I’ve been following activism a lot lately.

The Parkland Kids—my mental shorthand for the thrust-into-action students from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting—re-ignited my social concern. I’ve been humbled, having followed their precocious media expression and coordination and joining in their country-wide protests. They make my 16-year-old idiot self ashamed. And the Slavic miscreant band Pussy Riot are the international avatars (for the firm of David, Goliath, et al.) that represent the effortlessly intelligent, punk, fuck you of this generation’s rebel movement. And though I don’t know how I found them (re-tweets, prolly), The Root has been a great, simmering, sarcastic, black-centric source of racial gut-punches. Their Twitter feed is a wealth, if you can metaphor the subjects of its reporting as a valuable commodity, of white social stupidity. Why the hell does a trashy white chick call the police on people BBQ-ing?! And, of course, why does a cop give a running kick to the head of a guy already pinned head-first to the ground? (I didn’t need to prefix the word “black” to the people being attacked in the previous sentences because of course.)

So I read this quote recently:

Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”

and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”

and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.

And—though maybe a little teen-earnest or maybe on point—I really stuck to it. Anyway, the way I found it made its provenance uncertain so I did some tracking. I first saw it linked from a Daily Kos blog entry, possibly previously linked from a tweet that I don’t remember. That Daily Kos entry credits @stimmyabby and links to a fire-walled Tumblr post. From there I delved the depths of the second-and-further pages of Google and found an entry on a blog posted on the Odyssey blogging platform titled, simply, “Respect” (I am nothing if not not original). That page credited the author as Brenna Twohy and linked to her Tumblr site. That site has an infinite number of Next links so it’s unsearchable for the actual entry. More Google and I find where B. Twohy references the quote back to… @stimmyabby.

Some time wasted, but I just really wanted to know and make known the truth of something I respect.

Leave a Reply