I am running a bake sale in my town. You may have heard of it, as the national press is calling it the Cupcake Protest. I am not personally planning to make cupcakes—although maybe… I’m thinking more muffins. But maybe banana bread. I’m never entirely sure in advance. I want to learn croissants, too.
Moreover, it’s not a protest. “Protest” means there’s something you’re against. And we are for. We are for protecting children worldwide from deadly diseases. Also adults and the immunosuppressed. We are for providing helpful, appropriate support for children on the spectrum. Also adults. We are for being an ally to autistic self-advocacy. Also all the other kinds of self-advocacy. We really like self-advocacy. And for herd immunity. We like that, too.
Do you remember in The Laramie Project that friend of Matthew Shephard, Romaine Patterson? Here’s part of her monologue when she realizes that the Westboro Baptist types are coming to yell at the victim’s family during the trial:
So, our idea is to dress up like angels. And so we have designed an angel outfit—for our wings are huge—they’re like big-ass wings—and there’ll be ten to twenty of us that are angels—and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna encircle Phelps…and because of our big wings—we are gonna com-plete-ly block him.
So this big-ass band of angels comes in, we don’t say a fuckin’ word, we just turn our backs to him and we stand there….And we are a group of people bringing forth a message of peace and love and compassion. And we’re calling it “Angel Action”…
…And I knew that my angels were gonna be taking the brunt of everything he had to yell and say. I mean, we were gonna be blocking his view and he was gonna be like pissed off to all hell….So I went out and bought all my angels earplugs.
Romaine Patterson is a real person, and she continues to promote Angel Activism. I’m not much into angels, but her point has always stuck with me. If someone has something to say, let him talk. Let him yell if he wants, no matter how much you abhor his message. But you show up and put your angel wings on and turn your back. And you wear earplugs.
Or bake cupcakes. You know, whatever works for you. The important part is don’t give them oxygen. Do not give them the controversy they want. Turn towards the light.