The horror world has been a mess lately, and I mostly try to stay out of it. I want to help where I can, lend support to those I love, and lift my skirts above the spilled blood we’re all wading through. But things are reaching a fever pitch and I need to say something.
Be careful of what you say. Be careful of what you read. Be careful of clinging so tightly to unverified facts that you become a beast and lose your humanity along the line.
We, as writers, especially know that words have power. When we send them out into the world, they grow bigger, sprout teeth, and turn into things we can no longer control. One person’s account of things can not and should not be taken as gospel. It is up to us as individuals and communities to be responsible, level-headed, and decent human beings.
That’s right. Be decent.I’m talking about charged topics, I know. We’ve been dealing with white supremacy, narcissism, theft, and sexual assault. These are important things, and that’s why this is so difficult. We should be angry about them. We should rush to support anybody who is victimized. But on the other hand, when we lose all sense of reason, we create new victims.
What if, heaven forbid, the person accused of crimes is innocent? What if, in the blur of time and emotional duress, some circumstances aren’t remembered with perfect clarity? What if the accuser simply makes a mistake?
There is more information coming out in one of these situations that leads one to believe that it was physically impossible for one of these things to occur. That changes everything, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t it? Or is the smell of blood in the water so delicious that we can’t stop thrashing long enough to think it through?
I was just reading a thread where an interviewer said that he hadn’t reached out to the person he publicly named and accused on his show, but explained that away by saying that his contact information was readily available and the accused could always reach out to him.
That isn’t how it works. That shouldn’t be how it works.
People are not collateral damage. Look at what we’ve become. Look at our politics. Look at our lives. School children are being beaten to death in their school restrooms while nobody intervenes, but we have self-appointed Bathroom Vigilantes making sure we don’t pee-while-being…I don’t know. Don’t pee while being human. Isn’t that the bottom line? We are all human.
Until we allow ourselves to turn into beasts.
I read about the witch hunts in Salem and I wondered how such a thing could happen. I learned about the holocaust and my mind was blown. How could so many people allow a vocal few to override reason and humanity? How could an entire group be so cruel?
I see it now. This is how. We whip ourselves up without facts. We allow our disgust to overthrow careful consideration. In some cases, love of the spotlight trumps all.
Lives will be lost over this attitude. I hope we realize it. In our passion to protect the victims from bullies, we become the bullies. A single, solitary person can’t stand up to the crushing weight of a crowd, and some won’t even try. I think our intentions are good. We want to protect. We want to punish people we see as threats and predators. But inciting the mob isn’t the way to do it. We have a legal system. We have police. We have people trained to follow protocol that is there for a reason.
My soul hurts. We have become so ugly as a society that I fear for us. I fear because of us. Please take care with each other. A knife can be used to protect or to harm. A torch can light the way or cause uncontrollable destruction. Put down your torch. You’re going to set everyone around you on fire.