Patience Merriman

A victim of a sanctimonious social-media mob

It's ironic that Stephanie Givens, after hanging a ”Grinch” skeleton in a prison uniform in her yard, was subjected to the same outraged mob mentality that led to lynchings in the first place.

It seems that even nice, liberal Vermonters are trolling for affronts and projecting evil where none was intended. Depending on your perspective, Ms. Givens' display could be seen as funny, tasteless, or disturbing. But it takes sheer paranoid projection to identify the race of a plastic skeleton.

I'm sorry Ms. Givens was judged, branded, and scourged by people who thought they saw “blackface” on a skull. Yes, maybe Givens' skeleton wasn't tasteful, and, yes, any depiction of hanging has sordid historical connotations. But this was obviously a Halloween decoration that morphed into a holiday display, not an expression of racial contempt.

The sanctimonious social media mob that attacked Givens has gone quiet for now - hopefully, feeling remorseful for their unkindness.

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Yoga teacher was an easy target

After centuries of living under repressive patriarchal systems, women in advanced nations have achieved important rights to life, liberty and self-determination. But in conflict regions, refugee camps, and repressive societies, the story is quite different. Each year, millions of woman are beaten, raped, jailed, kidnapped, and sold into slavery.

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Trump shows blue-collar values — but only the negative ones

In his commentary, Richard Morton, a Republican Party leader, calls Donald Trump “a blue-collar billionaire.” Which makes me wonder: What exactly do we mean when we call someone “blue collar” today? My grandfather and most of my uncles were blue-collar workers. (So was I, for a while.) Years ago,

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We paid for Trump’s stuff — let’s seize it

I would like to respond to Andy Davis's and Connie Burton's respective criticism of my call for disruptive protests against Donald Trump. First, I did not and would never advocate violence against human beings. Property destruction, however - particularly the destruction of property acquired through tax evasion (by the president of the United States!) - does not seem unreasonable to me. I respect that many people want to engage in holding hands, marching, and singing. I'll also be doing these...

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It’s time for disruptive protest

We blogged, we donated, we wrote letters to the editor, we won debates, we posted funny Facebook videos. But we didn't stop Trump. Now we have a vulgar, lying, racist, sexist, narcissistic bully as our president. But we still have the power to bring him down. The time has come for an American Resistance. Forget Kumbaya. Forget waiting for karma. Prayer, debates, and Facebook postings won't stop Donald Trump. Here are some things that might. * * * • Massive,

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Difficult to get sanctimonious over Bill Clinton’s infidelities

Sandy Golden's letter accused Hillary Clinton of blindly standing by her husband when he was accused of making unwelcome sexual advances. Golden also invited readers to Google “Kathleen Willey,” a woman who accused Clinton of “groping her” 28 years ago. So I did, and the results were eye-popping. According to Willey, not only did Bill Clinton “grope” her, but the Clintons also connived to murder her husband in cold blood. As if that wasn't enough, she says the Clintons also...

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Trump knows how to make money — and how to lose it. Big time.

I once did a job for Donald Trump. That is, my tiny little company once did a job for his giant casino business. It was not a positive experience. It was 1991, and I was working in a two-person ad agency outside Philadelphia. One day my partner and I had a call from a former colleague who'd taken a job with Trump Plaza Boardwalk. Dave told us the casino was planning a big advertising campaign and asked if we could...

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Just for kicks

I don't think Bernie Sanders is that clueless. As Curtiss Reed Jr. wrote, he just needs a sharp reminder (a kick upside the head), especially if he hopes to compete on the national stage. Racism is alive and kicking all across this land - and apparently in Vermont as well.

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