Friday, January 22, 2016

Bystander or Upstander?

I see you, Martha Butt. Of course I don't know if that is your real name or if you are even a woman, but I want you to know I see you and I refuse to let your words go unnoticed.

I was rereading this article by Lisa Philip in the HoCo Times, "School boards neighboring Howard believe in election districts for members" and I continued on to read the comments. The first was from Christine McComas, mother of the late hcpss student Grace McComas. In her comment she shared her personal reasons for supporting the proposed legislation.

And then, this:

@cdmccomas you are a publicity hound, a revenge seeker. You have tried to attack every public official and administrative person possible for your daughter's suicide. The only subjects left for you to identify are the medical professionals that tried to treat her.There are several sides to your story that have been floating around for years.

This makes me sick. Someone has taken the opportunity, under the guise of commenting on a newspaper article, to make a personal attack on Christine McComas. Here we plainly see name-calling, attempts to question her motives, suggest that she is dishonest, that her grief in losing a child is merely a front for a more insidious purpose.

If I had my way I would like this "Martha Butt" to wear his/her statement everywhere, until everyone knows just what kind of a person they are. Yes, Martha: everyone. Your employers, your coworkers, your church or synagogue, your neighbors, your friends. The teachers at your child's school, the people who shop where you shop, your family. Everyone should know that you are the kind of person who would attack a grieving mother on the internet where she has no suitable way to defend herself.

I know they say "Don't feed the trolls" but I just can't let this stand. I don't want that comment to go unchallenged. Here is the comment I wrote in response:
@marthabutt This is an article about pending legislation and yet you use it to make a hateful personal attack on Mrs. McComas. Shame on you. Do you know what it is like to have a child who is raped, bullied, and commits suicide? Do you know how that makes you feel? Do you know how you would respond to such a situation? Your comment makes you the same kind of bully that hounded Grace McComas to her death.

There but for the Grace of God, Martha Butt. Let us all pray that what happened to Mrs. McComas never happens to us.

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