This is one of those posts where I risk pissing people off. That's life on the Internet, because people seem to be actively seeking something to get pissed off about.
Something on the morning news set me off, and after that I saw similar things everywhere. The catalyst of my attitude involved Miss Teen America. Let's keep that word teen in mind here.
It seems that somewhere in her past she used racial epithets in some Twitter posts. They showed them on the news, because proof is important in such weighty matters. They blacked it out, but did so in a way that it was obvious. Miss Teen America tweeted using the word “nigger.” There I said it.
While this isn't right by today's standards, the news report missed something that I thought was important. The tweets dated back to 2013. This poses several interesting issues. Remember, she is Miss Teen America. I could Google her, but I won't. For the sake of argument, let's say she is nineteen. (She could be younger) That means in 2013 she was sixteen. I'm not perfect today, but at sixteen most of you wouldn't have wanted to know me at all. I would not want to be denied a job over something I did when I was sixteen.
This also means that some hateful person dug through three years of old tweets before they found something juicy. I raised a teenage girl, and this could have been hundreds of thousands of tweets.
Why? This seems to say a lot about the whistle blower to me.
I assume these contests are about who is the most poised, articulate, and talented on the day of the event. I never thought they were about being perfect people. Kind of like a dog show, nobody cares that the winner pooped in the hotel room that morning.
We don't regulate thought yet. People are allowed to think however they please. They are allowed to have prejudices, right or wrong. We live in a culture of witch-hunting when anyone accomplishes anything. We are not required to like _________. Disagree with them, no problem. Shame them publicly and call for their heads? I disagree.
Then I ran across two of my very close blog friends dealing with something similar. One posted an historical article that involves a bit of legend. I love this blog, but one of her highly educational posts attracted a troll. Again, why? Disagree, sure. Be a jerk about it? I don't think so.
The other blogger is enjoying the hell out of Pokemon-Go. She wrote a very thoughtful article about depression and how this game got her off the couch. I didn't know the haters were assaulting players for visiting monuments and other public places. Don't like it, don't play it. Other people have the right to play.
I've seen the memes and shaming on Facebook regarding this game. What is the point? I've tried it, and it's pretty fun. I really have no doubts about my masculinity, and if you need to feel better about yourself, I still won't question my masculinity. It's just a game. Here's fuel for your fire, I've written female lead characters before too. I've been told I write them well.
Someone told me a long time ago that making someone else look bad, doesn't make me look good in comparison. Making someone else feel bad really serves no purpose either.
One of the things I love about the Internet, particularly the blogging world, is the diversity of opinions. I have the ability to consider a position without necessarily accepting it. In fact diverse opinions (and people) serve to make us better. There have been times in my life where a devils advocate helped clarify my own thoughts. If we all thought the same thoughts, and enjoyed the same things, the world would get boring in a hurry. We would never improve without some of those ideas that fall outside the box.
I interact regularly with NRA members, aging hippies, Liberals, Conservatives, people of all races, sexual orientation, and religion. I appreciate the bits and pieces they provide and they make me think. I still have the right to be myself, and have my own thoughts. I think other folks do too.
I've had thoughts that were wrong. I learned and changed my opinion. We have the right to be wrong just as much as the right to be correct. Humans can learn, and will change throughout their lives.
If you're still reading, thanks for sticking with me. I'll try to get back to my usual goofy self in the next post.