Or…yours. Honestly, what happened in Charlottesville was nothing short of unfortunate, but I’m not surprised. That sort of thing has been going on for a long time, and it’s no wonder that two extreme groups clashing ends in violence. When there’s a large mob coupled with tension and high emotions, bad things are bound to happen. However, what is more surprising to me these days is people’s reactions to such events, and frankly it’s rather scary.
I’ve seen countless people hating on Trump, tearing down monuments, and saying some ridiculous things, like you cannot be racist towards white people.
In an age where information is so powerful, rampant, and readily available, people seem to be more uneducated than ever before. It’s somewhat unfortunate that you don’t have to read an entire newspaper article or watch a long segment of news to get the lowdown. Instead, it seems like people get their “information” sprinkled between selfies and cat videos while quickly scrolling through a newsfeed. You can view a few snapchat stories and all of a sudden, you’re an expert on what’s going on in the world. All too often, what seems to result from this is either an emotional but irrational response, or an overall lack of understanding, and either way, it’s quite frustrating. It’s trendy to be #woke, but are we really learning, or do we even know what is going on? Are we getting the whole picture? Are we engaging in meaningful conversation, with an intent to learn from one another and better society, or are we trying to #lawyer someone and prove that they’re an idiot or an asshole? It’s easy to be a keyboard activist, but it takes time to look into things, read quality articles, have a legitimate discussion, and actually learn. Moreover, it’s easier to let our emotions take over, rather than looking at things with an open, but rational mind.
I’m tired of people simply regurgitating information. If you’re making an argument, make sure to have valid, logical points, and get your facts straight. If all you can spew out is that “Trump is an idiot” when referring to the violence last weekend, you may want to do some more research before opening your mouth. I’m not saying Trump doesn’t dig himself into holes at times, and I’m not even commenting or taking sides on what happened. If you’re just saying something but don’t know the “why” behind it, you have no credibility, and it’s not only hard to have an intelligent conversation with you, it’s hard to respect you.
I’ll take a different approach to illustrate my point. If we’re going to talk about the Confederate Flag, you don’t have to be an expert on the Civil War, but if you’ve never heard of Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee, it’s going to be hard to find a good starting place. If the only thing you randomly heard one day was that randomly heard that the flag represents slavery, it would make total sense to want to eliminate it. It may also be hard to convince you that sometimes, symbols can serve as a reminder that can be beneficial. Take for example all the horrors committed at Auschwitz, and realize that some chambers have been preserved as a means to never let anyone forget what happened. In this light, someone can have such a symbol and not be a bigot or a member of the KKK. But, if all we do is react emotionally, read headlines and have double standards, there will be no common ground, and violence will continue to ensue.
I’m not defending Trump, I don’t own a confederate flag, and I’m definitely not a part of any extremist group. I’m just asking that we treat one another with respect, and actually think before we speak. Each time we point the blame at someone else, get emotional before getting additional information, or have a double standard, we get further from the truth, and this is the cause of many of our problems. Let’s actually wake up and start working together. Thanks.