I wasn’t going to post this. But, fuck it.
One thing I’ve noticed about social media is how quick people are to jump on outrage bandwagons and beat a dead horse with postings and repostings about situations, opinions, arguments, douche bags and everything that’s wrong with the world.
While I think social media is a great outlet for sharing your thoughts and giving people a glimpse into the news that traditional media doesn’t present, I also see it as a dangerous breeding ground that is only going to serve to produce more hate and ignorance. If you have opinions, write a blog about it (hey!). But don’t shove it down the throats of people who simply want to have a good time and escape from the horrors of reality for a bit.
Let’s start with the mess in Ferguson and go from there. What happened there was fucked up. There’s no question about it. The killing of an unarmed teenager by an on-duty police officer is terrifying. The protests and the way the people of Ferguson felt they were being treated cause so much anger across the world, and much of it was justified. It was an illustration of the problems we face in this world, when it comes to differing social groups and the hierarchy of power and fear that is spread. And yes, I said world. Because this is not a struggle relegated to the United States.
Look at the history of Gaza and Israel. You see it there. And if you’re so inclined to read about that from the perspective of a doctor from Gaza, I’d highly suggest “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity” by Izzeldin Abuelaish. Read that. Look at Ferguson and other places where one group of people is being kept down by another and you’ll START to get it, even if you’ve never been pushed to the bottom.
BUT, and this is a big one (much like my own…) the rampant hatred of police officers in general that was being spewed across Twitter made me sick to my stomach. It wasn’t anger at racist police officers. It was a general smack down, insinuating that all police officers, who were white, were racist assholes, hell bent on ridding the world of an entire group of people. I’m going to tell you, it really bothered me. Why? Because these people were complaining that all police officers were judging an entire group of people based on their race. And yet, these “champions” were judging an entire group of people based on their profession. That, my friends, is hypocritical bullshit. Plus, my uncle is a cop, so when you insult the entire profession, you’re insulting my family.
I’ve written on this subject before when I wrote about one of the “occupy” rallies and the fallout a police officer got for killing a dog. Read it here https://ladorka.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/occupy-this/ if you’d like. It’s important to understand the mentality of both sides of the fence when you’re watching a situation like we had in Ferguson. Sure, the police were overzealous in squashing the protests. But, let’s not forget that they were likely just as terrified as the rioters and were just trying to do their jobs, with lack of training for this very thing. I’m not justifying shit. I think many people on both sides displayed despicable behavior. Both sides. Not one side. You can’t seriously look at the clusterfuck that happened there and exonerate either side. Champion your cause. Further your beliefs. But also, wait for everything to take hold. Get the complete story before you go sending your money to the IHop waitress who received a racist note instead of a tip (because as it turned out, she lied). STOP reading horror stories and assuming they must be the truth because they’re not portrayed that way in the media. Also, stop believing everything the media feeds you. Read. Research. Form your own opinions. Share them if you think they’re relevant and you’re ready to face dissenters. But ALWAYS be ready to re-evaluate your stance and bend should it be proven logically unsound.
MOVING ON – rape nail polish. A lot of hoopla, over what? That someone found a way to detect certain drugs in a drink? Jesus. Let it go. People tried to do good. Misguided? Probably, but it’s a fucking tool. Some of us use sunscreen to help prevent burns and skin cancer. Some use bug spray to help prevent mosquito bites. Some people carry mace, pepper spray, guns, tasers, etc. None of these things prevent atrocities, but they might help. We don’t blame a person who gets skin cancer because they didn’t wear the proper SPF, so saying that we’d blame a woman for being raped because she didn’t wear the nail polish is ridiculous. It’s a god damn tool. It’s an option. I, for one, like having options.
But this nail polish spurred on an entire feministic discussion about how we need to teach men to not hurt women. Yes, we should. We should also teach both genders not to hate homosexuals, not murder people, not steal shit, not be arsonists, not to hurt children, not to be assholes and on and on and on. This is not a perfect world. We’re never going to have an entire world built on mutual respect and admiration, though it certainly would be nice. Point here? Just because a sunroof is an available option on your car, doesn’t mean the guy who invented it wants to blame you for getting skin cancer because you keep it open all summer long, for fuck’s sake.
Next up, Ray Rice. Holy shit, this one went far. And when the result everyone was screaming for was achieved, it simply wasn’t good enough. Yes, the NFL should have acted sooner. Yes, it was for PR purposes that they waited to act until a video was public. Yes, that’s a giant crock of shit. But this isn’t even about what he did, so much as who he is (see next paragraph). Did we really need a video of some NFL douchebag punching his wife for us to take our kids aside and instill in them that you just don’t do that shit? Weren’t you assholes doing this in the first place?
I, for one, would like to see athletes, celebrities, spoiled rich kids, etc. all be treated equally in the eyes of a law. If you send up Joe Blow who changes oil at the service station with domestic violence, he’s likely not going to find it very easy to get hired anywhere after he gets out of jail. Treat people with money the exact same fucking way as you would anyone else because truth and justice and all of that good shit have long been forgotten. Enter whats-his-name Petersen, who I think should probably be anally violated with the switch he hit his kid with. THAT would be fitting.
#WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft are important because they’re a communal sharing of people in abusive relationships that point the direction so others in those situations don’t feel alone, and possible find the courage to do something. Yes, I muted those hashtags. Know why? Because many people with good intentions retweeted them and they stirred up memories of my past that I’ve dealt with and laid to rest. I don’t live in the past and I don’t need a trip down that particular memory lane. I also felt like people were taking advantage of the situation for some attention, which irritated me even more.
Having said that, just because I didn’t read them doesn’t mean I’m a fucker. It means that I’ve got my own issues, I’m fully aware of the problems domestic abuse causes, both long term and short term, and I have always talked to my son about respecting all people, not just women. All I can do is hope it all sticks and if I ever see that it hasn’t, I will address it with him directly and remind him why we don’t act like cavemen anymore.
In closing, don’t break the law. Don’t hate entire groups of people, ever. Don’t rape people. Don’t hit anyone. Be nice to your children. Stop judging well-meaning people or no one is going to be well-meaning any more. Use the tools that are available to you that you are comfortable with, but don’t be a tool. My way isn’t better than yours. Your way isn’t better than mine. You use social media to gain recognition or to feel like you’re making a difference. I use it strictly for fun and letting people know when I’m going out to physically do something to make a difference, just in case they want to help out. You do what you want with your time on social media. As for me, I’m going back to sexual innuendos and having a good time. Thanks for playing.