October 24, 2017 By Patricia V. Davis
You know, I’ve been thinking about something for a while, and I just have to say it, although I know it’s not going to win me any brownie points with anyone. I’ve had a Facebook page for a number of years now, and as a lover of words and learning, I’ve always wanted it to be a forum, an exchange of ideas, a place where everyone of all stripes could feel safe to have a discussion, to ask a question of someone who they might not meet on an everyday basis. Because I write books and have always encouraged people to “like me on Facebook” etc., I’ve met many different people from all walks of life. Right wing, white guy? He’s there on that Facebook page, leaving his thoughts right near the thoughts of the left wing feminist. So, I’ve often asked people to please treat everyone on that page with kindness and to disagree respectfully. But mostly, to try to listen and learn what makes another human being on the planet tick. Listen. Be kind. Be respectful. There’s probably not a one of us who can do that all the time, but most people can do it most of the time.
However … there are always those who, since the onset of social media, have found it easier and easier to be … well, just awful to others. I mean vicious. Who knows why? I expect there’s a myriad of reasons why people get off on being cruel, hard, judgmental, superior, sanctimonious, acrimonious and obnoxious.
Only recently, I received a friend request from someone who sounded quite appealing at first. I could tell by some commentary he’d posted publicly we also shared a number of the same passions. So I hit that, ‘accept friend request” button. No sooner did I do so than other posts of his became visible to me, posts that were for his “friends.” It was shortly after the hurricane had devastated Texas, and one of his now visible posts was about that. He was gloating. He was happy Texas had been hit by a hurricane. Because you know, Trump supporters.
Oh, yeah. Not the first time I’ve heard that sort of talk from the more benevolent, more compassionate far left wing. And it probably won’t be the last. Yeah, but wait — sure as hell have heard it from the far right too, about California. “Feminazi” “Fruits and nuts,” “libtards,” etc. To quote Bob Seger, “same old cliches.” Many on the right have expressed a desire to see California off the map too. California, go away. Texas, go away. Heard it once, heard it twice, heard it a dozen times. Not only on Facebook, but on the radio, on TV. Go away, go away, go away, because you don’t think, feel, do the same as I. Disappear. Die, even. With thousands of people on my Facebook friend feed, I can if I try, hear it every day. That much hate. Everywhere, it seems.
So, here’s my question to those people who wished one of those states away: now that people in both those states have had to pick through the rubble for their mom’s body, or their dead pet, for other innocent people, other innocent animals, now that farmland, businesses, landmarks, art, beautiful vistas of nature and vegetation, have all been either washed away or burned away — now that people are devastated and homeless and missing and in despair– mostly people you’ve never met and never will, now that your wish has come true, and all those faceless, nameless people that you hated so vehemently have been harmed, does it feel as good as you expected it to feel?
Gee. I sure hope not.
Originally published at femalefire.org on October 24, 2017.