Call it stupidity, but I seem to keep engaging people on social media about various political views. I know many people roll their eyes and say “why bother.” True, social media is not always the best format for deeply engaging political conversation but I cannot sit idly by as people post highly offensive or incorrect information. As a high school teacher I refuse to sit by and watch media illiteracy reign and extremist views go by without saying anything. This is not to say I always get involved, there are people in my social medial circles that are literally unchangeable and don’t care for your conversation and logic – I don’t bother with them unless I have a personal story to share that I think they’d care to know.
It’s the other group that gets me. People who I don’t think wish to harm but post things that are factually incorrect or incredibly insulting to humanity. I don’t know everything obviously but as a history teacher, if you post something incredibly idiotic such as “Muslims want to kill all Christians” then I truly feel it is my moral duty as a teacher to step in and say “Hey, I’ve done lots of PD on the Middle East and I teach AP World History so that is an incorrect statement about Islam…”
Read more: Middle East & Islam Blog Posts
Most of the time my engagement goes well, but I’ve begun noticed something different since Trump was elected president. People don’t actually give a sh*t that I know what I’m talking about. Like they totally disregard my academic background and continue their own conversation. And THAT I don’t get. For example if I post something about economic theories and a person who teaches Economics corrects me then I should take a moment to ask and probe them. Sometimes it may be a difference of opinion of how to do something and sometimes I am just wrong. Accept when you’re wrong or uniformed.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to tears and anger on my part. I’m not trying to be a show off or know-it-all, I’m not trying to change your mind. If you’re a bigot racist, I can’t change that BUT I can tell you that scientifically there is no physical, mental or moral inferiority between the races. I can do that at least and walk away satisfied that I did not just condone your racism.
But sometimes I’m not so nice. And I hate that. I try to have civil conversations but I hate it when others feel it is their right to berate me yet expect me to play by some polite rulebook that they have clearly burned.
I don’t know what the 2020 elections hold but I desperately wish for logic, rationality, and civility to come back into our political and social landscape.