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The Twerp
Explaining Self-Control with Belligerents to Your Sons

I was distracted. I am at a birthday party for the little kid next door. Threats and big talk and bad vibes abound, my boys are learning about dindu culture. One black man threatened to beat my kid when I was on the other side of the park. My boy [redacted] then called him an asshole and picked up a tree branch, then sat at the edge of the park, watching this guy. Ok, now they’re calling each other niggers and proclaiming how little they care for the cops. And yelling. Fun. Gotta go.

Kids told me I should beat up the dindu in the red shirt who threatened our family. I explained that he didn’t really want to hurt you kids, but that different cultures beat their kids more than me. Not good enough. My kids want me to avenge the disrespect brought upon our clan....

“Sorry folks are just different. I could easily beat this negro twerp, but won’t.”

James, how do I explain restraint without sounding like a lazy coward?

Take your time answering. I know you’re busy.


Okay, Hoss

Tony, in such wise do the Fates put in our pale hands the opportunity to educate our whelps as to the true threat to our survival as autonomous beings.

Start out by telling the more belligerent tyke that you are proud of him for arming himself against the irrational Dindustani National.

Next praise him for taking up a defensive perimeter position rather than rashly plunging into combat with a larger foe.

Then inform him who the real enemy is, that this mortal foe has thousands of armed and uniformed terrorists, trained and equipped to abduct any man who defends himself, his honor or his family. This would be the time to tell them about your incarceration experience, and that if you get locked up again—especially if the frail foe, so loved by the Ultimate Enemy, to whom he is a feted pet, was seriously injured—than you will not be there to protect or avenge them, or even house them.

It would then follow that you tell them a story about vengeance, and how it is reserved for more serious threats than Leviathan’s pets.

This will lead to a necessary discussion on identifying mortal threats and differentiating such from retarded foolery. This would be the point where you bring up the fact that the fool they wished you to punish has no agency, no mind of his own, and therefore does not occupy the field of honor, that his defeat is not necessary to preserve honor and cannot enhance honorable status any more than managing an unreasonable woman or an unruly dog, and further, that such instances when women and dogs and undermen might be brought to heel call for the man of honor to exercise his control by bending these creatures to his will and making them into his servants, or by ostracizing these pitiful beings and denying them the uplifting experience of serving him.

“So boys, when dogs and women and dindus bark, bitch and bluster, deprive them of their rare chance to live a meaningful life by serving you and abandon them to the bad intentions of lesser men by walking away, and if they follow you break their spirit, their heart or their sneakered foot.”

I think you’re up to that, Tony.

Waking Up in Indian Country: Harm City: 2015

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