I wrote an article the other day, Black
November, in which I expressed my wish that Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell
were both losing sleep worrying about people after them for murdering democracy.
I gave a detailed description of what they should worry about. Katherine Harris
may actually be worrying about it.
I know because I got a call from a special agent of the Capitol Police
checking with me on my article. She assured me that I hadn't broken any law,
that this fell under free speech, that I'd been clear that I didn't want to
harm her. But, she added, other people who might read my writing might be incited
to action. I assured her that was not my intent. That seemed to reassure her
a bit. But then she said that I was in a "grey area."
That roused a bit of a chill in my spine-- a "grey area."
So I said to her, "A grey area? What does that mean?"
She explained that if I kept doing this-- writing inflammatory stuff,
then... and she wasn't very clear what... but definitely something, would happen
I asked, "Have I done anything illegal."
She said "No."
I asked her why she was calling me. She explained that she'd heard from Katherine
I asked her. "Is there anything I have to do?"
She said no, but her answer left me with the clear impression that it would
be better if I took it down, that someone might think I wanted him or her to
take action. I made it very clear to her. "I don't want anyone to DO anything.
I don't want anyone hurt. I just wanted Katherine Harris to have trouble sleeping
because of what she's done. I wrote about a possible scenario. (Hell, one guy
tried to run over her with his car. It's not like I came up with the idea. I
just wrote about it. I'll repeat again. I don't want anyone to run anyone over.
I don't want anyone to hurt anyone else. I did tell the special agent that I'd
like to see Harris in jail. I would like to see her arrested. I did say that
given the delicious media roasting Harris has been getting lately, I'd rather
see her suffering that way. I don't want her hurt.)
She replied, and I'm paraphrasing, that it's one thing to feel remorse about
something political, it's another to feel threatened. I wonder. Who do you call
when a political party tries to do all it can to make you afraid of terrorist
attacks, no matter where you live, no matter how safe you really are? Do you
call the capitol police?
Our conversation continued a few minutes more. Then the word warning slipped
"I've been warned?" I asked. "I thought I didn't do anything
The special agent replied, "If further things like this were written we'd
have to look into it more." That's a verbatim quote.
So there you have it. After thinking it over, I'm pulling the offending verbiage.
Here it is, taken from the original article.
|actually, after reading this article to the special agent (yes I may
be a wuss, but I will pick my battles and this isn’t one worth fighting
for) I’ve edited the words out at the instruction of the special
agent because “inciting violence is not free speech”. I disagree
that it was an incitement to violence, but I wouldn’t sleep well
if any violence came about because of what I wrote.
Now remember, this was a discussion of a nightmare, and my thoughts on how these
vote rigging criminals should be worrying about retribution. But on second thought,
these are rich, spoiled millionaires. I'd much rather see them rotting in a
jail, even a posh one like Martha Stewart spent her time in. I never wanted
to see them hurt, just anxious. I never threatened them, and let me say it one
more time, would not want to see them hurt in any way-- better to see them indicted,
incarcerated and subjected to whatever penalties the law prescribes.
Based on my recent call from the capitol police, I want to make it clear that
OpEdNews does not allow publication of any articles that advocate illegal activity
or violence of any kind. We also do not permit any racist, racial, discriminatory
or hateful statements.
Talking the truth about right wingers and Republicans is not racist, racial
or hateful. But the rules against incitement to illegal or violent activity
applies to them too.
Since it seems that it may be that Katherine Harris reads her media coverage,
I’ll spell my feelings out a little more clearly. If I could see her face
to face, I'd say, "I hope you never have a good day's sleep for the rest
of your life, that you worry about facing the consequences of the misdeeds you've
perpetrated. I hope you spend your life worrying, looking over your shoulder,
worrying that any legal letter coming to you, every phone call from an unknown
caller is news that you are being indicted. I hope, that when you are walking
in the dark, when you hear footsteps, your heart races and your palms sweat
and you worry—it may be a team of police, coming to arrest you.”
This article was read to the special agent. It was changed, with the original
offensive working removed from this article too. The agent told me that it is
capitol hill policy to notify the police of any sort of mention of violence,
so it may or may not mean that Harris is actually aware of the original article.
Before publishing the original article, I asked two people to read it, wanting
to make sure it was clear that I was not advocating, threatening or inciting
violence. When both told me they thought it did not, I went ahead and published
the original article.
Rob Kall is editor of OpEdNews.com,
President of Futurehealth, Inc, and
organizer of several conferences, including StoryCon,
the Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story and The
Winter Brain Meeting on neurofeedback,
biofeedback, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology.