Douche of the Week: Bandwagon Bullies
By Toby Nunn
It never ceases to amaze me the self-righteous attacks that blindly follow a social media post about a so-called egregious injustice. Some grammatically incorrect hash-tag that as a result of that attention, gains trending status resulting in everyone feeling socially compelled to inject their two cents regardless of knowledge, experience or basic understanding of the particular topic.
These are often received as calls to action in which many cases are perceived as a blanket of immunity for mob bullying and, pardon the pun, open season on individuals whose beliefs or practices, while not illegal, are disagreed with.
This weeks social aggression and resulting cyber bullying is directed at a successful dentist who traveled legally and freely to Africa and paid an extraordinary amount of money to hunt and take a lion as a trophy. Is the dentist a risky law-skirting hunter with a bad reputation for questionable kills? Maybe. Does this behavior of paying money to get something one wants warrant death threats? No.
Just like the cheerleader from Texas Tech University, Kendall Jones, who went on a safari with her Dad or Melissa Bachman who both legally killed lions. The real “bad guys” here are the greedy that will break the law for a quick payday and those that are forgetting the laws of the United States do not extend to Zimbabwe, Africa.
While in the recent years lions have become less socially popular trophies, they are still widely known as the king of the jungle and one of the earth’s apex predators. Which, in itself, is pretty ironic since the male lion is pretty lazy and expects his pride and harem of lioness to hunt and feed him.
Cecil the lion was part of study by Oxford University and had a GPS collar as part of the study. While it makes my heart warm that lions other than Alex are considered celebrities, they are still wild creatures and being on a preserve does not equate to being harmless or tame despite the cool videos circulating of lions hugging and playing with humans. The killing of a collared lion is ethically and legally wrong but mistakes and misjudgments are made at times and why there are rules, practices and repercussions based on laws and investigations.
Did Walter Palmer, the dentist from Minnesota, deliberately set out to murder Cecil the Lion in a grudge killing or was his desire to have a lion in his collection? That’s something we will never really know. What we do know is that in Zimbabwe there are extremely strict laws that govern such hunting.
Permits are given to land owners in the form of pest and overpopulation permits and only citizens who have been awarded “Professional Hunter” licenses can guide hunts and the harvesting animals. In this case, professional hunter Theo Bronchorst and landowner Mr. Honest Trymore Ndlovu committed a criminal act and have both been charged.
According to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, the Victoria Falls Police have their investigation well in hand. The irony of the landowners name shouldn’t be lost here either. If a criminal act was committed then due process and the governing laws of the land will prevail. This will happen with solid police work and does not require the American conscience or self-deploying cyber douchebags.
Just because you disagree with a person’s beliefs does not give you the “right” to force them out of business, ruin their livelihood and publicly shame them into succumbing to your idea of what you think is acceptable. Freedom of speech gives you the right to think and say that you think Walter Palmer is a jackass for killing Cecil the Lion. But, should he be run out of business and or have his life and family threatened?
I’m a guy that spends a solid amount of time in the outdoors and also help run a charity called Veteran Outdoors that takes wounded veterans out on dream adventures. Many of these are hunting excursions that provide a reality to a warrior that he or she can and are still capable of basic human necessity. Should we be victims of cyber bullying as well because we condone conservation initiatives and responsible hunting.
Blindly following a hash tag might make you feel like you are being a social warrior but it often times just makes you the greater violator of another’s rights than the original perceived oppression.
What if I started the hashtag #StopSoyOppression? I mean really, how dare Soy Bean farmers continue to plant, nurture then kill the innocent soybean plants purely for a group of humans to have a substitute for meat. How many plants need to die to ease the conscience of those meat haters? This oppression on innocent plant life should not be tolerated and screw boycotting, let’s put the names of known soy bean farmers out there and publically shame them into planting pecan trees so every person can have their own precious set of nuts.