Lately I am finding social media extremely trying. I am hearing way too much accusation of bigotry, racism, “nazism” etc, not directed at me, but I see labels flying around me all the time and I find it depressing. I believe social media has made little emperors out of so many of us as individuals that we forget our own minority. Minority groups whether by sexual preference, race, gender, political leaning etc only have power when we unite across our differences.
Social media fools us into believing we have parity if we have a certain amount of followers or an allegiance with a small group of people who together add up to hundreds of thousands. What astounds me about this naive belief is that we are living not with anticipation of what might happen if we fall prey to believing our numbers are larger than they really are, but that what can happen has already happened. Trump is running roughshod over our constitution and there is literally no one to stop him right now with democrats in the minority in the house and senate. There is some evidence that Russia used bots, trolls, and chaos agents to plant as much discord among left-leaning groups as possible and cause as much disconnect, negativity, and ultimately hopelessness on the left-leaning political side so that we’d be discouraged from voting, in enough numbers to hand Trump the presidency. I want to hope that minority groups use this time to absorb the necessity to let go of our illusions about what true bigots with political power want to do to all minorities and never fool ourselves into getting distracted by the minor transgressions of small fish ever again. The way things are going lately though it seems the blindness to our true predicament is proliferating with no true appraisal of how deep in a hole we are thanks to our insistence of clumping up in various special interest groups and applying purity tests to every potential ‘ally’.
I wrote a blog a few months ago on former South Carolina republican congressman Arthur Ravenel’s comment a while back on reality tv that he ‘wasn’t fond of Abraham Lincolns’; his comment was about five dollar bills but his meaning couldn’t have been more plain. Google the Ravenel bridge if you want to absorb just how powerful this man is. People are going apoplectic over Bill Maher’s latest stupidity; he is an ally against the fascist-leaning powers that be in the United States, and he has shown true contrition. For someone like Ravenel to come out into the light of day and show their true hatred on camera is something that is rarely captured in American media, but the comment garnered very little press despite Ravenel having been exponentially more powerful a figure in politics in his day than Bill Maher can ever dream about being. For Maher to have said what he did doesn’t make him a bigot, it makes him an insensitive idiot, yet people are calling for his firing; perhaps people want blood of small sacrifices, maybe because the Ravenels of the world are cordoned off and untouchable.
I also sense the same tendency with ex-muslim apostates, reformers, and secularists. I witness over and over again the same knee-jerk tendency to cast the bigot label on this or that activist ‘ally’ or supporter and deep freeze them out of any communication or participation within the cause; once again as with Ravenel above, the true bigots and racists in power are not actually going to expose themselves to this kind of disenfranchisement because they actually do hate muslims and people of backgrounds ethnic to muslim countries. There are many activists such as myself who oppose the deep-abrahamic practices of fundamentalist muslim communities and rightfully abhor child abuse and domestic violence traditions which essentially ensure another generation of children to grow up in mental illness and repeat the same patterns. Some may be clumsy and stupid in their characterizations of these behaviors, but there is a vast difference between those who virulently oppose behaviors and those that literally hate groups of people.
There also seems to be a purity test in operation that one can’t support this or that activist and be a true ‘ally’ to the cause of pro-secularist reform. I have personally just about lost my patience with the terminology ‘ally’. I believe what I believe, I have my own horror story that formed my belief system, the central tenet of which is that all abrahamic fundamentalism and orthodoxy is harmful to children, and needs to be eradicated from cultural practice. All of it, not just islamofascism. I speak as a representative of the suffering child that I was, and I speak because of the suffering children that do not have a voice of any kind. I personally don’t care if anyone considers me an ‘ally’ or a tangential supporter of their movement. My beliefs are formed from my own experiences and observations, I hate no one for their haplotype or any other genetic material and this is the difference between someone who is a bigot or racist and someone who is not. Racists simply hate the existence of people of whatever ethnicity; they do not want reform, for instance, of child abuse and exploitation disguised as religious conservatism, they want eradication of human beings. In my humble opinion, the purity tests and the label-slinging needs to stop; minorities simply do not have the numbers as individual groups to entertain such demographic snobbery.
It is incredibly disturbing to me that despite Trump burning through our constitution on a daily basis, the sense of entitlement to freeze potential allies out of the conversation continues unabated on social media. Perhaps it is the sense of holding power that motivates people to this kind of self-destruction, I am not sure; maybe power they haven’t hitherto experienced. But it is a fool’s bargain; social media empowerment is a ruse of astronomical proportions, and the fact that it could so easily be hijacked by a hostile foreign power to do harm to our country shows this to be true. It is time for us to wise up and not allow ourselves to continue to be lured into the rocky cliffs by the social media sirens of egotism and false power; that is, if we ever get the chance again to come together in unity and face down an evil like Donald Trump now that we can be certain of what people like him intend to do when we allow ourselves to become divided enough so that we hand over our power to them.
Copyright 2017 Starshine Kerr. All Rights Reserved.