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If you see something, say something.

I feel like I'm rapid cycling through emotions right now. You just read anger. Now you will read remorse.

I apologize for vomiting as I am onto your screens.

The NY subways, ever since 9/11, have been regularly broadcasting messages on the train and on the platforms that seek to charge NY'ers to being a part of our overall safety. Just as in airports, much is made of suspicious packages. Every frequent subway rider has without a doubt heard to the point of memorization that common phrase... "If you see a suspicious package, don't keep it to yourself. Tell a police officer, or a NYC transit worker." On the MTA website, there is an entire page devoted to deputizing us into being safety wardens.

It's a good campaign, and illustrates something that we should take heed of. Danger is all around us, and we can't expect the authorities to know about it all. We do need to tell someone when we see danger, because untold danger simply becomes more dangerous.

The trick though is that in day to day life, there is someone to tell. You tell the authorities, and it is their job to investigate, confirm, and deal with said danger. It is what they are paid to do... what we as tax paying citizens charge them with. There is a structure in which these things are handled.

In the SM scene, we have no such thing. There are no authorities, there are no people in charge. Sure, there are event directors, and they can kick you out of their event if you prove to be a danger. But they have no power to stop you from going somewhere else... another event, another group, another city... to cause danger over there. No one has authority in the scene. In a land defined by the power exchanges we get turned on by, there is no true power structure. We are a band of deviants, doing what we want with very little other than societies law to stop us.

In a land devoid of law, I feel it is even more important for the individual to take responsibility for the safety of others. As fellow decent human beings, it is our job to watch the back of those who watch ours. The historical leather scene is famous for the idea of it being self-policing. We (supposedly) guarded our own, and kept dangerous individuals out.

Looks great on paper. Really hard to do in practice.

3, 4, however many years ago, I was strongly tempted to shout out when the shithead I wrote about earlier returned to NYC. I wanted to warn everyone that he was not to be trusted, that he was unsafe, and that he should be avoided. I didn't though, I could not. Because that would have been slander. That would have been me slinging shit at someone and thus I would have been ostracized.

I've written about this time, and time, and time again.

But what if I did?? What if I DID tell people how many years ago? Would we be going through what is happening now? Would people been hurt by him? Would he even still be around enough to come back again like he's trying to do now?

I did my best, I suppose. I told a few people who's confidence I had. I told a group leader about the snake in their midst. I did my little part. Clearly it wasn't enough.

If you see something, say something.

When the fuck are we going to start saying something?

Comments

noble_knave
Feb. 10th, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
You raise very good points. How do we police when we are outsiders? Even in small communities, where most people know that a particular person isn't safe and has a history of abuse, nobody does anything about it. Why is that?