“Aligning With Firebombers”

I’ve lost at least one presumed friendship already today.
I say “presumed” because the person in question apparently has such a low opinion of me that he thinks I support firebombing one’s political opponents, and cares so little about that presumed friendship that when he realised he was mistaken he chose not to apologise for that.
Just in case anyone else is in any doubt on where I stand:

I do not support terrorism of any kind. What was done to the Republican local HQ last night was wrong.
Whatever the views of the person who did it, the only people allied with them are the people who choose to be. And that goes whether I agree or disagree with them. The murder of Jo Cox (something infinitely worse than the minor property damage caused last night) did not immediately make everyone who supported Leave complicit — even though I was on the same side as Cox in the EU referendum. Nor did it oblige them to give financial support to the Remain side.

Giving money to the North Carolina Republicans is supporting a hate group. The North Carolina Republicans recently passed a law that essentially criminalises being trans in public. Calls to trans suicide hotlines, already far too high, have doubled since then. Making a donation to a political party is giving them license to use your money to further their aims, and the North Carolina Republicans’ aim is to make life intolerable for LGBT people and non-Christians, and to make it difficult or impossible to vote while black.

Refusing to support that, and saying so, is not the same as supporting the firebomber. Even if they do turn out to be opponents of the Republicans (which seems likely, but it’s not at all impossible that this was done by Republican supporters as an attempt to generate sympathy), they’re not on my side. I get to choose who I support for myself, not be arbitrarily assigned into one of two groups — either handwringing centrists who care more about property damage than about violence done to actual humans, or terrorists who want to intimidate their opponents. A pox on both their houses.

As Alexandra Erin put it on Twitter:
“I will not pay one cent in tribute to prove I am better than the bombers or the people who passed HB2. I know I am, because I did neither.”

I have had more than enough of false binary “you’re with us or with them” nonsense to last a lifetime. I’m a Lib Dem, not “really a Tory” or “really Labour”. False, forced, binaries are what brought about Brexit and what is bringing about the hate-filled atmosphere in the US election campaign.

I’m with me, and with the people I choose to be with. And I’m not with anyone who thinks that if I don’t want to give money to people who want my friends dead then I’m supporting terrorism.

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2 Responses to “Aligning With Firebombers”

  1. Andrew Gaines says:

    Hear here!
    We seem to live in an age of “Us or Them” , “Yes or No”. “Like or Unlike”. Sadly it seems that too many people think that important and complex ideas are easily expressed in 140 characters and a thumbs up or thumbs down.
    Reason is lost to cheap jibes which, as we see too often escalate and is now taken into everyday life,

  2. Mike Taylor says:


    Let me try once more:

    I do not believe that you support firebombers; I have never believed that you support firebombers; and my wording in the tweet in question was misleading and careless. I deeply regret having tweeted it.

    You may choose to no longer consider me your friend; I will still consider you mine.

    — Mike.

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