After Mass Killings, Cycle of Hate Grows On Social Media. It Needs To Stop.
I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness after the mass killings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. It was hard to believe within 13 hours two gunmen took the lives of 29 people. I kept thinking of the families that have to live their lives without their loved ones because of an unspeakable act of hate.
What made me feel worse was the undeniable hate being spewed across social media, as politicians, activists, writers and pundits slaughtered each other with hateful words.
I didn’t want to see it. I actually left my phone at home and my husband and I took the kids out for the day. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to think about those who lost their lives but I was tired of seeing the hate spill over into social media. Everyone was trying to find someone to blame.
The blame turned into hate. Blame President Donald Trump, blame Kelly Anne Conway, blame the guns, blame mental illness, blame video games, blame the country, blame racism, blame each other and the blame, blame, blame just never ceases to stop.
It’s none of those reasons and I believe we all know it. It’s the person who pre-planned the attack, picked up the weapon and followed through with an action filled with rage that leave many of us wondering why.
It is a rage so great that the lives of innocent people were unsuspectedly swept into their madness.
The hate didn’t stop there. People across the country lashed out on Twitter. Filled with a different kind of anger, all across the country they fed into the hate. They spewed threats against people they don’t even know and it was enough to force me to leave my phone at home, clear my mind and spend time with my beautiful kids in old town Alexandria.
When I got home, I felt like I had to write something about what I was feeling.
Just look at this tweet. Conway tweeted out on Sunday “We need to come together America….Working as one to understand depraved evil & to eradicate hate is everyone’s duty. Unity. Let’s do it.”
She’s actually is 100 percent right. It didn’t matter. The hate in this country came with a tidal wave at Conway.
Instead, vile, hateful, angry responses followed. Blaming Trump, Conway, the Republicans and anything, anyone that could be thought of flowed minute by minute through angry fingers pounding keyboards and phones.
We need to come together, America.
Finger-pointing, name-calling & screaming with your keyboards is easy, yet…
It solves not a single problem, saves not a single life.
Working as one to understand depraved evil & to eradicate hate is everyone’s duty. Unity.
Let’s do this.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) August 4, 2019
Some were even threatening.
Look at this tweet from Reza Aslan, a writer who is verified on Twitter. He Tweets back to Conway “You are ‘the depraved evil’ we need to eradicate.” Eradicate? What kind of person uses this threatening language after these mass shootings. How is this acceptable? It isn’t.
Why wasn’t it removed from Twitter?
What is happening is actually quite frighting. We need to take a step back and stop before we end up being exactly what we fear.
This spill over of hate is something we all can control. However, many of us don’t because many of us are afraid of taking a good hard look at ourselves. We want someone to blame.
On Twitter the hate was pure. Those who took part in it decided not to control their own contemptuous actions.
Our nation is beautiful, free and filled with opportunity but so many of our citizens appear unhappy, full of complaints, wanting everything to be fair and blaming others when the world isn’t exactly the way they expect it to be.
Americans are luckier than most of the world but many fail to even notice it. Even many of those that do, fail to see it or accept it. Instead, they are angry, angry at the world for everything they are not and feed into the hate.
We need to stand up for what’s right, work hard to find solutions and realize that life is never perfectly equitable. We should be grateful for what we have and not continuously seek what we don’t have. It’s that simple.
In fact, adversity and hard work actually makes human beings more empathetic and wise.
So many children, however, are raised to believe that the world is equitable and fair. It’s not but that doesn’t make it bad, it makes us stronger.
I don’t know if this failure to accept what we have and who we are is part of what’s plaguing our nation but we need to take a hard look inside ourselves.
We should think before we act or lash out even if it’s from the comfort and security of our own homes. When you get ready to tell someone that they should be ‘eradicated’ from the earth, like Aslan did to Conway, stop and think about what you are becoming.
What the victims and families need now more than anything is a nation that stands together and most importantly a nation that can take moment to see that even the hate enveloping our statements on social media have real consequences.