I have a copy of an “incident report” from the San Angelo Police Department.
In not so many words, it tells me that a report was made to the police of a man hitting a woman. Apparently, he ended up slapping her on the shoulder out of anger, hurting her in the process. There isn’t any explanation beyond that. It doesn’t say that he was aiming at the shoulder. It doesn’t say that he was aiming at the face, but she dodged and he clipped the shoulder.
He hit her, and she was hurt by it. For some reason, she chose to not press charges. She just wanted for there to be an official report.
I am both saddened, and angered by this.
First, I must declare that I’m not a guy that says a man must not hit a woman, ever. If it is legitimate self-defense, then one must defend himself. There are ladies out there just as capable of killing a person as any man may be. However, I am against striking at someone in anger. Regardless of gender, THAT JUST SHOULDN’T HAPPEN! Senseless violence is wrong, and it can’t get any more wrong than that.
I also believe that my sadness, coupled with anger, comes from my hero worship of the offender. I was able to spend time with this fellow. He fought the old battles, had the stories and the scars to prove it. He was a down to earth sort of guy, with a Ph.D. kind of mind to go with it. He wasn’t one of my major heroes, but I did look up to him.
I’m also upset with the organization that the man represented. I supported it with my money and my votes. Their silence is deafening. I hold them as responsible as the offender in this regard. You are shameful, and I’m ashamed that you claim the self-identifier of Baptist. I’m ashamed that you claim to speak for the marginalized, those without voice, as protectors of our heritage. Your silence lessens our tribe.
When will people come to understand that transparency is the best option? When will people understand that truth brought to light is the best endeavor? In our digital, fully connected age, there is little place for secrets left in the world. True, we don’t have to hang our laundry out to dry in public. But, our very public figures have to be held accountable.