—June 22, 2016
“Can we all just get along?” Great words from a man seeking calm in the midst of a tempest. This from a Black man who had received an unjustified severe beating from a gang of white cops. A man who likely had every right to harbor hatred and thoughts of revenge, but instead urged peace during the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
A man who, like all of us, was flawed. But, apologies, I digress. I just re-watched the video of the Rodney King beating and want to sidetrack into the minutia of his story—examine its nuances and fathom its meaning. But not now. No, let’s stick with:
“Can we all just get along?”
Given the current levels of animosity between all of the different competing factions—whether Democrat versus Republican, Left versus Right, Black versus White, Christian versus Muslim, Gay versus Straight, Pro-gun versus Anti-Gun, etc., etc., etc.—Probably not. Especially given that the extreme wings of each side are so intransigent and full of venomous abhorrence towards their respective opposition.
In fact, I don’t believe the level of anger between the various competing factions has ever been so high, as it seems to have reached “Defcon 1,” or the former Homeland Security “Code Red.” In short, too many of us, no matter from which faction, are one insult away from throwing that first punch. And, as seen in Orlando last week, the crazies among us might resort to bullets rather than a fist.
But we should be able to get along….
So, it’s time to figure out how to get along.
Let’s start with a basic premise: We are all human, and thus deeply flawed.
Yeah, that’s a tough one. I mean, sure, I can see the flaws in everyone else’s positions, mindset, lifestyle, beliefs, etc. but I’m pretty much perfect…don’t ya know?
Wrong! I am human and deeply flawed. As are we all. It’s just very difficult to perceive one’s own limitations.
Try it right now. Can you pick yourself apart and honestly detail your deficiencies? And I’m not talking about what might make you mildly irritating, I’m talking about what might make you unsuitable for whatever heaven your chosen God lords over.
Not easy is it? Keep trying, though, because unless you’re of the “Mother Theresa,” “Gandhi” or “Jesus” ilk, then you, too, are most likely deeply flawed.
So perhaps Step One in getting along while “arguing” with the competition, whoever they might be, would be to always keep in mind the fact that: “We are all human, and thus deeply flawed.”
Step Two might be to keep in mind that as “humans” we all have more similarities than differences. Consider your lifetime interactions with the “opposition,” whoever that might be. Do not the positive interactions outweigh the negative ones? Of all the competing groups I am most likely to have had a difference of opinion with, I have historically experienced more positive interactions than negative. Consider:
- I am White, and the majority of personal interactions I have had with Black folks has been positive. Ditto with Hispanics, Asians, and people of all other races and ethnicities I’ve met over the years.
- I am Straight, and the majority of personal interactions I have had with LGBT folks has been positive.
- I am Pro-Gun, and the majority of personal experiences I have had with Anti-Gun folks has been positive (and no, not because I was packing .357 caliber worth of heat).
- I am Christian, and the majority of personal interactions I have had with people of other faiths has been positive (though would probably sing a different tune were I to visit Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria).
- I am Male, and the majority of personal experiences I have had with Feminists has been positive (though I have yet to personally encounter any “ThirdWave” Feminists).
- I lean to the Right, and the majority of personal interactions I have had with people on the Left has been positive, though I cannot state the same in relation to those on the far end of the spectrum.
- When I leaned to the Left during my youth the majority of personal experiences I had with those on the Right was positive. Perhaps of note, interactions I had with the Far Left encouraged my movement to the Right.
Bottom line is that on a personal basis It seems that I can pretty much get along with most of these folks. Granted, this may not hold true for everyone else, but I trust—or perhaps, hope—that it holds true for most of us.
Step Three would be to acknowledge that we all have grievances. Black folks have plenty of reasons to be pissed off. As do Native Americans. Muslims?—no doubt! Hispanics?—Yep! LGBT?—sure, they still have legitimate gripes. Feminists?—OK. And I could go on and on and on….
