The 23-year-old MoveOn activist stomped on video by a Rand Paul volunteer on Monday has not — as the stomper requested — offered an apology to the man who stepped on her head. But Lauren Valle has reached out to Tim Profitt in a long open letter that states, “Violence hurts everyone.”
Outside the final Kentucky Senate debate between the Republican Paul and Democratic nominee Jack Conway, Valle was wrestled to the ground and stomped on by Profitt after she tried to confront Paul as part of a MoveOn stunt. In the aftermath, Profitt has been investigated by police for criminal assault and, in a move that surprised some, called on Valle to apologize to him for getting in the way of his foot, or something.
Today, Valle decided not to give Profitt what he wanted. But she did offer a long take on the nature of violent politics that has appeared more than a few times this year.
“Mr. Profitt, You have asked that I apologize to you,” Valle wrote. “Perhaps this is not the apology that you are looking for, but I do have some things to say.”
Read the full letter below:
Mr. Profitt, You have asked that I apologize to you. Perhaps this is not the apology that you are looking for, but I do have some things to say.
I have been called a progressive, a liberal, a professional agitator. You have been called a conservative, a Republican, a member of the Tea Party movement. Fundamentally and most importantly, you and I are both human beings. We are also both American citizens. These two facts, to me, are far more meaningful than the multitude of labels that we carry. And if these two facts are true then it means we are on the same team.
I have not been for one moment angry with you and your actions. Instead I feel thoroughly devastated. It is evident that your physical assault on me is symptomatic of the crisis that this country is struggling through. And it seems that I will heal from my injuries long before this country can work through our separation. Only when we decide let go of our hate, our violence and our aggression will we be able to communicate to each other about the issues that divide us. Right now, we are not communicating, we are stomping on each other. No one can ever win, no one can ever be heard, with violence.
You and I, as fellow citizens, and we, as a country, have a choice. Either we choose to continue the cycle of inflicting violence upon each other, screaming at each other, insulting each other and putting one another down or we and find a way to sit down and start listening to each other. We’ll see how far we get. We are all viciously and vociferously feeding a fire that will only burn us down together. We must reach inside ourselves and make space for each other. We must forgive each other. We must believe in our capacity for transformation. The moment we choose compassion and reconciliation is the moment that we will begin to move toward freedom. There is no other way.
I believe that you should be held accountable for your actions but I also recognize the incredibly negative impact that the consequences must be having on your life, and I wish you all the best as you yourself heal from this. Violence hurts everyone.