The unsocialites of social media

If there’s one thing that can be said of today’s social media it’s just how downright unsociable the medium has become.

One case in point: The Children’s Center, an after school tutorial/entertainment venue for years, has closed its doors. Not from lack of interest, mind you, but apparently because of what might be best described as a poor choice 15 years ago. 

That’s right. Fifteen years ago the lady who purchased Children’s Center dressed as an Aunt Jemima-type for a party, complete with black face. She has been outed and pilloried on social media outlets as a racist and bigot for the 15-years-ago escapade.

She is a nurse at an area hospital, and her employer reportedly has received calls demanding her termination. She is now the target of  a campaign to have her nursing license revoked, which would effectively destroy a career.  Her phone number apparently has been posted, leading to threats of harm to her and her family. 

All this for an affront to the offendables from 15 years ago. This cyberlynching has led to the doors shutting on a valuable asset that has for years encouraged learning and art for children of our hometown regardless of race, creed or income. Seems like a pretty large price to pay so social warriors can add a notch to the handle of their cultural pistol.

We’re not defending the actions that led to this cancel crusade, but we would remind the affronted that this incident occurred when society viewed things differently. A blackened white face, though understandably offensive to some, carried less sinister messages 15 years ago. 

We know things have changed and now all us are judged by a new set of standards overseen by a new set of judges. It might be good to consider just what we want to accomplish with this type of merciless campaign. If the motive is purely revenge and destruction of a life and career, shame on you. 

Maybe each person should take a look at themselves 15 years ago. If there’s nothing to regret, you’re a special someone. Our grandpa told us to never set standards for others we cannot meet ourselves. The wisest of all taught that we should judge not lest we be judged, and that the sinless should be the first to cast stones. 

We agree that even unintended actions have consequences, but how far do we go to punish someone for what is, at most, one misstep. View the person’s life in whole, not one part. And maybe, just maybe, forgiveness is a solution that would be lifechanging for more than just one individual.

Another case: This Witches Ride event seems to have taken on a life of perpetual pistoffery that has taken absurdity to record levels. We make reference to a story in this publication about comments made at a prayer breakfast which resulted in hundreds of comments pro and con.

It’s not hard to understand that passions run deep when matters ultimately relating to religious beliefs become part of a public dialogue. What makes the matter disunderstandable is the lack of  respect for another’s opinion and the eagerness to doom to eternal darkness anyone who disagrees.

For gosh sakes, friends and neighbors, we’re talking about a bunch of ladies who want to dress like cartoon characters and ride golf carts, bicycles and other wheeled objects to raise a few pennies for charity. It’s not like we’re going to see ceremonial sacrifice or blasphemous rituals, but from some Facebook posts you’d think we’re facing a full-fledged display of witchcraft on wheels.

Your humble observer would respectfully request that commenters on the event, from both sides, refrain from what has become a staple of social media…disparaging remarks about anyone who holds a different opinion, and questioning a person’s faith if there’s uncommon ground.

For those who can’t stop talking/insulting, we would remind you of a Will Rogers quote: “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” When the ride’s over and no one has been hexed, we can then get back to the important things. Like are we gonna dress our kids like witches or ghosts for Halloween.