Brendan Whitt


Blought # 12: Don't be so Insensitive Bro

Social media has become a staple of our everyday lives. Just like we brush our teeth, put gas in our cars and go grocery shopping we have to stay connected.

We update our status, post photos and share videos or links that we find interesting or entertaining with others. Social media is a place where we humans now congregate for networking, promotion or just to tell our family member in California "I love you" (Hey Jacob!).

Sadly the social media world, much like the real world, is a place where ignorance and insensitivity is prevalent. The opposition of removing the Confederate flag this past July reminded us all that racism is still very much alive. If those guys won I'd probably be a slave somewhere in Alabama making smart phones or laptops, who knows?

The main point to be made is this. Just like a person would hold their tongue in public (racists, homophobes, etc.) they should also do the same on social media. Now if your page or profile is private and the only people viewing your status updates are like minded individuals then spew all of the hate that you very well please. But if you comment on a public post about a touchy subject shut it!

We understand the 1st amendment. Sometimes it's best to keep your views to yourself (Ben Carson). Conservative middle white America, you aren't slick. 

Any adult with half of a functional brain can see the subtle racism in your Facebook comments. You live in communities where the demographics say "95.7% White or Caucasian" and your children know little to nothing about life outside of the social shell you have placed them in. 

On top of all of that you pass down your prejudiced and lopsided views grooming a future hateful white middle American conservative. You’re the oil at that won't mix with the water in the faux American melting pot.

The story about NFL referee Ed Houchli allegedly refusing to give Carolina Panther's quarterback Cam Newton a call because he wasn't "old enough" has sparked debate for various reasons. Being an avid sports fan since I was four I know this kind of thing happens all of the time. 

My problem was all of the comments from people who look like Houchli downing Cam who looks like me. They called Cam a bum and a crybaby who should man up. Well Cam went 20/31 passing, 315 yards and three total TD’s this Sunday.

Sounds a lot like the sentiments shared when Mike Brown and Eric Garner were killed. Comments like "listen to the cops and you won't get shot". Coming from a white boy in a camouflage hat from Georgia sounds like subtle 21st century racism to me. 

A former history teacher of mine, Aimee Grabski, made a comment on Facebook unrelated to this blought but I think they can correlate.

"Monday rant: When you're having an online 'discussion' about an important issue and someone comes along and says that the whole thing should be deleted because 'some people have nothing better to do than fight online.'... 

Sorry, but there are some things that are worth discussing, worth educating people about, worth trying to get people to change their views. Lives have already been lost because of the intolerance of others and any time you think you can change one person's opinion, it's worth it."

Close mindedness to me is a form of insensitivity. You refuse to hear the other side and understand it. You don't have to change like Aimee alluded to, but at least try to understand the other side. 

My comments on the Cam Newton story ruffled feathers and I know the people who replied are probably subtle racists. I didn't read anyone's comments in opposition of my point bacause I knew they wouldn't understand where I was coming from.

And a bit of advice, know your audience and act accordingly.