And as a Straight, White, Privileged, Conservative Male, I’m kind of pissed off that so many of you Far Left mo-fos spend so much energy blaming me and my cohorts for all the problems of the world instead of trying to address your own contribution to the problem(s). I am also fearful that proposed Far Left solutions for addressing their grievances lead to an Orwellian future.
At this juncture it would be easy to get into a pissing contest to see who has been most egregiously aggrieved, but I don’t think we want to go there as it would undoubtedly just exacerbate the animosity.
We do, however, need to listen to and acknowledge each others grievances, as well as be willing to debate their significance and potential remedies. And yes, some grievances are petty and some ludicrous, but many are fully legitimate and worthy of being addressed.
Unfortunately, Step Three appears to be a zero-sum game with many of the issues that divide the Right from the Left. Pardon me while I turn completely partisan in order to explain:
Folks on the Far Left are unwilling to debate…period! As soon as anyone starts saying anything that conflicts with their creed regarding feminism, race, LGBT, multiculturalism, religion and other pet issues, they do everything in their power to shut it down immediately. They bully the opposition with cries of “Racist,” “Homophobe,” “Misogynist,” “Islamophobe,” “Hate Speech,” etc., and then shout louder and louder to drown out the words they find so threatening despite in many cases not even having heard what they might be. They refuse to listen to anyone who’s opinion might differ from their worldview and label most such opinions expressed as “Hate Speech.” Social Justice Warrior (SJW) Lefties are the most censorship-prone gang of political activists America has ever seen, far surpassing the 1980s/‘90s Moral Majority activists in their disdain for free speech and the First Amendment. This makes Step Three a non-starter because those on the Right are certainly not going to listen to the grievances from the Far Left absent some hint of quid pro quo.
As for my friends on the Far Right, I suggest that they need to tone down the vitriol in their rhetoric, as some of it clearly does come out as hateful “Hate Speech.” While humor serves as a good foil of refutation within the context of debate, personal insults do not add validity to the points of view. There is no valid reason or excuse to use the “N” word, nor any need to disparage other marginalized groups with the many epithets used to insult them (yeah, I know, I’m sounding like a nagging old school marm).
For example, while I believe the transgender movement with its delusional beliefs about what comprises “gender” is full of goatshit, I will try to refrain from personal attacks on them as people, say by referring to them as “Its” or “Trannies.” I will even use whatever personal name a transgendered person might want to be called, though will continue to assert that because Kaitlyn Jenner still sports a Johnson and the Twins he remains very much a man. Also, there is absolutely no way I’m going to use one of those made-up pronouns like “Ze” or “Vre.” Thus, while I’ve toned down the vitriol, my argument remains intact and hopefully I have expressed it with a touch of humor.
Speaking of which, I am sorry dear Lefties but those of us on the Right are going to continue to make fun of you. And no, making you the butt of a joke does not constitute “Hate Speech.” Unlike you, many on the Right have a sense of humor, and Left-Wing antics, ludicrous demands and avoidance of legitimate debate opens you up to deserved ridicule.
And for clarification, here’s a real-world example of the difference between “Hate Speech” and “Humor:” The current SJW poster child is Cora Segal, who was aptly named “Trigglypuff” after she tried to disrupt a Conservative panel—Milo Yiannopoulos, Steven Crowder and Christina H. Sommers— of speakers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who, ironically enough, were discussing censorship.
The numerous memes, videos, Tweets, and satirical write-ups making fun of “Trigglypuff” constitute humor, and Cora is 100 percent responsible for making herself the butt of the joke. The numerous Tweets, Facebook posts and other comments calling for Cora to “kill herself,” “die,” “get raped,” etc. constitute “Hate Speech.” The latter is not cool, not funny, and totally unnecessary.
OK, So, there you have it, the nascent MJM code for how to get along. Perhaps not as succinct as Rodney King’s plea, but it’s a start. Unfortunately, that pesky Step Three appears to be a sticking point. I believe that those on the Right would be willing to acknowledge and listen to grievances coming from the Left; however, SJW Lefties are unwilling to debate or compromise and thus will continue their attacks on free speech. In turn, those of us on the Right will undoubtedly continue making fun of them.