Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Next Time You Share That Video Remember: We’re All Going Through Some *Stuff*

 

If it feels like everyone has lost their grip on reality, that’s probably because we have. I’ve seen several videos on social media the last few weeks of people behaving erratically and irrationally: clearly otherwise put together people losing it at supermarkets over masks, throwing Molotov cocktails into police cars, even attacking teenagers hanging up posters while riding on a bike trail. I don’t excuse any of the behavior, nor do I think people should go unpunished for it. But with that said, I think we need all keep in mind the incredible strain our entire society and individuals are going through over the last few months before we thoughtlessly share videos of people clearly losing their sanity.

I was proud of my friend here for highlighting the humanity of someone who I may not have had a second thought about otherwise, one of the flamethrowers during the riots in New York City, a man who just destroyed his life in a single instant.

As we see more instant snapshots of people’s lives and as we dissect them online, I think it’s important to remember they are snapshots, mere moments in time captured over the course of someone’s life. The last months have been the most stressful of many people’s lives, with the death and destruction the virus and the lockdowns have wrought.

And as we keep this in mind, we should extend to everyone we see a bit more grace. This observation by John Ekdahl about the couple in St. Louis who stood armed and ready to defend their property is on point:

The Left tried to doxx them and the Right had nothing but snark about the couple’s trigger safety.

A little more grace would do us all a lot of good.

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  1. SpiritO'78 Member

    I get loosing it at the grocery store and even having a road rage incident. I don’t get destroying property.

    • #1
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Actually, someone on CTH pointed out his trigger discipline is good. He is also a partner in a big law firm in St Louis so legal costs will be minimum. I do think St Louis may not be the place to have a big house and yard. Cities like that are probably going to end up like Tlaqepaque, outside Mexico City, where the residential area consists of high walls topped with broken bottles entered by high doors that open to nice courtyards. The yards are all inside the walls.

    • #2
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:05 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    It would probably be good for me ‘spiritually’ to extend grace to Mr. Mattis, but I cannot; the fact that his act of domestic terrorism probably just ruined the lives of three vulnerable children makes me even less kindly disposed toward him.

    I already viewed the couple in St. Louis favorably, and I think that’s true for most of the Right who saw the videos; the snark is part gallows humor, part teaching opportunity for when it happens to you.

    • #3
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:05 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  4. Rodin Member

    Yes, I noticed the trigger problem in the videos and stills of the St Louis couple and thought “this isn’t good.” But adrenaline makes you unthinking, so training is required. I wonder how many of the protesters understood the danger they were in? It’s just incredibly sad that official reaction to rioting and looting has been so muted that any march near your home has to be assumed to be a threat. We had a march in our own little community and NextDoor was full of concern as the invite to the march was broadcast in such a way that you could not be sure who would be coming. It turned out to be a modest affair in which people could virtue-signal peacefully and safely. But there was concern because of what was being seen nationally.

    • #4
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:08 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    I agree with you on the need to be more charitable to those caught in the social media frenzy through no fault of their own – when unexpected events create pressures that lead people to say things and take actions they might otherwise not, and whatever their political preferences.

    That is not the case with Mr Mattis. He is a lawyer who knowingly decided to break the law. And we are not talking about driving 70mph in a 50mph zone. He had the makings of multiple Molotov cocktails and was apparently planning additional bombings beyond the one he was caught on. He planned it, he had time to think about it, and he still did it.

    Moreover, he did not destroy his career. If, as I expect, Biden wins the election he will appoint the new US Attorney for the district (Mattis faces federal charges). The charges will be dropped and Mattis will return to his career, in fact he will be lionized, Republicans criticized for racism in charging him, and we will hear ad nauseum about his life story to help contextualize his actions.

    If Trump is reelected the US Atty will face the issue of whether a New York City juror would ever convict this defendant under these circumstances. I predict a lenient plea deal and Mr Mattis will still return to the practice of law.

    Mr Mattis is going to do just fine.

    • #5
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    The more these “peaceful protesters” see homeowners armed to the teeth whenever they approach, the more likely 1) the smart ones will back off, and/or 2) one really stupid, arrogant jerk will get his head blown off as he approaches with a look to kill in his eyes . . .

    • #6
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I agree with you on the need to be more charitable to those caught in the social media frenzy through no fault of their own – when unexpected events create pressures that lead people to say things and take actions they might otherwise not, and whatever their political preferences.

    That is not the case with Mr Mattis. He is a lawyer who knowingly decided to break the law. And we are not talking about driving 70mph in a 50mph zone. He had the makings of multiple Molotov cocktails and was apparently planning additional bombings beyond the one he was caught on. He planned it, he had time to think about it, and he still did it.

    Moreover, he did not destroy his career. If, as I expect, Biden wins the election he will appoint the new US Attorney for the district (Mattis faces federal charges). The charges will be dropped and Mattis will return to his career, in fact he will be lionized, Republicans criticized for racism in charging him, and we will hear ad nauseum about his life story to help contextualize his actions.

