I woke up to death threats this morning.
I got up to check on the overnight oatmeal, noticed my phone was blinking, and picked it up to see “CLOBBERING TIME.” Twice. Oh, yay. Dennis Markuze has figured out that I’m an atheist and added me to his target list. Death threats are about to become a regular part of my life.
Yes, I know he’s a nutjob in another country. It doesn’t make it any better. It much simpler to take a philosophical view of paranoid fixations when they’re not pointed at you. Yes, I know he’s been threatening people for years without any action. It doesn’t make it any better. Everybody who’s acted on that sort of delusion has had to start somewhere. The first time I got a death threat online, the person who did it claimed it was just a prank played on a friend’s unprotected computer. It doesn’t make it any better. Trusting someone who’s just said you should die is perhaps the apex of stupidity.
It doesn’t make it any better that none of the threats I’ve received have been phrased as “I’m coming to get you.” It doesn’t make them any less threatening that they’re not stated in the kind of language that makes authorities jump up and do something. The person who asks me how I’d like to be raped and killed in an argument about gun nuttery has made up his mind about what I deserve every bit as much as the person who says he’s coming to do it himself. He wouldn’t get in the way if someone else decided to act. He just hasn’t crossed whatever barrier of anger or insanity keeps him sitting ineffectually in front of his computer. Yet. Those are temporary states. Not comforting at all.
It doesn’t make it any better that none of these people are really upset with me personally. It doesn’t make it any better that someone who wants me dead doesn’t know what socialism is. I can take no comfort in the idea that I’m not what someone calls me. None of the labels that have been slapped on groups to justify their killing have been applied fairly, but that hasn’t stopped people from justifying killing that way. In particular, finding any comfort in the idea that a label is unfair ignores the fact that all it really takes for me to “deserve” whatever I get in the eyes of my political enemies is to be different than them. Historically. Currently.
I’m probably safe. I’m probably fine. That probably won’t change with every new threat I receive.
That still doesn’t make it any better.