Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why so hateful? Where did civil disagreement go?


Ever since the Republican and Democratic conventions, you can't help but notice the uptick in partisan rhetoric and political separatism. And while I'm sure there are plenty from the liberal left who are coming out shooting, I'm personally appalled at the vicious vitriol (say that four times fast?) from the far right.

So far, I've blocked 22 people on The Twitter and 13 folks on The Facebook who were less than impressed with my #ObamaTranslations. I won't share all the nastiness - just a few highlights. One called me a baboon, one sent a picture (poorly photoshopped) of the 44th President with male genitalia in his mouth, another called me a "black comi biyatch with 12 babies" and on it went.

@CarolynEdgar and I were talking about how some dude told her this election was the "White Man's Last Chance" - if they don't win this election apparently the country is going to hell in a hand basket. (I recall feeling this exact same way when Baby Bush jacked the country in 2000) At any rate, White Man Salvation Dude kept spiraling downward and really, life is too damn short so... 

DELETE. REPORT AS SPAM. BLOCK. Done.

But this got me to thinking about society on the whole. Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree and retreating to your corners to battle it out another day? Why does a disagreement have to escalate to disrespect, hateration and worse case scenario - shots fired? Is this what breakdown of the nuclear family, 24/7 news cycles and ratchetass reality television has brought us to? Instead of having polite discourse, we hurl insults and flee? Or come back with a gun?

Since when did disagreement equal hate? I can violently disagree for everything a person stands for and believes in without hating them as a person. When someone makes a statement I believe to be misguided and poorly informed I don't automatically assume that person is a complete idiot. 

Even something as innocent as a football game seems to set people off. I tweeted my surprise and pleasure that the Cowboys won their first game last week and O.M.G! You would think I doused myself in pig blood and announced I was the bride of Lucifer. The hatespeak people! It's a game! One that very few of us get paid to participate in. Chill out.

The "stans" on social media. Goodness gracious. I may have mentioned that I believe Bey's "Halo" does too much for me. I prefer her less dramatical songs. I feared I might have to go into The Twitness Protection program, the Bey stans were gunning for me. Seriously? We can't agree that the woman is talented but I don't love every breath she takes without folks threatening to behead me?

How did it come to this? What's the answer? How do we teach people to be civil and rational even in disagreement? Have you noticed the rampant hatespeak? Thoughts, comments, insights?

28 comments:

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

As long as snark pays...People will always Shoot for the head. 

thinklikeRiley said...

Aw Chele, you still expectin' folx to be civilized and whatnot?
Taking the time to be tolerant and listen to the other side?
Ain't gonna happen. Keep hope alive tho.

Nandiewe said...

In my opinion hatespeak increased the moment people were able to hide behind their keyboards to express what they would never dare in a face to face confrontation! I blame keyboard gangsterism!

CaliGirlED said...

It's amazing how opinions are misconstrued as facts and are then brutally and disrespectfully challenged.

aishao1122 said...

Girl... I saw your Bey tweet and just knew it was coming. I'm a Cowboy fan too and I knew twitter was not the place to celbrate, last year they all most killed me for my smack talking about the Giants.  I'm used to doing this on the regular with my family and they never come at me this way. Craziness of twitter. 

I too have noticed that people seem to take things a little hard nowadays, makes my mom's rule about money, politics and religion being things we never talk about in public. I told someone the other day their views on Obama were extremely skewed and he was 'how you insulting me and I don't know him" ummm I said your views man your views not you. Le Sigh

Michele said...

People are quick to be so mean, hateful, rude ... whatever because they are safely hidden behind a keyboard.   Folks get real bold when they can type, click and escape.  Common decency has gone out the window.  I don't encounter  all this hatefulness when I'm having a real, face-to-face conversation with people.  Modern technology can really suck sometimes.

William Martin said...

As far as the politics of it goes - people who somehow think something is being taken away from them (read country, privilege, control) get scared. Scared people get mean. And here we are.

TypeALady said...

Ah, the poor man's theater...what's your pleasure, comedy (GOP), drama (the upcoming debates), mystery (Romney)??!  As for the political arena, your girl is done.  By now, folks pretty much know who they are going to vote for.  I don't need to clog my brain with the incessant grandstanding of talking heads or rants from Honey Boo Boo's relatives who desire to take their country back.  Um, where did it go again?

Honestly,I've just checked out for now, but I'll tune back in for the debates.  As for social media forums, my page, my rules.  I respect your stance, you respect mine and we respectfully agree to disagree, PERIOD.  If you don't like it or know how to act, the doors of the internet are open...

Jubi The Great said...

People get real bold on the Internet. Keyboard thugs feel like they can say whatever they want to from behind the comfort of a computer. I truly don't understand folks who say ppl should die/be raped/killed/etc simply because they have a difference of opinion, or in the case of the stans, don't like the person they are stanning for. Folks need to get it together.

GrownAzzMan said...

I couldn't even get here this morning to read and comment on this before Mitt seriously overstepped his bounds and waded into foreign policy WHILE and international crisis is unfolding. SDDH! Now I will go back and read.

Mo said...

