The Real WMDs

I found the real WMDs, and they're not in the Middle East.  They're here - right under our noses.  Hopefully, they're on their way out.  It isn't difficult to predict that they will not go gently unto that good night.  So what are the WMDs?  They are White Male Dominators.

In the end, this is what the struggle in our country is all about.  Those who fondly remember the days when being white and male meant instant success don't want to see their leg up take off.  They long for the days when even poor, male, white trash was better than "them."  They enjoyed being able to abuse everyone else without fear of retaliation.  They liked being able to apply for jobs and colleges without the competition.  They were comfortable knowing they were not held accountable for the suffering of those who were not white and male because they were secure in the knowledge that the white male was superior.

Thankfully, for the rest of us, their days are numbered.  The writing is on the wall, but they refuse to read it.  They are doing everything in their power to maintain the status quo, but it's becoming more difficult.  Every day, more people are stepping up to claim their portion of the American dream.  White Male Dominators (read Koch brothers, Adelson and their ilk) are doing their best to buy Congress and create laws that will keep them in control.

So what's stopping them?  What's the monkey wrench in the works?  I'll tell you.  We are stopping them.  We are the monkey wrench in the works.  We, the people, those of us who have struggled to get where we are, are not willing to give back what we have fought and, often, died to attain over the last two centuries.

When our founding fathers (What happened to the mothers?) wrote, "All men are created equal," they meant all white, male property owners.  Women, people of color and those who are different in any way had to struggle to get ourselves included.  We have made progress, but the fight is far from over.  In many ways, the real work is just beginning.

If you are not sure you are on the right side of history, ask yourself this question.  Do you believe it is important that all people are treated well. If so, then you are thinking of others.  That is the litmus test.  If, however, you believe you deserve more than other people, irrespective of the reason, your time is coming to an end.

If you want to work for universal equality, there is something you can do.  Social media and the Internet have given us a way of finding each other and working together to bring all people into a future that will be bright if we all have the opportunity to share in its rewards.  Vote for the people who have your best interests at heart.  Keep up the pressure.  Don't give up.  Don't let up.  Work together to achieve equality.  Don't let them divide and conquer.  We will prevail.  If we don't, it is unlikely democracy will survive.

Posted in Bigotry, Economic Inequality, Hate/Violence, Humanity, Philosophy/Ideas, Social Media, Struggles/Protests, The Future by with no comments yet.

Social Media and Civil Discourse

Once upon a time, not so long ago, people disagreed but still treated each other with respect and dignity.  They participated in passionate discussions about a variety of topics and thought nothing of calling those they disagreed with vehemently family and friend.  It’s hard to believe, but they exchanged conflicting ideas without becoming vulgar or belligerent. This no longer seems possible.  I believe the Internet and, especially, social media have helped facilitate this change, but it is not clear if it is the cause.

During my relatively brief time being politically active on the Internet, primarily through Facebook, I have been stunned to discover that vulgarity is something some people have no problem using when putting people down.  If I had been told I would encounter incredible rudeness, ugliness, childishness, ignorance, cruelty, hatred and intense bigotry while sharing my opinions, I would not have believed it.  A few short months expressing my disagreement with those who hold dissimilar political beliefs have proven otherwise.  I cannot recall ever being talked to, in person, the way I have been "talked" to on Facebook.  Is it the relative anonymity, or has the world become more violently confrontational?  Sad to say, I think the world has changed and not for the better.

Once an individual has been identified as a target, no attempt at diplomacy will be accepted.  Instead of responding to a post or observation in a civil fashion supported by facts where appropriate, the statement is frequently ignored.  Responses are often in the form of attacks with viscous name-calling and even more vitriolic and threatening language.  Is this what the world is coming to?

Regardless of which place on the political spectrum a person falls, it should be obvious there is some truth to this assertion.  While most of the rage and bitterness seem to come from the far right, there are many on the far left who are just as horrifying.

Specific Examples

These are just a few of the examples of the kinds of exchanges I have had with some people.  What amazes me is that they don't seem to mind having their names associated with the language they use.  Some make threats that must come to the attention of local, state and federal authorities.  If someone ever looked at their Facebook communications, it would forever change the way they were seen by the brick-and-mortar world.  However, nothing seems to deter them.

Conversations - Rude

The sad truth is, unless we learn to communicate with each other in a more reasonable way, we are doomed.  We will descend into a special hell buried beneath the fanatical screams of those with mouths and no ears.  Those on the extreme ends of a topic will attack each other with emotional weapons of mass destruction, and the rest of us will be crushed by their unwillingness to embrace the human in all of us – even our most bitter adversaries.

Posted in Humanity, Philosophy/Ideas, Social Issues, Social Media by with no comments yet.
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