Had enough ugliness – I need a “hate free” zone – From the Archives

This was originally posted on 3/28/13

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - MLK Jr.

I had to delete one of my Facebook “friends” yesterday.  It was an acquaintance from years ago, and I’m sure they won’t even realize I did it.  The problem was that this person asked what all the ‘red’ was about.  Once they found out, they proceeded to spew hateful and disgusting comments.  I couldn’t stand it.I believe in freedom of speech and everyone’s right to have their own opinion, but do people have to inflict their ugliness on the rest of us?  And worst of all use Bible quotes to justify their hate?  If they can’t disagree with someone or something intelligently, without resorting to hate speech, what does that say about their point of view?  Opinions aren’t changed by hate.

There are plenty of other things to post about without attacking someone’s lifestyle, politics, disability or religion.  I’ve seen so much ugliness online lately that I think I’ve reached my limit.

There are many things about me and mine that are “unconventional.”  I’m sure some people would have lots to say.  I guess there comes a time when we all have to decide to accept the ugliness into our daily lives and let it slowly eat away at us – or do what we can to eliminate it.

That’s how I feel about people using the “R” word.  I battled myself about “getting involved.”  If someone uses it in front of me what should I do?  At first I tried to ignore it.  Truth is most people don’t get it.  It’s so much a part of our culture people have a hard time understanding why it’s so important.  I’d tell myself, “They don’t really mean it the way it sounds.”  It wasn’t until one day at work that someone asked me if I “rode the short bus” that it finally sunk in.   If I don’t say something, they’ll continue to use it without knowing why I think they shouldn’t.  If I say something, without getting belligerent, and they choose to ignore me, then that’s on them.  That’s when they get eliminated from “my space.”

I challenge myself, and all of us really, to create a “hate free” space.  After all, I believe in the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  (At least in front of me.)

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