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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

I’m sorry but I have to say this

I debated writing today’s post for days. Sometimes I know what I’m going to write about well in advance and sometimes I don’t know until I sit down in front of my computer. Usually I write on Monday or Tuesday and send it out on Wednesday. As I write, this it’s Wednesday morning at 9:52, if that gives you any indication of how long I thought about whether I wanted to put this out there.

Obviously, I decided it meant enough to me to write even though it may bother some people. If it bothers you I’m sorry, but maybe not too sorry. I just hope that if it does anything, it causes you think a little differently.

Starting last Friday I haven’t quite been feeling 100%. I felt off. I felt sad. I couldn’t quite figure out why. It didn’t feel like a reaction to the quarantine. I didn’t feel sick I just felt different. As I thought about it I realized why.

Late last week I saw two videos. One was a solid two-and-a-half minutes of people who didn’t want to wear masks in various stores reacting, with borderline violence in some cases, to the store’s policy of requiring their customers to wear a mask. The other was a video of a reporter walking down the sidewalk at a protest. He was being verbally assaulted by nearly every person he saw, with some people not so subtly threatening violence towards him as he merely walked down the street. The video I saw is 1:46 and uncut and relentless. The reporter himself doesn’t say a word in response or to egg anyone on.

Both of these videos are showing where we are right now. Both of these videos are clearly demonstrating that empathy is rapidly vacating our culture. That “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is no longer something that is being taught or believed in by many.

No matter what you believe about the current situation, does that make it OK to treat human beings in this manner?

Well, we know of at least one person who believes that it’s not only OK, but actually the right thing to do.

The video of the reporter was retweeted by President Trump as if to say, “Great job!” to everyone who was yelling.

“Great job intimidating another human being! Great job treating someone else like garbage!”

I’ve been angry at times. I’ve been upset. I’ve felt like I was treated unfairly. I would NEVER treat anyone like this. ANYONE! I’ve lived by certain rules in my life. A big one being this:

Try to make sure that if you look back on a moment at a later time,

you are proud of what you did and how you acted.

I think what is hurting me is that I believe that these people WOULD be proud of what they did and how they acted. That they believe their behavior IS justified. The big question is why?

Being the President of the United States is a big job.

It’s an important job. Probably the most important job in the world.

It’s a tough job.

It’s supposed to be.

The President has many responsibilities.

One of them is to be a leader. A true leader is someone who tries to bring people together and models behavior.

I ask you:

  1. Would you teach people to behave in this manner?

  2. Would you teach your kids to behave in this manner?

  3. When you watch these videos do you feel good?

  4. Do you feel like the object of these attacks is getting what they deserve?

  5. Do you feel like these attacks are helping society and the world?

I really hope you answered no to those questions.

Unfortunately, the President of the United States has demonstrated that he would answer yes to all of them.

These are not my values and they are not the values of Castro Valley Fitness.

If you support this President, I have to ask:

“Why do you feel like treating people like this is OK and helpful to society?” 

If you support this man, this is a question you must answer.

You cannot support him and brush this off. It is a crucial component to who he is and what he stands for. Is it what you stand for?

This is no longer a question of Republican/Democrat/Liberal/Conservative. This is a question of humanity and what we want our society to be and to reflect.

In our gym (yes, I own a gym. I’m not a professional political columnist) we have all sorts of people. All shapes, sizes religions and orientations. Everyone is welcome. Our values reflect that. My personal values reflect that. Sometimes when I meet a prospective member, they’re a little afraid. They don’t know what to expect. They’ll ask, “Are you going to yell at me?” I have never yelled at one of our members in 10 years of doing this.

When I watch the things in these videos not only occurring, but being endorsed and encouraged by the man who is supposedly our example, it hurts me.

It goes against everything I’ve ever believed. It goes against what I used to believe we were as a society. I’m not sure what we are now.

I know this isn’t what you read my posts for. I’m sorry, but I write about values and how important they are to our health in many terms and I think this is important. We can’t hide from this. We can’t afford to.

If you disagree, I would love to have a civil conversation about why.

I promise a great Friday workout video for you and back to my normal content next week.

Take care and be safe.

Mitch Rothbardt

2861 Grove Way


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