Wading In

16 03 2011

Yesterday I got in a Facebook Ick.   One of those situations where you see someone’s status update, photo or comment,  you think it is somewhere between ridiculous and downright offensive, you try to find the humor and move on.  But for some reason, you get sucked in.  In that particular case I put a small amount of educational information as a comment without making it a first person attack in any way.  And then, afterward, I still felt uncomfortable.  The thing is, I am not afraid of confrontation.  I am afraid of the aftermath of confrontation.

Before I even had a chance to blog about it fully process the situation, I ended up in ANOTHER, completely different, Facebook Ick.  Only this time I directly confronted another commenter.  And even though I have no idea who this person is, I feel worse.  Not because of what I said, “Muslim scholars agree that Islam is actually a religion of peace and is only being misused as an excuse for terrorism.”  But because, of the way I said it.  And, because the whole thing is just ICKY.  And now I am afraid to check my email.

Between last night’s Ick and this evening’s Ick, I did think about why I get myself involved in these situations.  And I tried to think about who I am as a person, and more importantly, who I want to be as a person.

This is what I came up with:  It is not my intention to go through life making enemies.  However, it is my goal to always stand up for what I believe in.

Why does it matter?  Why do I have to stand up all the time?  Sometimes, believe it or not, I would like to just stay seated.  Or, better yet, move to a different seat so I don’t have to deal with it at all.  I will admit some of it is personality.  After all, when that previous sentence formed in my head it actually read, “Sometimes I just want to move to another seat with all the other chickenshits.”  But I really do try NOT to judge others who don’t get involved.  I do.  I really do.  In fact I believe they probably have more personal peace than I do.  And I am jealous of that.  On the other hand, I am confident that personal peace does not make for a more just world.

In an effort to find justification and the strength to be who I am probably going to be anyway, I look to people I admire….

Dr. Martin Luther King said; “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

There is very little chance that any friend or cause I believe in will remember me for my silence.

On the other hand, in the end, I may not have many friends at all.

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9 responses

16 03 2011
leigh

See, I knew we were very alike, you and I, Christine will tell you that, she has seen me get involved in all sorts of ick–but not on facebook, I won’t go there. But I know what you mean about saying something and then being afraid to go check your e-mail, wow, how many times have I been in that position. But really, I am less mad at myself for saying something than at everyone else for not saying it right along with me. I get mad like, why am I always the only one out there? Why am I always the one out there alone on the limb?

If more people stood up and said something, like you just did, it wouldn’t BE an ICK moment. You wouldn’t have to feel icky, it wouldn’t be an issue.

If only more people stood up.

sigh.

16 03 2011
leigh

Oh and ps, brava. Good for you. I love what you did. Keep doing it. Good job. Really really.

17 03 2011
Sarah C

I am JUST LIKE THIS. I wish I could let things roll off my back. Life would be so much easier if I weren’t so determined to stand up for what I believe. I’m not always good at doing it gracefully, either.

I have found myself unfriending FB “friends” (who aren’t really my friends, let’s face it) because I don’t want to see the crap they post.

Somehow I’m comforted to know there’s someone else like me!

Sarah in NC
mother of three, including two awesome kids from Ethiopia
🙂

17 03 2011
Sherryl

I am also mentally dealing with a FB Ick right now – trying to figure out just the right response and thinking over the backlash my response will cause. And then I think, “Really, is FB worth it?” I’m actually quite tired of the daily BS that some of my “friends” post on FB, and maybe I just need to remove myself from those conversations by way of removing myself from FB for good. Then again, would that be me acting like a chickensh*t by moving to a different seat? Ick! Like you, it’s not the Ick that bothers me, but the consequences of standing up to the Ick.

17 03 2011
fricknfracks

I have a really hard time keeping my mouth shut, err, fingers from typing in the case of fb. I’ve been unfriended countless times because of it. But then I think to myself, why in the hell was I friends with that jack-off anyway?

Oh, and then there was the time that I ding-dong ditched someone on fb. She was from my agency and disrupted her adoption (two boys – 4-ish & 6-ish) after like 4 weeks. She said it was God’s plan – she discovered he was using her to get the boy’s to the States so they could be adopted by another family. I went off and then immediately unfriended her. She emailed me and called me a coward for it. I then continued to assault her via email.

Anyway, I like what you do. Keep on keepin’ on.

17 03 2011
Tesi

Oh I wish I had that fight in me a bit more! I’m more the one who leaves the scene, prays for the person/situation, lights a candle, etc, etc. When it’s really bad, I definitely stand up but those in between situations, I’m a total wimp. I think a lot of it has to do with my lack of confidence in getting my point across. I never think of the right thing to say until 10 minutes after I’ve left the person/situation. Grrrr.

Rock it sister, just keep rockin’ it.

17 03 2011
Melanie

Wow. Looks like there are a lot of us out there. I’ve been defriended (writing that out makes it seem douchey) and I’ve defriended for the exact same reason. I’m opinionated and focused on social justice. I don’t apologize for it.

I’m in the middle of an immigration ick right now. It’s exhausting sometimes.

17 03 2011
Erin

Thanks for the great MLK quote.

21 03 2011
mikeco

Yep. I live like that too.
Ignoring things that are prejudiced or hateful goes against who I am. I think I am biologically incapable of staying quiet. I have really been trying to find ways to speak up without offending other people. . . it is quite a struggle. If I can say it in a way that doesn’t offend the other person or makes them reconsider what they have said or done that is the real success. . . but often just addressing that there is an issue is enough to offend some.

At the end of the day, I think it is better to offend than to allow hatred, racism and prejudices to go unchallenged. So keep it up:) I know exactly what you’re talking about – you may have more friends than you know 😉

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