Everyday I think to myself, “Maybe Facebook isn’t a good place to talk about controversial topics.” Then everyday a FB friend posts support for the Confederate flag, a statement that our president is anti-American, a statement that if you support gay-rights you’re anti-Christian, that being suspicious of Muslims in America is completely acceptable, that jokes and images that perpetuate rape culture are okay and, the most common, that racism is caused by people pointing out racism.
Everyday I struggle and worry that I’m alienating people. I don’t want to offend people I care about, even when I disagree with their opinions.
But – I can’t ignore lies. I can’t ignore racism. I can’t ignore spinning of the truth for political gains. I can’t ignore Christianity being hijacked by bigots.
Sometimes I wish I could. I try to live my life according to a philosophy of “live and let live”. Mostly I do. But I can’t seem to live according to “live and let lie”.
Most people I know and am friends with on social media are not purposely lying. They are choosing to trust the wrong sources. If someone says to me, “Trump hates women.” I’m going to look up the evidence and see what he actually said and decide if I agree it’s hateful. It is my responsibility as a citizen to know what people have said or done before reacting to it.
You won’t see me posting a lot of sensationalist left-wing stuff even if it supports my political beliefs. You won’t see me questioning anyone’s faith. You won’t see me insulting someone’s looks. But when it comes to false biases and propaganda, you’ll hear me.
When it comes to violations of human rights, you’ll hear me.
When it comes to equality, whether by race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, you’ll hear me.
When it comes to protection of children or disabled people, you’ll hear me.
I can’t stay silent.