Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Swartout's may be victims, but...

Update 3: Replaced the link to the dead motionbox video with the youtube embed, and deleted the link to the rightwing site (to the motionbox vid) that was in update 1.

Update 2: New video, from a different angle.

Update: Added the best video I can find, to replace the one that is no longer available on this site. (which has now--update 3--been replaced by the YouTube video.)

It's kinda hard to tell exactly where this all went wrong, but the "in your face" style of the Swartout family as regards anti-war protests and protesters has led to several other incidents where they were the unfortunate victims, including one in which the 82 year old wife of a WWII veteran kicked Mr Swartout in the ass, and when he pressed charges, was fined $25.00 for her crime. As with serial peace victim Joshua Sparling, I wonder why these few are repeatedly attacked while counter-protesting against anti-Iraq war groups, while so many others escape such a fate. Is it pure dumb luck (or unluck?), or is there anything in the behavior of the victims that leads to such troubles?

To the extent that the peace folks were the agressors in this (or any) situation, they were wrong. But I also wonder whether putting a camera to one's face gives one care blanche to walk among those with whom one disagrees, mocking and insulting them until a verbal or physical confrontation ensues, and then claim victim status, as though there was no way they might've avoided such trouble. While one has the right to walk in any public place at anytime one wants, and to say whatever one feels, actually using those rights isn't the smartest thing to do in every situation... ...unless one wants a nifty little youtube video and the right to whine about poor treatment at the hands of hypocritical peace protesters, anyway...

Along with rights come the responsibility to use them intelligently and appropriately, and I suspect that some of the latter was lacking in this situation.

See also: What'd I Say?: Joshua Sparling: A swiftie spitting swiftly

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