We all get them.
Nasty forwarded emails from Right-Wing Nut-Jobs.
The sender might be relative we dearly love, or a distant cousin, or a friend-of-a-friend, or a sometimes frenemy.
I got one from a stranger the other day. I wrote a brief diary about my experience, and thought I had handled the situation effectively.
I was wrong.
I've come up with a different solution. I doubt that my solution is new; the idea is so obvious, I may be the last person in the known universe to adopt it.
It involves sweetness, work, and a bit of sting.
Think honeybee, and fly with me, if you will, past the fragrant fleur d'oranger.
Here is the little story of my email. Briefly, I received a hoax email in which "Bill Cosby" recites a bunch of xenophobic Right-Wing feculence. I wrote to the sender, a fellow named David, and told him the email was a hoax. Then I googled him, called him, and chatted, and soon received another hateful hoax email from him, or whoever had hacked his account. But he seemed like a very nice guy, on the phone, and it was impossible to square what I was hearing from him, and the emails.
We corresponded a bit. Turns out, he is good friends with one of my wife's favorite uncles. He wasn't sending the emails, he said, but every time he forwarded his "funny" emails to his usual correspondents, a copy came to me.
The hate just kept on flowing. I begged him to stop sending out lies and hate, and he responded that I was destroying America, and so was Obama.
And the emails kept on coming.
Yesterday, I wrote him:
David,I didn't hit "Send". Usually, I don't hit "Send" because I want to act with a cooler head. But I was past that point. I went to barackobama.com, donated $300, and then added a final line to the email above
So, I got another half-dozen hate-filled, lie-laden emails "from" you.
(e.g.: the one demanding a Constitutional Amendment to insure that Congress pay into Social Security. Fun fact: All members of Congress already contribute to, and, later, receive benefits from the Social Security system. But in fairness, that has only been the case since 1983, and conservatives are typically very, very slow on the uptake.)
Yes, I understand that these emails are not from you. I would ask that you delete our address from your list of correspondents.
I suggest that you go into your email account and change your password. Maybe change your email account.
For every further forwarded Right-Wing-Nut-Job email I get "from" you, I'll donate $50 towards President Obama's re-election. When I approach my $2500 limit, I will begin to donate to other candidates, at the same $50-a-pop.
Starting right now.
(p.s.: I have reconsidered. I'm going to start the clock a few hours ago. So: I just sent in $300)Then, I hit "Send". And I sent David a copy of my receipt from the campaign, too.
Oh, it felt good. It was like a splurge purchase that I can't really afford, but that I could not afford not to do.
Anyway: I urge people to consider responding to hateful, vile, and nasty emails by notifying the sender that a certain number of dollars--or hours, or phone calls, or whatever you can afford--has been donated in response. And that a similar donation will be sent each time, in the future.
You will feel good.
And you may even get a response like the one I received:
I DON'T HAVE YOU IN MY ADDRESS BOOK. I DON'T FORWARD E-MAILS TO YOU. I REMOVED YOUR WIFE'S UNCLE'S E-MAIL ADDRESS FROM MY ADDRESS BOOK. I WILL NOT BE SENDING MY FRIEND ANYMORE E-MAILS OF ANY KIND.I do wish that sweet reason could have turned his heart. But I do think his ankle turned, a bit. And maybe he will be right about the election.
YOU ARE REALLY A STRANGE FELLOW JOE. YOU KNOW THAT I DIDN'T SEND YOU THE FIRST E-MAIL THAT YOU COMPLAINED ABOUT. YOU GO AHEAD AND DONATE ALL OF YOUR MONEY TO YOUR FUTURE DICTATOR. I REALLY DON'T CARE. HE IS GOING TO BE REELECTED WHETHER YOU GIVE HIM MONEY OR NOT. ALL THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT ARE LIVING OFF THE PEOPLE WHO PAY TAXES ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR OBAMA. AND THE MISGUIDED PEOPLE ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM.
DO YOUR THING JOE! THIS IS THE LAST RESPONSE YOU ARE GOING TO GET FROM ME.
AS I SAID I DON'T SEND YOU THOSE FORWARDS, AND I HAVE DELETED BRIGHAM'S E-MAIL ADDRESS FROM MY CONTACTS. AND, EVERY YOU SEND ONE OF YOUR TIRADES, I HAVE TO DELETE YOU ADDRESS.
Let's all help David be right, please. He still has another ankle.