Lessons from the animals; How to talk to racist, misogynist, homophobic folks

Dedicated to all those reactionaries who are on tilt as the world improves around them.

There was quite a ruckus in the forest on a damp evening in July as the animals gathered to talk politics and share photos of their cats and their meals (sometimes the same photo.)  The usual bantering about the happenings in the forest was interrupted by the skunk who seemed to be at wit’s end over the bad press he’d been receiving.

“Every time I get into a spat with someone, they accuse me of stinking. It’s their go-to line.  Like EVERY time I assert myself, it’s ‘oh, there you go again skunk, stinking up the place.’ Can’t they come up with anything else?”

The animals paused for a moment because they always tried to respect the viewpoints of their comrades.   But soon the rabbits and the crows began to snicker while they fought desperately to hold in their laughter.

“But skunk, you do in fact stink really bad whenever you get riled up.   It happens EVERY time,” the owl interceded.

“See…that’s what I’m talking about!” exclaimed the skunk.  “You guys have nothing except that I stink.  Is that all you got?”

The owl dropped his head in silence as he pondered the problem at hand.  If the skunk did, in fact, stink every time, why was it not appropriate to maintain the position that the skunk stinks?

After a moment, the deer tried again.  “So, skunk, what would you suggest we say when you stink up the place?”

The skunk raised his tail in anger and the other animals backed away.  “There you go again.  Every conversation starts with how I stink!”

By this time the animals who had not wandered away in search of a better conversation or because they knew their natural inclination to burst out laughing would cause the skunk to once again stink up the place, stared in disbelief.

The owl, his feathers clearly ruffled, spoke slowly, “Soooo, skunk, I have a question.  Where exactly did you come up with the tactic to avoid confronting the way you stink up the place by pointing out that people recognize that you stink up the place?”

“The Fox told me!” barked the skunk.


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