“Voicing an opinion, beckoning reasonable debate, encouraging a place for all at the table. These, and many other communication devices used by groups and societal participants when actively self-governing, seem to have become depressingly weaponized”.
6/11/18 update: An employee of CrossFit was FIRED for expressing his belief that “Pride” (who decided that a word like pride could be highjacked from our lexicon?) is a celebration he chooses not to support, because he is Christian. Well, Muslims don’t believe in same sex unions, either. But let’s not split hairs, right? Freedom of religion is supported by the right to pursue our happiness, in whatever form we find that.
With the considerable weight of social media influence held firmly in a liberal ideology fist-hold, those who dare question the far-left groupthink mentality experience the basest of bullying tactics. Even though a solid half of Americans, and their global supporters (Shout out to #MAGA/Making Armenia Great Again) share a bunch of basic beliefs, including the rights guaranteed in the Amendments of the Constitution of the United States, conservatives are punished at every turn.
I ask: why would it make a difference what my politics are, unless someone wants to make it an issue? My reply involves the idea that we might mandated to enroll in an insurance scheme that takes our money and bets that they provide enough abortions that they won’t have to pay for prenatal, delivery and the life cycle of another subscriber. I have an issue with that, but don’t assume, it may not be for the reasons you have already decided. The reason is because what happens to those at the end of their life if death/elimination is considered a healthcare option? Do I want to bet against my future self? No, I do not.
Thrilled at the outcome for the Christian baker, whom the Supreme Court absolved of the sin of denying a customer service in his own establishment. Nevertheless, it seemed begrudgingly delivered by the Supreme Court, and weaponized as a media tool. Isn’t diversity the very notion that we are to be celebrated for our independent thought and cultural customs? I lived as a guest in Saudi Arabia; there I abstained from eating pork. Their house, their rules. We learned that if the cast of “Seinfeld” wanted soup, they best follow the Soup Nazi’s rules.
But, before I digress: Joy Reid is a bad/good/bad example of how each stroke of a keyboard (or stylus pen) can, and probably should, come back to haunt oneself when one’s self declares themselves a “social influencer” or even a “journalist”. Be sure you are willing to own that thought, at that time and any time you are asked. Character counts. Integrity counts. Mistakes happen.
The lines are blurred when we brand ourselves endlessly by the choices we make and what we chose to declare about ourselves, understood by others through a series of “likes” or limited emoji emotions. C’mon, who doesn’t wish a BS option when confronted with a post of Chelsea Clinton promising to save us from ourselves? Or is my bias showing? TBH, I was thrilled that H.R.C. was offered the Secretary of State position. Oh, I thought, she has all these contacts and will do such much good. So, maybe I am bitter and feel used.
The rudimentary fundamentals of Anthropology 101 include the idea that we are all biased, based on a number of factors that are often out of our control. Personal ideology is ethnocentric. Ethnocentricity can be checked through a process that includes agreement amongst those involved as to the purpose, circumstance and intent of the speaker. This often involves reasonable debate, and an agreed-upon context. These components of the process of reflexion are cyclic, and involve several points of interaction where agreement is reached.
In a cyber environment, an overwhelming onslaught of facts, opinions and new information makes it difficult to gain perspective and understand the intended context of a frame of reference. However, this is where we are in time, and those snippets of archived thought can and will be used to judge your character, not always fairly.
if you work for the government, if you teach, if you work for an institution, or in an industry that holds their ideology above your personal opinion. I had tweeted something about the CNN talking head’s “whitelash” comment in 2016, nothing overly inflammatory ( I thought ) and a prospective employer – a smallish PR firm in VA – texted me a screenshot of my tweet and my offer of employment was withdrawn. Not gonna lie. I was, in rapid succession, shocked, angry, defiant, and finally somewhat amused and chagrined. Thank GOD I didn’t move to only get fired on the first, or second, day.
So while it isn’t fair to judge, and we are all biased, and political affiliations shouldn’t always matter, the truth is that it is important to commit to the values and beliefs that are memorialized, verbalized and shared into the vast nether of it all. Because it will, and probably should, come back to challenge you.