Hope, kindness, and a touch of snark

Confession: I’m weary to the bone of negativity and name-calling on social media — from both sides of the political chasm. So I’m working out how to navigate social media in a constructive way in this new year.

How do we interrupt — and stand up to — the gross ignorance and intolerance of racism without falling into the trap of name-calling, snark, shaming, and tit-for-tat exchanges that too often dominate social media?

Shaming doesn’t work, and we can’t just wish it away — and snark is so tempting, especially when you’re good at it.

In response to me reflecting on how to stay positive in the face of trolling on social media, my Facebook friend, Arlene Mackey had this to say on the subject:

“I actually try just countering them with the opposite non shaming message. If they say, liberals are stupid sheep, I say liberals are giving, loving, informed, beautiful, kind people. It pisses them off but I keep it up. They say I follow the bias, I say I follow articles and information from good, reputable, tolerant sources that look at many different views and cite lots of sources. They say where, I say lots of places. I sometimes get specific but generally don’t have to. Eventually I’ve said: You shaming others does not make your points more valid. Then I wish them well, even have wished them lives and friendships full of laughter and joy and goodness. They usually either implode or say thank you. It takes time but some have become friends. We are all more than the vile we spew.”

Excellent advice, Arlene.

There are even times when allies disrespect each other for expressing sadness, distress, or a sense of being overwhelmed at our new, and may I say, distasteful, reality.

People need a safe place to vent, and scolding each other for moments of sadness or despondency is not productive. A small act of kindness or words of support are often all that’s needed for someone to shift gears. For most of us, it’s cyclical. If I have a bum day today, I generally bounce back tomorrow, especially when I feel supported or validated.

There are days when I’m filled with hope, and days when hope abandons me. We are going through an excruciating time in our nation, so if hope leaves you, understand that you’re human, you’re not alone, and know that hope will return.

View the world with cautious openness, and never give up. If you’re a snowflake, be one that doesn’t melt.



Random thoughts:

I refuse to walk on eggshells, but “poking the bear” is also not an option.

Awakening to truth is painful for those clinging to a lie.

We all own a piece of this mess. Bickering and name-calling are not going to fix it.

Ridicule is NOT resistance. Use your wit and anger to organize, subvert, and take action.


I listened…

I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I listened.
I watched.
I paid attention.
Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To “Get over it.”
To accept this…
I will not.
I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.
I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.
Them. The people who voted for him.
The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win.
I will do this so that they never forget.
And they will hear me.
They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.
They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.
They will know that I know who they are.
They will know that I know what they are.
Do not call for my tolerance. I’ve tolerated all I can.
Now it’s their turn to tolerate ridicule.
Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump’s fault just as much as they thought it was Obama’s.
I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give.

Times are tough. Let’s be as kind to each other as humanly possible.  -Lora

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s