For the second time in 8 days, fellow blogger Carla from Save Ardmore Coalition has endured hate mail . . . that is, personally addressed mail with no note, only feces. The first envelope arrived at her home on February 10 and latest envelope addressed to her, arrived today at the post office box of Save Ardmore Coalition. This mail too contained fecal material. Who would do this, and why?
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “. . . if you passively accept a wrong, you are as much involved in it as the one who perpetrates it. If you accept the wrong without protesting it, King said, you are really cooperating with it.”
Hate mail, whatever its form, is harassment, and it is wrong. Why should expressing your opinion result in foul and abusive hate mail? Regardless of our roles – political figures, pundits, community activists – is this the price of free speech?
Call it sisterhood, kindred spirits or one ‘blogger to another’, Carla’s incident has shaken me. Every writer who says something slightly provocative or controversial is a target for hate mail. And hate mail can come in many forms – including blog posts, anonymous comments, email and letters. Hate mail never intends to start a discussion. The goal is to silence.
The recent violence in Arizona shows us the level of anger and vitriol that some people are carrying around in today’s society. Near-fanatical hatred drives personal attacks on people with whom they may disagree. It is a Federal offense to send feces through the US Postal service and I hope that the Lower Merion Police Department can track down this criminal.
Beyond adding awareness and offering my support through this post on Community Matters, I am feeling helpless. Is this the price tag for freedom of speech?
Below is Carla’s latest post on Save Ardmore Coalition.
So today started like any other day, except it was warm and beautiful out. Then around noon, Ria from Save Ardmore Coalition contacted me to let me know I had SAC mail at the P.O. Box in Ardmore – it happens occasionally.
But given what happened to me recently (being sent poop in the mail as documented in the post Is This a Price of Free Speech), I asked her to describe the envelope. What she described was a doppelgänger of the first poopy-gram.
Oh HELLO groundhog day! Seriously?
So I went to pick up the envelope and it was identical except the address was the SAC P.O. Box and the postmark was Philadelphia not Southeastern. Same pencil, same caps/block printing, same stinky contents.
I did not open the envelope and instead took myself right to the Lower Merion Police Department. I made an additional report and BOTH envelopes have been taken into the Lower Merion Police Department as evidence. They are being processed as evidence and the LMPD is taking this second incident seriously.
I have to tell you the LMPD was wonderful today. The LMPD actually opened the envelope which arrived today – and yes – the contents were the same: shit. (Of course I wonder how the post office people in Ardmore couldn’t smell this, because this one did stink.)
I also called NBC10, and yes, this will be a news story – they find the topic newsworthy and before someone rolls up here and says self-aggrandizement, I want you to stop and think how disgustingly timely this is. Think about what the blogging teacher in Bucks County, Natalie Monroe is going through – even if she is turning this into a national media tour. More to the point, were the scary assed threats the Notre Dame Teacher who blogged, Elizabeth Collins was subjected to.
The commonality is, like it or not, in my head – targeting bloggers, specifically female bloggers. This is a crime against women, like it or not. I don’t believe in crime against women.
Now, the country not heard from: The United States Postal Service. In spite of calls from high level customer service personnel at the United States Postal Service who have told me mailing shit is a federal offense, in spite of having been directed to a Philadelphia area inspector via (877)-876-2455, I have yet to have a phone call back from any postal inspector.
I write about lots of things, but I don’t believe this is any politician – not their M.O. – they just denounce me from podiums and lump me into small mean spirited groups of individuals and twaddle on about decorum as they eviscerate citizens for exercising their right to free speech.
Do I know who this is? No. But to be honest, this isn’t the first time I have had an “admirer”.
Not all of you may like my writing style or poking fun at politicians, but I do have standards and do not believe ANY blogger or ANY woman deserves this.
I thank all of you out there for your support and caring and concern – from the police to friends, fellow bloggers and members of the traditional media.
I will continue to provide the police with any poopy-grams and any threats I receive.
To the person out there who is doing this – I am not sure what I did, but I am sorry you are upset. But seriously, you need to stop, as what you have done apparently is actually illegal. To me it makes it SO not worth it.
Ok bloggers, weigh in.