    If Trump is reelected the US Atty will face the issue of whether a New York City juror would ever convict this defendant under these circumstances. I predict a lenient plea deal and Mr Mattis will still return to the practice of law.

    Mr Mattis is going to do just fine.

    I agree with you, 100%, but just have a hard time hitting that “like” button. You understand, eh? There’s so much here not to like!

    • #7
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:54 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have no sympathy at all for someone throwing bombs.

    I’d like to believe his career is over but I doubt it. 

    Meanwhile, someone “likes” the wrong Trump Tweat and their life is over. 

    The rules are different for the left. 

    • #8
    • June 29, 2020, at 9:25 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  9. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    I wish that Molotov attorney had dropped the molotov on himself and literally died in a fire. I have no sympathy at all for him.

    • #9
    • June 29, 2020, at 10:18 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As I told your friend on Twitter, are you really upset that three kids won’t be raised by a gasoline-tossing Marxist? And exactly who was taking care of the three when “Daddy Mao” was out pursuing revolution and death? 

     

    • #10
    • June 29, 2020, at 10:43 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. Hammer, The Member

    I have no idea what I’m supposed to be sympathetic about with respect to the Mattis guy. The only heartbreaking thing about that situation is that he is bringing foster children into a terrible situation and is clearly unfit to do so. It sounds to me like a whole lot of virtue signaling – and, while I know that my own experience is only a snapshot – I’ve seen that sort of foster parent, before. It is usually just as bad as whatever situation the kids are being pulled out of to begin with.

    So no – I have zero sympathy for Mattis. If he throws a molotov cocktail at a cop, he should be charged with attempted murder, along with all of the enhancers.

    • #11
    • June 29, 2020, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  12. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Mattis? Who is Mr. Mattis?

    Former US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis?

    Oh, that. I haven’t paid any attention to that incident.

    • #12
    • June 29, 2020, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. Hammer, The Member

    With respect to the trigger discipline, I agree completely. That is just stupid. But social media (and twitter in particular) is a cesspool. It attracts the worst sorts of liberals, and the worst sorts of conservatives. If we could find a way to disengage completely, the world would be a better place. I think spreading things out (so twitter is not a monopoly) may actually go a long way, though.

    • #13
    • June 29, 2020, at 10:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Stad Thatcher

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I wish that Molotov attorney had dropped the molotov on himself and literally died in a fire. I have no sympathy at all for him.

    Terrorists do tend to blow themselves up . . .

    • #14
    • June 29, 2020, at 12:06 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    @bethanymandel, it’s really shocking that you would downplay the bombing of police cars like this, especially given the racist nature of what was going on. From reading the way CNN describes them, I’m reminded of the educated Middle-easterners that are drawn to terrorism.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/17/us/brooklyn-molotov-lawyers-protests/index.html

    These people didn’t just snap from the pressure. They’re professional Leftists.

    I don’t know as much about the circumstances of the other two instances, so I won’t comment on those.

    • #15
    • June 29, 2020, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    Maybe the best thing is to lob a Molotov Cocktail into whatever servers host Twitter.

    • #16
    • June 29, 2020, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Danny Alexander Member

    Mattis’s accomplice, the woman lawyer who did the actual lobbing of the Molotov cocktail, was the subject of a similar effort — in a NY Post article of all things — to “humanize” her backstory.

    Admittedly, I wouldn’t want to have suffered through the death of my father during my youth, nor be confronted with the responsibility of keeping vigil over my mother’s health from a similarly young age either (as this accomplice reportedly has had to do).

    But admittedly as well, my hackles get raised seeing that she (the accomplice) returned to the US from some kind of “fact-finding” arranged trip to Palestinian settlements in Judea and Samaria in a state of seething rage at the Jewish Homeland; ditto my reaction to reportage that a close friend and contemporary of hers in the legal field who almost succeeded in posting her bail is an alumna of the Obama White House and Obama State Department whose tenure was spent in sensitive intel-focused roles, and whose law school costs were borne in part by CAIR.

    All told, people like Mattis may not have neat and tidy circumstances behind or in the run-up to dramatic actions that appear to catch them in a freeze-frame almost for eternity (or at least the unbroken entirety of a news cycle). They don’t lack agency and free will, though!

     

     

    • #17
    • June 29, 2020, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    By the way, if people are on my property threatening me, my finger is going to be on my trigger ready to fire. 

    • #18
    • June 29, 2020, at 5:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Bethany Mandel Editor
    Bethany Mandel

    EJHill (View Comment):

    As I told your friend on Twitter, are you really upset that three kids won’t be raised by a gasoline-tossing Marxist? And exactly who was taking care of the three when “Daddy Mao” was out pursuing revolution and death?

     

    If they are raised in a loving home, he can be Daddy Mao all he wants. The number of children abused and neglected in the foster system doesn’t enable us to be picky about their politics.

    • #19
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    As I told your friend on Twitter, are you really upset that three kids won’t be raised by a gasoline-tossing Marxist? And exactly who was taking care of the three when “Daddy Mao” was out pursuing revolution and death?

