It has been pretty darned depressing watching the world spin into a hazy, crazy vortex of emotional reactions and bullying commentary by . . . oh . . . everybody.
And, to set the record straight, as bearer of the name, only I, Dandy Don is allowed to “rush” to opine about stuff. Remember, I am a salty veteran of the opinion sharing wars. My skills of surmising have been honed sharp by the blood spilled after over 30 years of observing and writing. By giving my conclusions, rightly and wrongly; by lifting up and crushing down; of enlightening and, sadly at times, adding to the malaise resulting in my words unintentionally hurting some folks. Just so you know, I don’t mind upsetting or angering people, just not a fan of hurting anyone.
Yup. I’ve learned the hard way, by getting knocked down into the mud and slime. The Don’t Rush Me columns of the older Don are far different than those of the younger, cocksure and arrogant Don. With righteous indignation, I was fast to grandstand on any old soapbox that needed stomping on (I kinda’ just smiled to myself thinking back to that time).
Living by the sword and dying by the sword and the pen is mightier than the sword — those two statements I have held in my heart since before I able to produce an excess of facial hair and testosterone. It has been both interesting and sad to watch not just the national tone of hyper-partisanship via social media but also of the bullying remarks locally. To the point, our words wield power.
It seems, we have taken the whole “you are either with me 100 percent, or you are dead to me” attitude and, like mad scientists mixing in ingredients that shouldn’t go together, added she/he who screams the loudest wins.
The court of public opinion now trumps the whole notion of due process. Allegations once were just assertions until substantiated — and if they were proven unsubstantiated, thrown out. Not today. Today is almost like the witch hunts of old Salem. Point your finger at someone and level your claim, “WITCH! Burn him!”
Evidence be damned.
We all better hope that we are, at all times on the “right” side of any issue or tide of opinion, or we all may be subject to the fires of societal mentality-dejour. Individual liberty be damned. Due process be damned. While I know the United States Constitution only protects the individual from government abuses and not abuses from other individuals, I think folks forget about the 14th Amendment.
To refresh your memories from eighth-grade government class, the 14th Amendment to The Constitution of These Here United States, in part states, “. . . No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . .” (Click HERE for more on the 14th.)
We are ‘sposed to be a nation living by the rule of law; with the concept it’s better to let 10 guilty men free than to imprison one innocent. Unfortunately, mob rule seems to be the new rule, these days.
Due process. Locally, the social network bullies were out in full force when then Clarkston Superintendent Rod Rock resigned for having a relationship with a 19-year-old girl, after she had graduated from Clarkston High School. I am not debating the merits of a 49—year-old man having an affair with a 19-year-old. It may not be the most well-thought-out affair, but it ain’t illegal.
Supposition is an uncertain fact. Conjecture is an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information. And, yet with only incomplete and uncertain information Rock was found guilty of nothing less than pedophilia and/or sexual assault in the court of social media and public opinion.
While I did not agree with all of Rock’s actions during his tenure as superintendent, I do believe he put the district in a good direction. I believe he put his heart and soul into the job, for the community, parents and for the kids. I think the correct course of action was for him to resign, even though it looks like he did nothing “wrong.”
It was concluded, “the Superintendent’s resignation was voluntary and was not a result of a violation of any law or District policy; the conduct that prompted the Superintendent’s decision to resign was an isolated incident; the conduct that prompted the Superintendent’s decision to resign at no time compromised student safety.”
On Monday, I confirmed the Oakland County Sheriff’s department, from their investigation, has received no calls or complaints from members of the community in regards to this case.
So, in light of this information and understanding everybody has opinion, was the online bullying warranted? Was the online bullying by adults and parents setting a good example of how to behave as a responsible citizen of this community and country, or was it something else?
And, if it is something else, what can we expect of our future — your kids future? Nobody is perfect, but unless you are you walk with a target on your back. My words of caution are, be careful of the noose you put around your neighbor’s neck today, for it may be the same one around your neck tomorrow.
Those are questions folks, got any answers? E-mail, DontRushDon@gmail.com.