COLUMN: Divided we are, united we fall
Surf the net for a day and you might just discover you’re a bigot.
Bigotry is defined as “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” Based on that very simple description, I’d say a disturbingly large amount of online content in the form of memes, blogs, conversations and comments reveal an ugly chunk of America’s public are bigots.
Part of my job as an editor is to sift through news sites and social media and approve comments on news stories. Of the millions of bits of online information my brain takes in daily, most of it’s pretty negative. Common courtesy or empathy or a respect for human dignity are clearly not popular conversation guidelines.
I watch sadly as both parties, be they liberal or conservative, religious or non-religious, one percent or 99 percent, citizen or illegal, pick fights without showing any interest of hearing the other side out, illogically make leaping assumptions about the personal motives of their opponents and damn each other as the most inhuman apparition ever, then dust themselves off and accuse the other side of being uncivil and ignorant.
Election years seem to stir up this savagely-competitive spirit the most, reminding me how poisonously bigoted we still are as a nation. We demonize so quickly, label unfairly, then judge everything inside that label. In a country built on preaching freedom’s tolerance, we sure practice hate oppressively well.
Bigotry is a two-headed dragon.
One head is legal. One head is social. America has taken shots at the de-jure head, but it’s like we don’t even know how to wound the de-facto one.
The Internet gave Americans a mass voice only to show us that all our education, legislation, demonstration and reformation have not kept us from unleashing human nature’s basest and ugliest traits.
Personal conflicts are inevitable, necessary and at times healthy, even liberating. Logically disagreeing after open and polite conversation is fine. But so little of the content I see does that.
We are so cursed with pride.
This is my last column for CM Life. And as someone who loves our readers very, very much, I want to end my voice at this publication with a simple encouragement, as your friend . . .
Please believe in grace.
If we want answers, unity and peace, we must choose the path of grace, the path of loving those who feel unlovable, of trying to empathize and openly, sincerely offering to be a true friend to all, even those hold starkly different views.
I think the world needs grace more than anything else in life.
May we find the grace to love our neighbors and our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to forgive those who hate us, to do unto others as we would have others do unto us.
Please choose grace.
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