McKenzie Deutsch, a Scripps College student, posted a photo of herself posing with Vice President Mike Pence. Initially, she was hesitant to upload the picture because she was fearful of being “shunned” by her peers. Deutsch took a chance and posted the photo, anyway, and it turns out she had good reason to be hesitant.
As soon as the photo was uploaded, Deutsch’s peers condemned her with malicious and outright-bullying comments. Some of her peers thought taking a photo with the vice president “constitutes direct violence and oppression against marginalized groups.”
One commenter criticized her for standing next to someone who is “a threat to human rights everywhere.” Another critical peer claimed she was “ignoring the plights of marginalized people to achieve personal gain” and had “smiled with [her] oppressors.”
“Did you manage to ask him why he thinks women are second-class citizens?” one asked. “How many LBGTQ folks do you need to help send to conversion therapy in exchange for reproductive rights from Pence?”
The harassers even resorted to name-calling at the lowest of levels, with one rude user writing only: “Bitch.”
Deutsch, more than upset over the comments directed at her on the photo post, wrote about the experience in her school newspaper, saying:
“How did we get to the point where taking a photo with someone is an act of violence? How will we ever be able to have adult conversations if no one is ever willing to listen to those who have opposing philosophies? How can we coexist when we write off our political opponents — as well as those who dare to take photos with them — as morally bankrupt?”
Deutsch concluded: “No one seems to remember what their teachers have taught them since Kindergarten: Be respectful of others.”
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