Feeling vs. doing
Fortunately there is a difference.
Jay and I have been talking about this a lot recently. While neither of us would ever do anything violent, we sure do feel violent lately. Matthew Shepard's murder certainly is one trigger; but, as Daniel suggested, it's really just a symptom of ignorance and fear.
As is the ridiculously over-the-top anti-Obama rhetoric coming from the increasingly less-fringey elements of the right wing. Given the climate, I don't think it hyperbole to suggest that ignorance and fear are a very real threat to the President's life, as well as other members of government.
Put simply, it's freaking us out...but, more to the point, it is giving rise to an anger -- actually a hate -- that troubles both of us. The fact that I can understand how someone who grew up in a certain context would fear that "her America" was being taken away doesn't change the fact that I would like to slap her silly. Ditto for the "understandable" ignorance and fear displayed in Laramie...I'd like to hurt them.
And I simply don't do things like that.
So, it's troubling, to say the least.
Channeling the anger in constructive ways to confront the root causes of ignorance and fear is absolutely the way to go, but it still isn't completely satisfying. Sadly, I fear I'm going to have to get a lot better at dealing with feelings like this....