Just because you can…doesn’t mean you should

Happy November, Blog readers.

I noticed a trend on Facebook where people were posting a month of gratitude.  I thought this was a good idea, so I jumped on the bandwagon.  Two days into this exercise, the following occurred.  I now present to you the exchange, with the names changed to protect the not-so-innocent:

****************************

November is gratitude month. The goal is to post something you are grateful for daily. Today, I’m grateful for knowing a kid who is now 16 years old…and growing every day. He’s growing into man, and his thoughtfulness, his understanding, his compassion for others blows me away. I’m lucky enough to call him my son. Love you Taylor.

  • ADH: Why is gratitude month trying to take over Indigenous People’s month?
  • JG:  What it’s indignant people’s month? WTH!?
  • ADH: Are you seriously calling Native Americans “indignant”? WTF!
  • JG:  it was a joke. I initially read it as “indignant” instead of “indigenous.” “WTH” was the indignant part of the joke.
  • ADH:  http://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/

    nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov

    The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National …See More
  • ADH:  Racism is never funny.
    JG:  Good grief, nothing in my joke had any racial or ethnic connotation.  Perhaps you’re getting indigent confused with indignant, which means to be unnecessarily resentful or angry. 
    *******
    This all happened within a matter of minutes on my Facebook wall.  What was originally intended to be a gratitude posting about my son took a perilously wrong turn into some sort of weird racist territory.  But what’s absolutely fascinating about this entire exchange is that both ADH and JG are women of color, both accepting, both some of the most tolerant people I have ever known.  JG was adopted into a white family, and has another sister who was also adopted, of a different race, was raised Baha’i.  ADH is Native American, and also somewhat open and tolerant, practicing what she preaches.
    My post was not intended to upset anyone, to slight the Native American people’s plight (though I’m sure by calling them Native Americans, I’ve slighted them without meaning to).  As a person of mixed heritage myself, I don’t argue that what was done to the indigenous people of this country was abhorrent and unacceptable.  But since November has come to mean a time of giving thanks in modern society, you know…the one that I grew up in, I chose to partake in something and take an opportunity to express my love and gratitude for my son.  That’s all it was meant to do.  It wasn’t meant to discriminate, to belittle, to deny, to cause an uproar.  And what was I hoped a lovely sentiment now has these comments that spiraled wildly out of control attached to it.
    I could delete them, but I’m not in the habit of censorship.  They’re entitled to their opinions.  But geez.  Lighten up, ladies.  Seriously.  Lighten up.
    Which brings me to another point.  Facebook has become a way for people to sit there and share their opinions.  I am guilty of it as well.  I try to post things that are uplifting, often keeping my true views and opinions away from what is on my wall for a variety of reasons.  I know a lot of different people with opposing ideologies, and I want to avoid exactly what happened above.  What was meant to be something affirming turned into something incredibly ugly in mere moments.
    Just because we can post, doesn’t mean we should.  There have been several times I’ve seen a comment, a post from someone I know where I wanted to post and say something snarky, but then this thing called common sense kicked in, and I refrained.  The last thing I want to do is get engaged in a war of words with anyone over a social media platform.  I have too many other important things to do.
    So, since this is not linked to my Facebook account, I’m going to repost my original post here, where I’m fairly certain it will not turn into accusations of racism.  And if it does, or if the spammers try to get at me with their own messages of trying to capitalize on my blog (with their broken English) I can simply bulk action delete them.  Thank you WordPress.
    I wish Facebook would give you the option to mark certain posts as “Do not remark.”  Because then maybe this would have prevented my inbox from blowing up this morning over something that was meant to be positive and uplifting.
    Happy Gratitude/Native American/get a fucking grip month.
    Here is my post again:
    November is gratitude month. The goal is to post something you are grateful for daily. Today, I’m grateful for knowing a kid who is now 16 years old…and growing every day. He’s growing into man, and his thoughtfulness, his understanding, his compassion for others blows me away. I’m lucky enough to call him my son. Love you Taylor.
Advertisements

Posted on November 2, 2012, in experiences, silly, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I hear ya! I sometimes get the impression that some people are just sitting at their computers WAITING to kick off some drama or aggro. I like that: Get a fucking grip month. Wonder what would happen if I posted that on my facebook page. ha! Thank you.

    • It’s so much easier to hide behind our computers than actually have a conversation anymore. We can say whatever want behind the safety of our keyboards. Maybe we should start a new campaign called, “Get a fucking grip month.” I’ll make T-shirts, buttons, you can handle the recruiting process. It’ll be huge! HUGE!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: