A few caveats about this post...
#1. If you haven't seen the video, may I strongly suggest reading about it instead of watching it. It's a cliché, I know, but some things can't see unseen. The grotesque venom in it is still reverberating in my head. It was foolish of me to watch.
#2. Once again, I'm probably abusing what FB is about - my public career advancement page WOOT! - but I care about the world so : P
#3. If that last caveat pissed you off, please watch me on How to Get Away With Murder on ABC November 17, because it's the most acting I've gotten to do in one hunk in a long time and if you like me OR hate me, this role should prove delightful to you
Extra caveat for Mr. JS. and crew: If you thought my post from the other day wasn't funny, you definitely won't laugh at this. Then again, if I thought your giggle box could be turned over at anything less than the mass extinction of anyone not white and Protestant, perhaps I'd rue the day I lost you as a fan.
Dear Mr. Lev,
I saw your video. It was heartbreaking and infuriating to watch, but I felt I had to. I don't know how you filmed it. First of all, you're a young man, easily within that decade in your life where fury/testosterone lunges at slights to say nothing of profane, threatening tirades from crazy racists. Yet you kept your cool. There are guys at the top of Tibetan mountain peaks who strive for that kind of zen.
I don't want your calm to go unnoticed. Unappreciated. Unsung.
It's waaayy far down the scale, but, if I may, briefly, not at all by way of comparison, but to try to wrap my tiny head around your experience...
Just yesterday I wrote what seemed to be a pretty reasonable post about tomorrow's vote. That I merely mentioned the hate factor in this election - more evident by the minute - seemed to daunt one of our readers who took the time to convey his dismay. (And I definitely discussed the fact that BOTH candidates are appalling in different but wholly horrendous ways.) This commentator didn't state any point with which he took umbrage, btw. Instead, he opted for insult, the cheapest trick in the bag. Next to "neener keener neener", that is.
Anyway, considering I took pains to be anything but reactionary, I mused at the (im)potency of his response had I written my true feelings about this entire disheartening campaign season.
A hunch - oh, all right - and absolutely crazed curiosity - the same tacky trait that made me watch your video even though I'd been apprised of its contents beforehand - led me to my ex-fan's Facebook page, but then I chickened/logged out when I saw the face of a single country star discussing the Beyonce/Dixie Chick debacle. Plus, I knew I'd be annoyed at the attached video. Hell, his photo was telling enough: The guy's face was all red, for starters.
Because, by golly, nothing says, "I'm the least racist person you know" like a legion of fans wearing pillowcases on their heads with the eyes cut out. Mix them with evangelicals - you know, the folks who profess to love and worship Jesus Christ - it's definitely the most confusing party in town.
Anyway, back to your video: I could not even watch what I perceived as veiled racism much less what happened to you - in person, in ugly, ugly, raging person - beyond the pale racism Yet it's happening dozens of times a day all across the country.
Not by way of excusing him, but I think the guy who assailed you fancies himself a freedom fighter. While I daresay he has more issues than are immediately evident in his tirade, it was still astonishing to see the zero to sixty fuse of his ire.
Then he kept mentioning the Republican nominee for the presidency, which might seem odd in any other election cycle. Mr. Lev, your video star has been drinking the Kool-aid® all right, but light years away from the guy who dispensed it. (If DJT pretended not to know David Duke, he's sure as hell not going to claim the man in the video.)
I'm trying to imagine how you must've felt. Again, I know it's not even close, but, trying to relate in some way: I've been called "n lover" before. Considering the infected sebaceous cysts on the ass of humanity who elect to use such words, that might well be a badge of honor. And I guess if one wishes to be technical about it, in my case, it's true. But that crap hasn't ever scared me. As corny as it sounds, I simply felt really sad to know that anyone hates whole races of people with such completeness.
What was said to you today might've made many of us scared and furious to the point of reacting both forcefully and regrettably. But you rose above it in every way. And then somehow had the wherewithal to calmly document what this guy was doing.
The equally tragic truth is that no matter what else is in that man's life that is good and true, it's going to be buried beneath that tirade. For a very long time. And the woman in his life - in the video? She was spoken to like an errant canine. I think you probably couldn't help, as I did briefly, a bit of pity for her, as well. Collateral damage, I guess it's called.
So. The guy who didn't like my silly post yesterday? He wrote a veritable love letter compared to the hater in your face today.
A postscript, which is and isn't part of the issue...
The last few times I've heard someone use racial epithets, I spied American flags on their car and or person. Hell, lately, it's hard not to flinch seeing one just because a whole bunch of folks flying also it have Confederate ones nearby. What the f? It's like they get a pass even though the Confederacy is - DOH! - a separatist, terrorist organization which advocates the overthrow of these United States. Look. I'm just a corny old broad who loves that flag for what it means about all of us. We've had quite a run, this extraordinary democratic experience of ours. It'd be great to see it continue. (And kindly refrain from condescending semantics regarding republics, etc. Y'all know damn well what I mean.)
Yeah, I know. Two hundred plus years isn't very much time in the grand scale of things, but given the warp speed of "progress" on earth, that we're all not blown to smithereens is amazing enough. I'm talking Norman Rockwell America. We're still very much here. (Maaaaan. I'm really carbon dating myself, aren't I?)
Come on, Donald. It's one thing bringing hate to the table: It's quite another to call it apple pie. Added to his disingenuous assertions that it's our "greatness" you seek to restore, it's obvious that the Pandora's box lid is ripped clean off. But then Pandora's box just had bugs in it...
Skye Lev, what I saw fly towards you today looked like the stuff in The Green Mile: a dark, fetid swarm of part plague, part devil's perfume. It's loose in the land and as ugly as any insanity of ISIL.
The antidote? You tell me. I'm old enough to be your grandmother, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking up to you on this day simply because you didn't throw it back with hate. You didn't even post the video to bring attention to your specific plight, but to exhort others to vote.
And as for voting, well, it is just a shame that "the lesser of two evils" might as well be a campaign slogan. Still. The difference looks greater than it did before you posted what making us great again might look like - up close and personal.
PS Several years ago, I watched a documentary about Westboro Baptist Church. They're a tiny bunch of very hateful people who think, apparently, that maybe sixteen people are getting to heaven. There isn't much that they espouse that won't make a decent man get a lump in his throat. In the documentary, the main haters were also shown engaged in loving, funny maternal moments with their families. The viewer is forced to do a Three Stooges big double take. This viewer, anyway. That was my cue to love instead of feel just about anything else I was feeling after watching them. Just give me a place to put my big foot in the damn door and I'll give it my best shot.
If we were were graded on WWJD? homework, I'd be held back a few years. But I'm more grateful to those of you who show me how it's done - especially when it seems impossible.
And guys? When this is over, let's all go bowling together.