It’s a very different life when you wake up one morning and see that people are very publicly posting on the homepage of your organization’s website that they are going to murder you and those who support you as well as all those who happen to share your ethnicity, culture and/or religious faith.
I founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) in the early 2000s and, in so doing, became a thing that is called a “public figure.”
Now, if you are a professional athlete or Hollywood entertainer, being one of these “public figure” creatures can, I assume, be really cool.
But if you do what I do as a civil rights advocate leading a large civil rights organization, it’s not quite that way.
It’s far more lonely, dangerous, brutal, and expensive.
It’s taken many, many years for me to get used to being in the public eye, and not all of it is bad. But a lot of it sure as hell can be. The constant hate is almost indescribable.
I get it.
As I’ve said many times before, my job as a national civil rights advocate is NOT to be the “pearl in the oyster.” Rather, my job is to be the IRRITANT in that oyster that causes the pearl to form.
When you start being such an irritant to the powers that be, especially where we do it in the U.S. armed forces, the VA, and the Intelligence Agencies, there WILL be perpetual backlash and much of it is personal, ugly, and hurtful. This blowback comes with the territory, and we all here at MRFF accept that fact and do our best to acclimate to it.
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