So. We are sometimes, now, asked for civility.
Do you know what real civility looks like?
I’m reminded of the model of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The acknowledgment that in order to have reconciliation, we must first have truth.
Right now? We do not have truth. Calls for civility come from people who often in the same breath lie. And not mere lies, but the disingenuous mocking of even the act of concealment of the malice they wield.
We do not owe civility to such people. Not the hollow, demure “civility” asked of us.
And to the people standing in the middle, uncomfortable with all of this, also asking us for civility rather than joining us in asking them to cease their crimes?
We also do not owe you civility. Not the passivity of acquiescence you believe it to be.
Civility is a word meaning the calm politeness one encounters amid civilization. We are not the barbarians at the gate tearing apart civilization. We are the ones demanding civilization be at last founded. Given the bedrock it deserves. We are demanding truth and justice be given its day, demanding sunlight!
We are civilization, the barest seeds of it.
It is we who have been clamoring for civility this whole time. Some of us growing and learning as we do so, awakening from the coarsest of understanding but knowing how the roots should grow, in what directions we should climb. Using our loudest voices to give real civilization the chance that maybe it doesn’t deserve after everything we have seen, but we have to try.
You owe us civility. Genuine civility.