The video isn’t new, but from October, 2018. It was reposted in light of the string of new laws placing extreme limits on abortion, essentially making abortion impossible, the purpose of which is to either get a law before the Supreme Court to provide a vehicle to revisit Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, or to energize pro-choice voters and make clear why they must resist candidates, local or national, who want to eliminate the right to an abortion.
Its reposting wasn’t done with great fanfare. It wasn’t done by a renowned celebrity with millions of followers. It was done by a woman who felt very strongly about the issue.
i still stand by this king pic.twitter.com/5tUbj7Dabb
— yacenia (@cheleblush) May 17, 2019
But note, as of this writing, that the twit has well over 300,000 “likes.”
The man in the video later asserted that he wasn’t trying to kick the woman, but to kick the cellphone with which she was recording the encounter. Apparently, his aim wasn’t all that good. But does this change things? It doesn’t change what, in fact, happened: that this man, who Yacenia called “this king,” kicked the woman. His purpose, if true, to kick her cellphone, doesn’t do much to justify his actions.
And 300,000 plus liked it.
No doubt abortion is an exceptionally passionate and volatile issue, the sort that works people on both sides into a lather. As the sides push their position to extremes, they dare people to question their rights. Should there be abortion on demand up to, possibly even after, the moment of birth? Should there be no right to “murder” a person in utero upon the first beat of a heart? Was the answer to such questions best left to judges to decide?
These positions may be impossible to reconcile, and those holding these positions may be unwilling to tolerate disagreement, but why does that make it acceptable for a pro-abortion guy to kick an anti-abortion woman? Even if their sexes were reversed, why would that be acceptable?
Except this isn’t about acceptability, but applause. That’s where the 300,000 come in. They didn’t merely find it understandable, given the extreme heat generated by these issue. They liked “this king.” They liked violence against another person based upon her holding a different position that they found unacceptable.
The easy answer is tu quoque, “but what about the alt-right, the Proud Boys, the Naxos,” who are far more violent than one guy who kicked a woman. The obvious reason is that two wrongs don’t make a right, and the fact that they are horrible doesn’t justify what happened here. For those incapable of processing wrongfulness by their own, they will keep pushing, raising examples of terrible things done, like the killing of Heather Heyer, and many others.
These things happened, but they do not justify the kick. And the other tribe will respond with punch a Nazi, etc., as it spirals into pointlessness, as it neither justifies the right nor the left.
But there’s a reason why these 300,000 “likes” matter. The Naxos don’t wrap themselves in the mantle of righteousness. They make no claim to social justice or morality. They are brutes. They openly embrace violence. Yet the progressive left contend that they stand for tolerance, peace, love, empathy. With a kick if you disagree.
In fairness, the 300,000 plus “likes” hardly represents a significant portion of America, even though it’s a fairly large number. It’s unfair to taint all pro-choice supporters with the action of either this one guy, or his 300,000 likers.
But then, what are the people who support the right to an abortion as a matter of sound policy, recognizing that it’s a deeply divisive and problematic issue, but not as a matter of absolute right, of female bodily autonomy, without restriction of any sort? Some approve of first trimester abortion, but not second or third. Some approve of later term abortions with conditions, rape, incest and the health of the mother. In the heat of battle, where any restriction is seen as the slippery slope of further limitation, and hence is intolerable, do they risk castigation for not embracing the most extreme pro-choice view?
No one wants to be kicked, or attacked by 300,000 plus deeply passionate people. They can’t, and won’t, side with the brutes, but they don’t side with the most extreme pro-choice voices either. The female autonomy argument, that a woman has an absolute right to decide what to do with her body, including the zygote gestating within (but, for many who passionately believe in the right to abortion, not to sell it for sex), is nothing more than a chosen side that ignores the other side. Like almost all social justice arguments, it’s only persuasive to those who already believe, and remarkably unpersuasive to anyone who doesn’t.
The alternative argument, that human life begins at the moment of conception, is similarly unconvincing to non-believers. But the argument that human life exists at viability, the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb, has some rational merit, if lines must be drawn. And we should be able to argue around the edges, except for the kick. And the “likes.” And the concern that many (most?) people live within a sandwich of people who have little concern about engaging in violence against any disagreeable ideas.
The 300,000 plus can take no comfort in the awfulness of their polar counterparts. The alt-right may be awful, but they don’t pretend to be otherwise. They are proudly brutes serving their own self-interest at the expense of others. The SJWs, on the other hand, are no less inclined toward violence, but believe their flavor tastes better because they claim to do so in the name of righteousness, and only a deplorable person would dispute their claim.
There are now 300,000 who would “like” it if that bad person was kicked. It’s not enough to win an election, but it’s more than enough to inform others that they are no more tolerant than their alternative. It’s more than enough to inform those who don’t want to harm anyone that you are not the sort of people we can support. We will not ride into the Valley of Death alongside you, no matter what.