Someone reportedly e-mailed a threatening letter to Memphis Councilwoman Janis Fullilove. These types of letters are unacceptable. They are also inevitable in any type of high profile case of public outrage such as what’s been happening with MAS. There will always be a tiny minority of these types of letters generally sent by someone from one of these groups:
- Crackpots who care nothing about the cause but just like to act creepy
- People who do care about the cause but cross the line into poor judgment
- People who oppose the cause and think they can undermine the vocal majority by posing as a supporter and pulling a stunt
Whatever the case, these letters are unacceptable. No one should be made to feel threatened with physical harm. Ever.
In addition, these types of letters take the focus off reform efforts. You don’t notice any city leaders in Memphis bringing thousands of thoughtful, well-reasoned e-mails to the news. But they will bring the one threatening one. And that will become the focus, at least temporarily.
If you are writing letters in order to speak up for pets, always be respectful and try to make sure nothing in your letter could be interpreted as a threat. If something looks questionable, rewrite it using different words or just delete it. Keep your focus on effecting change.
Completely separate from the issue of inappropriate letters, I want to comment on the ending of the article:
Fullilove, who has five cats and a dog, said she wishes her critics would put down the poison pen and put their passion for animals to good use.
“They love animals, I believe that,” said Fullilove. “Come here and adopt some of them. Catch a plane, catch a train, get in your cars, carpool, I don’t care. Come and adopt some of these animals.”
Ms. Fullilove, I speak only for myself but I can not catch a plane or a train and come fix your community’s problems at your pound. But I know who can.