A couple people have asked me, “You’re seriously not at ALL affected by the Cecil story?”
So let me clarify. I am affected, yes. I am affected in the sense that when I heard what happened, I was sad for that animal, and annoyed with the jerks who purposely lured him out of a protected area (note we still don’t know who exactly was involved in that aspect of it), and generally confused as to why anyone would hunt endangered animals for sport. It’s not my thing. It’s not a thing I understand. At all. But it’s something people do and, when done “correctly,” it’s not illegal. Granted, in this case, illegal things went down– but again, we are still not sure exactly who was involved in those aspects.
All of this aside, I don’t blame people for being upset or for having a strong emotional reaction. That’s fine, of course– I’m a huge proponent of “feel what you need to feel,” even if people don’t understand it or can’t relate to it.
I guess I’m just surprised and saddened by the extreme hate-spewing, REVENGE response we seem to be having towards Walter Palmer–over an incident involving an animal. I’m not a fan of revenge responses in general, but I get that sometimes something is so terrible, we seek it. It just seems a little extreme here, no?
Look, I like animals. Love animals, in fact. Would I hunt them? Never. Do I think the events that went down in this particular scenario are ok? No.
But do I think Walter Palmer should be hunted down like human prey? I do not.
I guess I just think there are better targets for that response. Like the Cincinnati cop who shot and killed another HUMAN for NO REASON. Or the guy who shot 9 dead in a black church in Charleston? Or if racism isn’t your thing, how about the guy who randomly killed two people during a screening of “Trainwreck”? And these are just Americans senselsessly murdering other Americans. We can certainly get into international human tragedy as well…genocide…slaying of innocent children…
I’m not saying don’t be affected by the story of Cecil. What happened to that animal is fucking sad, and was completely unnecessary. I guess I’m just confused as to the multiple death threats, the vicious manhunt, and the life-theratening attacks being thrust upon Walter Palmer. Do I think he’s kind of a douche? Sure. Of COURSE. To the point where I think his life should be completely derailed, and he should be the most hated man in America?
We have much better contenders for that. Humans who kill humans.
In that spirit, and because I am simply unsure of how to productively respond to all this… I am making donations to two organizations: The Wildlife Conservation Society (because they do good work, and deserve the positive attention they’re now receiving) and Active Minds (simply because it’s an organization focused on humans helping humans).
Does that really help? Eh. I don’t know. I guess I just found that to be more productive than getting Walter Palmer’s home address from Mia Farrow’s Twitter page and sending him a beheaded stuffed animal with a death threat attached.
But that’s just me.
On behalf of the Mental Health community, I would like to thank the general public for offering us the spotlight in the wake of the Charleston shootings, but we will go ahead and take a hard pass.
Let’s keep that light firmly planted on the Hate-Filled Racist community, where it belongs.
Because these are in fact two distinct, separate communities.
The mentally ill are far– FAR– more likely to hurt themselves than they are to hurt anyone else. They are also FAR more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than the perpetrators.
Racists are responsible for mass killings and genocide throughout this country, throughout the world, throughout our history.
I’m all for bringing awareness to the mental health cause, and encouraging the healing of a broken system, but let it be for the right reasons. Because taking action on mental illness only in the wake of mass violence just perpetuates the stigma– and stigma, without fail, is the greatest barrier to seeking help.
So back to this problem of racism, bigotry, and hate, please.
How are we going to fix that?