Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Lauren Valle, Head-Stomped MoveOn Activist, Responds To Stomper's Request For Apology" (HuffPost)


Here's our friend Sam Stein's HuffPost coverage of a statement issued yesterday by stomped MoveOn activist Lauren Valle. -- Ken
Sam Stein

Lauren Valle, Head-Stomped MoveOn Activist, Responds To Stomper's Request For Apology

First Posted: 10-29-10 02:41 PM | Updated: 10-29-10 02:41 PM

In a statement sent to reporters on Friday, Lauren Valle, the activist who was stomped on during a pre-rally demonstration outside the Kentucky Senate debate, addressed her antagonist's insistence that he is the one owed an apology.

The crux of the issue, Valle said, is not who was in the wrong with respect to the fracas (most sober-minded observers agree that head-stomping was a completely inappropriate response to Valle's pre-debate antics). Rather, it is about whether contemporary politics would continue to be threaded with violence.

Mr. Profitt, You have asked that I apologize to you. Perhaps this is not the apology that you are looking for, but I do have some things to say.

I have been called a progressive, a liberal, a professional agitator. You have been called a conservative, a Republican, a member of the Tea Party movement. Fundamentally and most importantly, you and I are both human beings. We are also both American citizens. These two facts, to me, are far more meaningful than the multitude of labels that we carry. And if these two facts are true then it means we are on the same team.

I have not been for one moment angry with you and your actions. Instead I feel thoroughly devastated. It is evident that your physical assault on me is symptomatic of the crisis that this country is struggling through. And it seems that I will heal from my injuries long before this country can work through our separation. Only when we decide let go of our hate, our violence and our aggression will we be able to communicate to each other about the issues that divide us. Right now, we are not communicating, we are stomping on each other. No one can ever win, no one can ever be heard, with violence.

You and I, as fellow citizens, and we, as a country, have a choice. Either we choose to continue the cycle of inflicting violence upon each other, screaming at each other, insulting each other and putting one another down or we and find a way to sit down and start listening to each other. We'll see how far we get. We are all viciously and vociferously feeding a fire that will only burn us down together. We must reach inside ourselves and make space for each other. We must forgive each other. We must believe in our capacity for transformation. The moment we choose compassion and reconciliation is the moment that we will begin to move toward freedom. There is no other way.

I believe that you should be held accountable for your actions but I also recognize the incredibly negative impact that the consequences must be having on your life, and I wish you all the best as you yourself heal from this. Violence hurts everyone.

Valle's response is, all in all, a fairly generous one to an incident that would cause most people some lingering outrage. And it strikes a similar tone to that which former Obama adviser Van Jones adopted when first addressing the criticism he received from Glenn Beck (criticism that resulted in his resignation). Instead of addressing the agitator, they both decried the agitating.

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At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Bruce said...

You can't reason with crazy people any more than you can reason with drunks. Ms. Valle is naive and republicans like the jerk that stomped her and gave her a concussion are drunk on hatred. The only way to deal with a bully is to kick his balls so hard they come out his throat. The time to send republicans home, crying to their mommies has arrived.

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Generous? She's striking a tone of false equivalency with herself as one of the parties. If Obama's bipartisan BS has been a joke, this is a sad, sad indication of how it's sunk into the minds of some people who should know better. You can't reason with hateful, violent people, especially by claiming you're as guilty as they are.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Dawn said...

I thought this was a very diplomatic response, from Lauren. Apparently, the people responding negatively to her response are part of the problem that the majority of this country has. It is a sad time in our country...very sad.

Communication is such an important part of understanding and it seems that nobody wants to understand. They simply want to believe the little snippits they hear on the bogus news channels (all of them) and continue rooting for their favorite football team or playing their video games, instead of getting down and dirty and taking a true interest in what is happening in this country and researching on their own. I don't get it at all.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Bruce said...

Sorry Dawn. I do share your feelings about your "favorite football team" metaphor since that is often how the mindless political discourse in this country seems to me as well. There is definitely a serious lack of critical thinking going on these days, due in part, no doubt, to the continued war on education and the demonization of intelligence coming from the right wing. However, I do not own any video games and haven't played one since Pong was around. I'm more of a pinball machine kind of guy. Most importantly, I do spend a tremendous amount of time researching and I do take a true interest in what is happening in this country. In fact, it often keeps me awake at night. For you to assume all that you have from my comment is condescending and insulting. I will stick by my words and that will be all I have to say on this page since I tend to believe that this forum is not meant to be filled up with back and forth bickering. You have your right to expression and I have mine but I'd rather you didn't assume that I have arrived at my opinions that don't agree with yours simply because I haven't given it serious thought.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Dawn said...

Bruce, I have a lot of respect for the way you think. I was not trying to target you specifically, I am just so tired of the hatred the continue's to reveal itself in politics...or any other way. If we continue to reciprocate hatred, we will continue to feed it. That was the main thing that I had about your post. Although, sometimes I feel that way too. I am not perfect, just as nobody else is perfect. Thank you for you inresponse.


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