Haters Streaming the Internet
Ruther Bader Ginsburg (RBG) died on September 18, 2020 at the age of 87 from pancreatic cancer. She was fueled by her Jewish history and the Holocaust to change the world. This blog post is not intended to discuss Ms. Ginsburg, but rather the “haters” streaming the internet about her and, I’m going to say it’s most likely because of her Jewish history and, perhaps, because she’s a democrat, and the US election is near.
Social Media, A Breeding Ground for Hate
Social media has become a place where haters come out of the wood-work hiding behind closed doors and sometimes without an avatar on their profile to spread hate, but when I see a woman with a PhD spreading cruel words about a population and various countries including the USA, UK, and Germany, I not only get annoyed at her way of speech, but I get very concerned about such deeply rooted hate and what it can lead to.
Can We Genuinely Understand Each Other to achieve peace
I’m not condoning that this world is just. We are far from it and we need so much more change. However, I wonder if it’s even possible to genuinely understand one another rather than hate, knowing what we know about colonization and the Israel-Palestinian feud and why it all came about. With the coronavirus, I’ve come to realize that there is more of a divide than ever before. Populations are not harmonizing. They are standing up for their rights after years of oppression and they are not backing down. I understand that with BLM, women’s rights, gender equality . . .
Recently on a LinkedIn feed, there was a PhD woman from Orange County, California commenting on “The Female Lead” post. The Female Lead shared that they were saddened by the passing of the trailblazing notorious RBG, who led the way for gender equality and fought for women’s rights her entire life. It was a good time to recognize her accomplishments. Most responders were cordial, but what gives people permission to spread so much hate when so many are simply acknowledging a persons accomplishments. I can guarantee that if this person wasn’t hiding behind their profile, and rather she was in public, that she would respond differently. Perhaps, at minimum, she’d respond tactfully, in regards to her political voice.
My White American Privilege
Maybe, I’m just looking for some consideration in the moment, but, in fact, who says that I deserve this consideration and why should I have this “privileged” attitude? That’s right. It is actually a privileged attitude. I have an inherently privileged or advantageous position because I am White and because I live in North America. I’m not a Palestinian. I am not a Jew. I am not Black. I am not Brown. I have never been colonized by the “White” countries. In fact, I have no idea what it would be like to be in their shoes. I have no idea how to sincerely understand because I’ve never experienced what they’ve experienced. However, I can listen between the lines and empathize. In the feed, as she was condemning and criticizing RBG for being a Jew, no one listened to her; they only lashed out and called her down. No one listened between the lines because it wasn’t her stage; it was RBG’s. Neither did I, for a moment.
How Do We Make Peace? Can We?
I look at the Palestinians and Jews, the Blacks and Whites, the Men and Women, the Indigenous and Colonialism, China and Hong Kong . . . I don’t have a political major education where I can go into detail about and untangle each one of these conflicts, but how do we or where do we even start at making peace? The hate, disrespect, and unjust actions have been running lives, countries, and nations for centuries. Are we fooling ourselves to say that things are getting better? Or are we (e.g., governments, organizations, conglomerates, nations) becoming smarter in the ways we can manipulate and control?
MISSING THE BIGGER PICTURE
Then these people that live in these divides (including myself as a woman) have the “right” to be angry and lash out especially when NO one is listening. We can’t be expected to “contain” ourselves every time someone or many others can’t hear us or refuse to hear us. Today, too many people live in a world where they simply “bypass” pain and understanding. When one bypasses unresolved issues whether about themselves or others, they live in this egoic and privileged state like “nothing” is wrong. They are tunnel-visioned. They blame the “individual.” By excluding the social order from blame, it makes it that much harder to initiate change in social and political institutions. So what I had seen on LinkedIn about the commenters acting out on this woman because she was being disrespectful about her unjust history, they focused on her as an individual and the political incorrectness of the comment; they missed the “bigger picture.”
Blaming the individual allows for protestors or dissidents to be controlled more easily not only by governments but by the majority. The commenters for The Female Lead post about RBG were advocates for her and her work; they were the majority for this post, and so they were the one’s lashing back at her for speaking out; a way to control her or stop her from speaking her truth, although not in the best tongue.
Many of us hypothetically “say” that we want peace, but we don’t act that way. We go to yoga (for example) and do our chants and smiles, but then when we are on social media sites, we are quick to defend our way of thinking but also our privilege. I get that! It’s scary to give up things that we grew accustomed to receiving without groveling or fighting for. It’s easy to condemn without looking at someone else’s point of view or consider their experiences.
Deleting Comments to Give False Assumptions
I did jump in and make a comment to this Dr’s statement, and it went something like this: “It’s concerning to read such deep hate in your discourse . . . As a researcher, you probably understand that education omits material as a way to continue to oppress populations . . . but why not use your PhD as influence.” I gather she responded the next day maybe in not an appropriate manner (I don’t know), but The Female Lead had removed all of her comments including anyone that replied. This is also sad and an incorrect way of handling comments such as hers and is another way to “oppress” others. Certainly, it satisfies the majority and it relieves tensions. However, the comments on the RBG post reads all positive. It gives a false assumption that “everyone” loved her, and that’s not right either!
Let Bygone be bygones
How do we get over it, though? How do we get over the pain, hurt, and disrespect that’s been going on for-ever in certain populations and still to this day continue? Can we let bygones be bygones? In psychotherapy and many healing practices, we discuss how we need to “let go” to heal. That we need to “forgive” to move on. (Remember, it’s not about spiritual or positivity bypassing though!). As an individual, it seems like a possible and manageable task, but when we ask populations to do this, this way of thinking seems irrelevant. Why is it relevant for individuals and not for whole populations? Is it because explicit and implicit control, manipulation, and abuse continue? Then bygones will never be bygones, and we will continue to live in false assumptions, blind to what is really happening, and divides will continue. But, maybe, neither are we making a concerted effort. I guess we’d have to ask ourselves that question. In any event, darkness has ways of deceitfully consuming us.