A reflexion on a phenomenon that is already becoming too frequent

Bullying in social media and its boomerang effect: the case of Juan Luis Steegmann

I know what I'm risking by writing this, but it's been years since I refused to let threats dictate what should be posted here.

Vox and the curious things that some media are trying to sneak in as 'information'
Iván Espinosa, la elegante despedida de un gran político, una buena persona y un amigo

Yesterday it was learned that Juan Luis Steegmann, Doctor of Medicine and Vox deputy during the last legislature, has renounced his deputy minutes, since he was the one who should replace Iván Espinosa de los Monteros. Steegmann has also left his position on Vox's national executive committee. All this while some hoax diffusers presented the resignation of Iván Espinosa as a kind of master move by Steegmann to climb positions in Vox.

In a civilized country, any political party should be proud to have such a prestigious doctor as Steegmann in its ranks, and Vox has not been an exception. This explains why he was included in the Vox list for Madrid for the last general elections despite the constant and systematic bullying to which some have been subjecting this man through social media.

It is curious to observe the hatred, viciousness and fixation of some people with this Doctor of Medicine, simply because it does not coincide with the theses of the anti-vaccine movement, which, being a doctor, is not a surprise. Some have hurled all sorts of insults at him, hoaxes and nonsense simply for recommending vaccination. He did it respecting the individual freedom of each one, defendeding it in the Congress. The same people who directed the worst insults againts him, then became offended by anything he said, however small, often twisting and manipulating his words.

But his position on vaccines has not been the only excuse to attack him. Steegmann has come under heavy antisemitic attacks, including death threats, simply because he is considered a Jew by some, such as if that were something bad, or for the mere fact of congratulate the Jewish community on Hanukkah, something that I -as a Catholic- do every year. The thing is, he had a crucifix in his office in the Congress, a curious detail for an alleged Jew. I lose count of the number of phil-nazis I have read insulting him with antisemitic messages on Twitter. Now that should concern us, and not the legitimate and respectable opinions of this doctor.

After Steegmann's resignation, many of these bullies will be patting themselves on the back, pleased with their success in getting a prestigious doctor to resign from representing Vox. Perhaps it would be good for them to begin to reflect on the boomerang effect that bullying has on social networks and what the explosions of fanaticism that have occurred throughout history have had, in general.

Many who attacked Steegmann for his position on health maybe soon start attacking anyone who considers aspirin or simply seeing a doctor healthy when suffering an ailment, instead of following the advice of any of the many wand salesmen on the Internet. And it is that there are people who simply do not want to get vaccinated -which I think is very respectable- and there are anti-vaccinators who insult you for having been vaccinated, as has happened to me repeatedly for having done so. But in the anti-vaccine movement, there are people who go further and consider that pharmaceutical companies and the drugs they produce are part of a conspiracy to subjugate and even exterminate us.

Regarding antisemitism, yesterday the problem was that Steegmann congratulated Hanukkah and tomorrow those indicated will be all of us who do not deny the Holocaust, or simply all of us who are not blond and Aryan, because racists also there are varying degrees of stupidity, as history has shown so many times.

History has also shown what the consequence of giving free rein to fanaticism is: you're always going to find someone more fanatical than you who will consider you a traitor if you don't join their faction.

Therefore, I am not afraid of being wrong if I predict that those who today boast of having managed to get Steegmann to resign, tomorrow they will look for another victim , with any excuse, no matter how poor. Entering the vicious circle of the fanatics, giving in to their bullying and agreeing to their demands, is like entering a minefield: once inside it is very difficult to get out. The question that some should be asking themselves now is the following: how many of those who have participated in that bullying will end up being bullied tomorrow?


Foto: Vox.

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