This comment is from Algonquin Township Trustee Rachael Lawrence about the Facebook threat she and other running for office received last year:
Not only was the author unknown to me at the time, so was his mental state.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t genuinely fear for my safety and that of my family.
I was one of multiple people truly frightened by that post enough to report it to law enforcement, as well as demand video be added to my home security system.
Notice I didn’t run to the newspapers like one attention-seeking politician who shall not be named.
Neither they, nor law enforcement did anything, except leave him (the author) a voicemail message, which he strangely enough videotaped and then posted as a comment under that post, requesting that he “change the first sentence of his post.”
He edited the post to say “KISS ALL THE RADICALS! Kill them with kindness,” then commented further expressing that he did not intend to frighten anyone, completely brushing off the genuine fear that he caused as if it were comical that anyone might find it threatening.
Although that author made several valid points in his diatribe, all those were lost in the call for violence and the blatantly false accusations within.
I’ve since learned that the author has done and is doing many good things for the community, despite the misinformed and violent post, and I no longer perceive him as a violent threat (at this time).
I think there are two lessons to be learned here:
1) If you’re a NWH darling, your life is more important than a low level political candidate of the Republican variety, and
2) Facebook, social media, and blogs are an excellent way to dehumanize both yourself and others, be misinterpreted, and cause further division among well-meaning human beings who really have more in common than your local “activists” would have you believe.