Every so often I stick my foot in "it." I did it twice last Thursday on LinkedIn. What was my crime?
I expressed an opinion contrary to the prevailing narrative of the "woke" liberals who took objection to it. Expressing a contrary narrative apparently invites attack, although I don't know why I'm to blame if supposedly intelligent people cannot read for comprehension.
(Yes, I'm aware that using the term woke liberals may be taken as an insult. It's meant as one, and it's also the best term I have for the people described below. But then, they modify conservative with racist, because, according to them, one can't hold conservative values without being racist. Fair's fair, folks.)
Here's what happened. A lawyer--someone blunt and opinionated and scary-smart whom I follow--posted a disturbing video of a white woman confronting her Black neighbors with ugly (and false) accusations seasoned with racial epithets. That lawyer mentioned systemic racism.
OK, before you get your panties in a twist, my response did not deny the existence of systemic racism. I don't think it's nearly as prevalent or pervasive as the political left would insist, but that's beside the point. (I'm not going to digress by getting into political viewpoints specifically.) My response stated that all the "isms" were alive and well and that everyone has biases. I then included an example of having known a stallion that preferred dark mares to light mares. (Getting him to breed a pale colored mare was a challenge.)
Two people, of course, took exception. The first accused me denying systemic racism. No, the term "not necessarily" does not indicate the absence of something, merely the lack of likelihood. Racism exists, but its presence does not equate to it being systemic. The second accused me of crass insensitivity in comparing Blacks to horses. No, the comparison shows that biases are not limited to human beings. Then I added that person #2's limitation of his comprehension of racism to the past 250 years of US history made him an idiot for failing to comprehend the vastness of human history.
Yeah, I used the word idiot. I went a little far with that. I lost my cool.
Still, I have noticed, repeatedly noticed, that those who most loudly claim the virtue of tolerance for themselves are the least tolerant of opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints contrary to their happy little narratives. Those who say they are most tolerant show themselves as intolerant ... and nowadays they don't even bother with the exercise of civil interaction. They go straight to attack.
Then I stuck my foot in the muck again. Someone posted a picture of a the cover of a recent issue of Vogue showing a man in an evening gown. Many people commented, cheering it. One man responded that he didn't like it and would appreciate if those who did wouldn't shove their views down his throat. The sniping and accusations of intolerance ensued. I forbore responding until one person commented on the supposed utopia of secular humanism: every person should have the right to do anything he or she pleases as long as it doesn't hurt another sentient being.
I took issue with that, pointing out that such thinking led the way straight to relativism. What I think is hurtful will differ from what you think is hurtful, so whose opinion takes precedence? Religion, I wrote, seeks to establish a firm foundation of right and wrong. That doesn't make religion always right: God knows religion has been responsible for and used to justify grievous crimes against humanity over the ages. But at least people who have a strong moral code have a solid basis from which they can distinguish right and wrong; their sense of honor doesn't shift with every wave of public opinion.
Yes, Virginia, if you haven't figured it out by now, I am a conservative white woman. I don't apologize for that. If you're not white, female, or conservative, that's fine. My ego can handle your difference. I might even find some common ground in your world view upon which to agree. But none of your "woke" protests and accusations of my lack of understanding and utter failure as a human being will change the bedrock of what I believe and reason to be true.
I haven't just witnessed this on LinkedIn, but on Facebook, too. The vitriol is appalling. The commonly understood freedom of the First Amendment (which is incorrect, by the way) means nothing when someone utters a contrary opinion on a public forum. Forget responses, that might simply say, "I disagree" or "Why do you say that?" No one wants to know why, they just want to pound their viewpoints into the dissenter's head. They bully to get their way, to be acknowledged right and just and the one true way.
I'm one thin thread away from disengaging entirely from social media, because I don't need this bullying. I don't need to see it and I certainly don't need to experience it again. I'm tired of the virulent cesspit that is social media.
Give me one good reason to continue engaging.