Folks are so brave behind computers, they will say things that they will never say to you face to face. Every single time I look  at Mayor Cory Booker's feed, I shake my head in disbelief.  
 This post reminded me  of a  commencement speech POTUS gave at Notra Dame University(they protested b/c he is  pro-choice)
        “Unfortunately, finding that common ground --
recognizing that our fates are tied up, as Dr. King said, in a "single
garment of destiny" -- is not easy. And part of the problem, of course,
lies in the imperfections of man -- our selfishness, our pride, our stubbornness,
our acquisitiveness, our insecurities, our egos; all the cruelties large and
small that those of us in the Christian tradition understand to be rooted in
original sin. We too often seek advantage over others. We cling to outworn
prejudice and fear those who are unfamiliar. Too many of us view life only
through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; in which the
world is necessarily a zero-sum game. The strong too often dominate the weak,
and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of
justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice. And
so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see here in this country
and around the globe violence and want and strife that would seem sadly
familiar to those in ancient times.”“Unfortunately, finding that common ground --
recognizing that our fates are tied up, as Dr. King said, in a "single
garment of destiny" -- is not easy. And part of the problem, of course,
lies in the imperfections of man -- our selfishness, our pride, our stubbornness,
our acquisitiveness, our insecurities, our egos; all the cruelties large and
small that those of us in the Christian tradition understand to be rooted in
original sin. We too often seek advantage over others. We cling to outworn
prejudice and fear those who are unfamiliar. Too many of us view life only
through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; in which the
world is necessarily a zero-sum game. The strong too often dominate the weak,
and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of
justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice. And
so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see here in this country
and around the globe violence and want and strife that would seem sadly
familiar to those in ancient times.”

TypeALady said...

OKAY??!  As if his spectacular 'world tour' debacle wasnt enough?  Sometimes I just want to tell him through clenched teeth, "If you don't go SIT'CHOSELF down somewhere while grown folks are talking...!!!"

EvolvingElle said...

Unfortunately, people are no longer afraid to let their crazy show.  The.End.

Whitney said...

It's the boldness of  the internet and being anonymous.  We can't agree to disagree anymore.  I blog for a natural hair site and one chick disagreed with what I was saying and everyone else.  It was silly and I announced that I was putting the fire out.  I thought the Obama translations were funny, and on point.  Well I'm voting for hell in a hand basket.  4 MORE YEARS!!!!  I should tweet that now...

Monica said...

Dayum it feels good to be a internet gangster. I can say anything I want. No fear of catching a case or a fist to to face for spewing ignorance to the people I taunt.

Seriously though, we have become a culture where behaving badly is celebrated instead of shamed.

ASmith said...

OMG... this was hilarious... Mittens DOES need to start having all the dadgum seats where foreign policy is concerned.

motown_skater said...

bwaahahahahahah....love it! end the work day with a good laugh!....

TypeALady said...

The internet makes it all too easy for folks to get in touch with their inner sociopath.<<<<<<<<THIS RIGHT HERE SAYS IT ALL!!!

SassyJJ said...

I think we've become a society of "no consequence".  And people have become lazy.  We want others to do the work for us, we don't fact check or research on our own, and we take our truth as gospel.  There is no wiggle room.

I've had to put folks on mute for awhile now.  People that know me know I'm going to say *something*.  But I'm real civil with it.  At the end of the day, I really want to know what you think.  I just expect the same courtesy.

SassyJJ said...

 And he has the nerve to want to be Prez.  Puh-lease!

rozb said...

He did a spectacular flame-out and STILL doubled down on his statement after being proven ill-informed. He is desperately clasping at any perceived opportunity to find relevance and make up for his overseas debacle.

I cannot even call him an idiot because that would be a huge insult to those of the intelligence-deficient ilk.

rozb said...

 *fist bump to you Mr. Riley*

Brownbelle said...

IMHO, civil disagreement went the way of that mythical village it takes to raise a child. With loss of community came loss of civil disagreement, etiquette, chivalry and home training. Which is to say--there are no longer social consequences for being rude so everybody just does whatever. It's a shame, really.

CaliGirlED said...

Anyone who will, let them go!

CaliGirlED said...

He can sit right next to me in the "We don't know nothin bout no foreign policy and have sense enough to keep our mouths closed!" section. SMH

Sol_dier said...

In some ways we humans have always done this but we had less things to hold precious. 

I think introducing 'debate and oratory skills' as a subject in all schools might help people to stop holding ideas as sacred cows or as part of their identity.
It taught me to debate the idea not the person, how ideas where not personal and to be open enough to have my viewpoints altered in light of evidence and not 'hearsay'.

The_A said...

It's not really the unknown trolls, it's the IRL friends who have somehow morphed into trolls that are killing me softly.

I was publicly accused on a FB wall of supporting a satan-worshiping politician, not knowing God myself and attacking the religious beliefs & spiritual revelations of  a long distance friend I've known for almost 20years. Then I was chastised in the name of her Conservative GOP baby-loving Jesus, dismissed when I tried to take the conversation offline & then UNfriended because...

After the President's acceptance speech last week, I simply & what I thought was lovingly asked her, out of curiosity, about the reason behind the level of vitriol in her posts about our foreign-born Nation-destroying President and the liberal media who supports him. 

I mean this was someone who at one point was one of my dearest friends. As in there is a super short list of people I will allow to stay in my home & she's visited for an extended stay with her family within the last 3 years, went to school together, know all your family, Mom still asks about you, down through thick & thin of all major life events, auntie to my child type friendships 

*Poof*

Perhaps it was all other her random FB sister-friends liking & amen-ing my questions because I really - God as my witness -tried hard to listen and understand where she was coming from if for no other reason than she was my friend. 

I wanna know what her church is putting in the communion cups & exactly when she morphed from Decatur-Done-Good-For-Herself into North GA's own female version of Allen West

Tonda Williams said...

ALL.OF.THIS.....#BrownbelleRocks

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