I have a confession to make. I might have had a bit of a Facebook addiction. Don’t worry, its users are slowly helping wean me away from my obsessive habitual timeline checking by doing what online users do best- being assholes.
The faint moment of happiness for the random girl in my 2004 sophomore English class getting a really great Starbucks latte has a way of disappearing when I see people I’ve spent time with posting racist garbage. Maybe our personal encounters were on the light side; a joke here, a beer there. Facebook has opened up the dark part of their character that also happens to dislike anyone who is dark…skinned.
My childhood in rural Idaho was quiet and comfortably white for its citizens (minus the steady gunshot deaths that somehow escaped everyone…but I’ve already spent time on that subject in prior posts). The demographic represented a color palate ranging from mildly pink to the blaring white of our annual snowfall. I somehow escaped the fear and hate of anything and anyone different, even without cable tv! I read a lot of books with varied characters, showing how humanity transcends beyond color or religion. That coupled with my parent’s laid-back approach to diversity allowed me to see someone new with curiosity and friendliness.
Moving to a densely populated city has only furthered my views. I’ve gotten to meet so many people, hear so many stories, eat so many great meals…it baffles my mind that people I grew up with wouldn’t want to enjoy this connection with the world, too.
Sometimes I groan in disgust and simply pass by the comments and pictures hell bent on destroying Muslims or trying to prove how Hispanics are ruining the economy. Sometimes I am so disgusted I can’t help but put in my two cents and point out what they are truly proving- how racist and isolated they are. How can these small town folks call for the eradication of an entire group of people whom they have zero experience with personally and not call it what it is? It sure as hell isn’t the patriotism they claim.
So here’s my challenge. You know that whole “see something, say something” deal? Let’s do that with racism. If you hear someone telling a racist joke, asks why it’s funny. If you see someone posting hateful comments about an entire ethnic or religious group, ask how many people from that group they know. If you see the illogical, take the time to be logical. It may seem pointless, but you never know what random person will hear you or see what you say and realize that they are all out of reasons for their racism.