     

    If they are raised in a loving home, he can be Daddy Mao all he wants. The number of children abused and neglected in the foster system doesn’t enable us to be picky about their politics.

    Pretty sure putting them in homes of arsonists is something we should be picky about. 

    • #20
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:25 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Rodin Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    As I told your friend on Twitter, are you really upset that three kids won’t be raised by a gasoline-tossing Marxist? And exactly who was taking care of the three when “Daddy Mao” was out pursuing revolution and death?

     

    If they are raised in a loving home, he can be Daddy Mao all he wants. The number of children abused and neglected in the foster system doesn’t enable us to be picky about their politics.

    Pretty sure putting them in homes of arsonists is something we should be picky about.

    This dialogue is illustrative of the problems of judging people’s fitness for anything with limited knowledge. And as social media is always operating with limited knowledge the judgments will be harsh. What admittedly very little data I have regarding Mattis makes him sound like whatever he does professionally or personally is driven by “feel goodness” which is great for him but may not be so great for others in his life. @bethmandel ‘s friend may have knowledge that explains how he can be doing something good while doing something bad. It might be that with that same knowledge we might see it differently. But absent that knowledge it seems nonsensical to bring children under this man’s control and care, but for the worse option of them having no care. 

    • #21
    • June 30, 2020, at 6:56 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Hammer, The Member

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    As I told your friend on Twitter, are you really upset that three kids won’t be raised by a gasoline-tossing Marxist? And exactly who was taking care of the three when “Daddy Mao” was out pursuing revolution and death?

    If they are raised in a loving home, he can be Daddy Mao all he wants. The number of children abused and neglected in the foster system doesn’t enable us to be picky about their politics.

    Bethany, I don’t think you can make such an overbroad statement. Being picky about their politics is one thing – observing their behavior is quite another. This person was willing to burn police officers alive (and yes, that is what he was attempting to do, unless he was very meticulous about where he was throwing these bombs). That, to me, is a red flag with respect to his “loving home.”

    • #22
    • June 30, 2020, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    As I told your friend on Twitter, are you really upset that three kids won’t be raised by a gasoline-tossing Marxist? And exactly who was taking care of the three when “Daddy Mao” was out pursuing revolution and death?

     

    If they are raised in a loving home, he can be Daddy Mao all he wants. The number of children abused and neglected in the foster system doesn’t enable us to be picky about their politics.

    Pretty sure putting them in homes of arsonists is something we should be picky about.

    This dialogue is illustrative of the problems of judging people’s fitness for anything with limited knowledge. And as social media is always operating with limited knowledge the judgments will be harsh. What admittedly very little data I have regarding Mattis makes him sound like whatever he does professionally or personally is driven by “feel goodness” which is great for him but may not be so great for others in his life. @bethmandel ‘s friend may have knowledge that explains how he can be doing something good while doing something bad. It might be that with that same knowledge we might see it differently. But absent that knowledge it seems nonsensical to bring children under this man’s control and care, but for the worse option of them having no care.

    Really being an attempted cop killer tells me all I need to know about this guy.

    • #23
    • June 30, 2020, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Hammer, The Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    This dialogue is illustrative of the problems of judging people’s fitness for anything with limited knowledge. And as social media is always operating with limited knowledge the judgments will be harsh. What admittedly very little data I have regarding Mattis makes him sound like whatever he does professionally or personally is driven by “feel goodness” which is great for him but may not be so great for others in his life. @bethmandel ‘s friend may have knowledge that explains how he can be doing something good while doing something bad. It might be that with that same knowledge we might see it differently. But absent that knowledge it seems nonsensical to bring children under this man’s control and care, but for the worse option of them having no care.

    Rodin, I totally agree. That is the problem with the “twitter mob” and with social media in general. Heck, I’ve seen it where a social worker takes a personal beef with some foster parent and manages to turn everyone against the person (I believe I’ve written about it, here), and that gets extremely nasty. That being said, I don’t know if the point of the OP is something I really agree with. Essentially, she is saying that we should consider the whole picture with respect to a person’s life, that we should withhold judgment… kind of along the “let he who is without sin throw the first stone” lines. Of course all of that is true. If you went back and read essays that I’ve written on Ricochet years ago, you’d see that as a thread that runs through many of them.

    But there we really do have to compartmentalize. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down with any client who I couldn’t humanize and even sometimes relate to in some sense or another. Dig deep enough and you’ll find it. But would you distinguish between past abuse, neglect, bad experiences, and something like lockdown-anxiety? Bethany is right that “we’re all going through some stuff,” but that is true always. I say this to my kids all the time. You don’t know from any interaction how a person’s morning went, what that person is going through. If some kid snaps at you for what seems like nothing, chances are, it’s not nothing, it just might be something that doesn’t really involve you, and you should always consider that and extend grace.

    But that doesn’t remove consequences. The fact that he drug foster kids into the situation doesn’t strike me as a point of sympathy, and I’ve known enough foster parents to not make any assumptions about his character based solely on being a foster parent. 

    • #24
    • June 30, 2020, at 8:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes