Eric, the 1/2 troll left a couple of comments that suggest he sincerely aspires to ”PEACE” (here and here). Peace is a good thing, but we cannot make peace by sacrificing other values such as justice. In addition, we cannot make peace by trusting people who have proven untrustworthy. Unfortunately, my earlier posts seem inadequate to explain these small truths.
Sometimes where a lengthy explanation just doesn’t seem to explain, a short and simple story will. So here is a story for Eric, the 1/2 troll.
The New Principal
He had a Harvard degree. He spoke eloquently, and he seemed so wise. Was he? A few weeks after he arrived, everyone had chance to see for themselves.
You could have heard the noise from the athletic field blocks away. Surrounded by an excited crowd of their fellow students, two boys fought. The crowd egged on one of the boys, the bigger of the two. They even helped him occasionally by trying to trip or punch the other boy from behind. Nonetheless, the smaller boy fought tenaciously. Quick and agile, he somehow managed to get the best of his opponent.
Because of the noise and the crowd, it was only a matter of time before the new principal, Barack Obama, and a couple of teachers arrived on the scene. The two teachers promptly broke up the fight.
Then Obama spoke, “Boys — I want the two you to make peace. I want you to apologize to each other and shake hands.”
One of the boys, David, objected. “But he started it. I was just minding my own….” Obama sternly interrupted. “That makes no difference. The important thing is to make peace.”
Then the other boy, Muhammad, grinned and spoke up. “Of course, the important thing is peace. I apologize, David.” Then Muhammad extended his hand to David.
David looked at the principal in surprise. Obama smiled and nodded, indicating David should shake Muhammad’s hand. David, gritting his teeth, said “I apologize.” Then he extend his hand. Muhammad, still grinning, took David’s hand in his own, gripped it, and start to shake David’s hand.
Then Muhammad surprised everyone. He started slugging David with his other hand, partly stunning him. Fortunately, before Muhammad had killed David, the two teachers separated the two boys again.
What happened next, however, was even more surprising. Obama again insisted that the boys apologize and shake hands. Muhammad, obviously pleased by this turn of events, promptly apologized to David and offered his hand. David, however, refused. David knew that once Muhammad got hold of him, he could not get away. Although Muhammad was slow, he was big and strong.
Yet the principal insisted, so David tried to explain. “Once Muhammad gets hold of me, he is just going to…”. Obama sternly interrupted again. You must apologize and shake hands.”
David did not know what to do, but he feared Muhammad would beat him again. So he refused.
Obama did know what to do. Determined to have peace, he suspended David from school, and he threatened to have David expelled if he ever caught him fighting again.