Imagine that you and a colleague get into a heated argument. It escalates to a point where you insult his appearance and interrupt him multiple times just to make your point heard over his. Given the circumstances, is it alright for your colleague to come over later and destroy your house?
Any reasonable, moral person would answer no to the question above without thinking twice…which is why it absolutely baffles me that when Jamie Otis took a pickaxe to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday, Oct. 26, people praised him instead of condemning him.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not a fan of Mr. Trump. I think he’s arrogant, rude, sexist and condescending, but that doesn’t mean that a resort to violence against him and his existence suddenly becomes OK.
Let me be clear and define violence as the use of force to purposefully destroy something or someone.
The destruction of property without the owner’s consent is a violation of someone’s rights. Violence comes in many forms, from slapping someone across the face, to breaking something that belongs to them, or even being deceitful and undermining someone else’s judgement. Whatever form it comes in, I maintain that violence is not a legitimate means of interacting with other people.
In a video he released, Otis said that he did it “because of the amount of sexual assaults that not only [his] own family has experienced, but that the many women that Donald Trump has done this to.”
Otis tried to veil his actions as justified by attempting to give them a morally permissible reason, but the truth is that there’s no way to justify violence as a means of making a point.
Violence is not a legitimate means of interacting with other people because as soon as it becomes a contending factor of any relationship, that interaction can no longer be considered a civil one between two consenting individuals. Instead, it becomes a barbaric interaction, characteristic of savages who live by the rule of binary options force.
As for the people who have praised Otis for his actions, I’m confused. I’m confused because I’m sure that if someone were to use the principle they’re praising against them, they would react differently, exposing them as hypocrites.
What Otis was trying to protest is Trump’s alleged immoral behavior: behavior which registers as especially alarming because it’s coming from someone who has the potential power to seriously influence the United States’ political policies. While I support speaking out against unethical conduct, the way to combat immorality is with morality. Otis’ choice of expression was unethical, undermining his whole intention.
The way to properly fight a man who has at least eleven women’s allegations of sexual assault made against him, is to educate people on what they can do to prevent him from gaining any more power than he already has.
Instead of demolishing part of a sidewalk commemorating Trump’s politically-unrelated achievement, Otis should have informed people on organizations that support victims of sexual assault, or even simply given them valid reasons to not to vote for Trump. When Otis allegedly committed a felony and ruined something that wasn’t his to touch, he sank to Trump’s childish level of conduct.