchildren. Or, walk into a store and to be told that I am too liberal, and service people don’t feel comfortable with my politics, and that I should leave.
I am aware there are acts of quiet racism and incivility going on today in some stores as folks tail African-American customers the instant they walk in. And African Americans are aware that in some restaurants, miraculously, virtually all of the African American customers are seated near each other.
I have witnessed this several times, even when reservations are required. While I have no problem sitting with my brothers and sisters, I am amazed how this accidentally happens so often.
Harassing someone for their political views or for whom they work is not something I support. My retaliation would be to gather up a lot of people and go to the polls and try to vote out of power those people and politics I don’t agree with.
I wonder how many of those persons who want to harass people voted in 90 percent of their local elections and national elections. I wonder if they voted in the 2016 presidential race.
If you want to be a deterrent, vote in your school board, council races, judicial and library tax elections, and not just some of them. All of them are important. If you don’t, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Maybe you should be harassed for being a lazy hypocrite.
Email Edward Pratt, a former newspaperman who writes a weekly Advocate column, at email@example.com.