(This statement was posted on Alicia Dearn’s Facebook and us being reprinted here)
I say two things frequently that I think are very true about human interactions.
First, about 90% of human arguments is caused by a mixture of miscommunication and pride.
Second, apologies are not about you, but about recognizing the humanity of another person.
Both legal battles and politics would be much improved if people listened these two pieces of wisdom.
So I will start by following my own advice.
I apologize to Joshua Smith for my part in hurting his feelings yesterday. I also apologize to anyone who had their positive activism disrupted yesterday to deal with Facebook drama.
This is a sincere apology. At least a few people are upset and I cannot abide that. That is especially so because this was avoidable.
As an aside, the main reason people don’t apologize is that they think it will hurt them. I do not care whether an apology will hurt my campaign.
Although so many of you seem to think otherwise, my campaign is not the most important motivator in my life. I would be OK if I don’t win. I say and do things based on my code of beliefs.
Further, about 100 or so people saw this. There are 1000 delegates. This episode does not have the necessary numbers to sway a campaign. To believe that Facebook impacts the delegates that strongly is irrational.
OK, back to what I was saying: I think we should take a minute to understand how we got here.
Clealy, Tinisha Paschal is upset about how she was treated in Washington late February. Whether she is remembering right or wrong is besides the point. She felt disrespected and hurt. The proper response to that is to apologize to her. The improper response is to call her a liar. Just say sorry because apologies are not about you.
As a woman who frequently fields crude remarks — with increasing crudeness as alcohol gets involved — it would be awesome if men practiced being more respectful. We are human beings, not walking vaginas.
OK so Tinisha told people about this contemporaneously. She told me, but I don’t share secrets. I do not use another woman’s upset for personal gain either. It’s extremely offensive to be accused of that. I care about Tinisha as a human being. I want her to not be hurt.
Some time passed and Tinisha was unsure whether she would share this publicly. My statement to her is that I would support her whatever she chose. That is how I would feel about any woman who told me that they felt abused. It is not right to encourage women to stay silent. It is better to address these things in hopes of a better society.
Fast forward to Friday. Adam Kokesh has attacked Angela Fisher Owens with a smear You Tube video. I won’t share it. He also texted her son, which I feel is extremely inappropriate.
Angela is upset, and understandably so. She is looking for response. She contacts Joshua and asks him about the allegations with Tinisha, which included Ben Farmer (Kokesh’s right hand guy).
Joshua exploded on Angela. He doesn’t see that she is seeking help. Worse, he makes the assumption that this is some dirty trick by my campaign. He reacts aggressively. Among his statements is a promise to write this up in Think Liberty and his view that I am his enemy.
Joshua then comes to me with a lot of upset and saying my campaign is engaging in a smear campaign (not true) and that Tinisha and Angela are lying. I’m now offended for two reasons. First, he is accusing me of something heinous — that I would orchestrate false sexual harassment allegations for political gain. Second, he is calling another woman a liar and that’s an attack on all women who speak up about experiences they find uncomfortable.
I object and he doesn’t correct me. I form the belief that I’m about to be attacked for not silencing another woman. So I shine a light on that. I’m not OK with bullying behavior in this party.
Contemporaneously, Joshua is publicly fighting with Tinisha and Joe Paschal. No one is getting anywhere.
Several people have expressed to me that they believe Joshua didn’t intend to threaten me. I’ve repeatedly asked him to assure me but he refuses.
That said, I have decided that it doesn’t matter. I refuse to be part of something toxic. So I hid the post last night and started deleting the bickering. It is now suppressed on Facebook.
Now here we are. Joshua is hurt. Tinisha is hurt. I am hurt. Our friends are stressed.
No more blame needs to be asserted. Everyone needs to stop thinking the worst of everyone else and exercise a little compassion.
I hope to see Joshua step up and issue apologies to Tinisha and back to me too. Apologies are not about you. They are about the other person’s feelings. That is why I apologize to Joshua.
I hope that we can turn this into an opportunity to dialogue constructively about how women feel in this party. Abuse, harassment, and assault do happen and are not acceptable. What can we do to make Tinisha feel respected and heard? What can we do to make sure that these things can be addressed without drama?
I hope Angela and Joshua apologize to each other. She was also coming from a place of hurt and fear. We shouldn’t assume the worst of each other.
I also ask that none of us give any attention to drama shit-posting like what Adam Kokesh has just done. He is distracting from our message of freedom. I am disappointed in him.
Please no arguing in the comments. If you want to make some big drama out of this, then I will delete it. It’s not welcome. Hug it out or go home.