I usually do some year end post, so this is my adieu to 2016.
It’s been a tumultuous year, not just for me, but the entire world.
At the end of 2015, I had hope. I was seeing that people were standing up against hate and bigotry. To the point where those who victimized others with hateful prejudice were on the defensive….complaining that people were making them feel uncomfortable by being intolerant of their intolerance.
Now, a year later things are radically different.
Trump’s election victory has emboldened those who are so insecure that they transfer those insecurities on minorities, homosexuals, and, well anyone who isn’t like them.
Hate crimes have spiked, and even here in Canada there have been instances where Canadians have bragged that “Trump is gonna come up here and [insert whatever here]”
It’s gotten so bad that the ‘alt-right’ dismiss any evidence that goes against their beliefs as “left wing media bias”, even if the evidence is a video posted by one of their kin, showing Trump spewing vile hatred.
Here are some common responses from the alt-right crowd when challenged:
- Left wing media bias!!
- The rare time they respond when asked for a non-biased version they turn to Fox, or worse, Brietbart
- Because insulting someone is a great way to get them to see your point
- Threats and bullying
- Because that’s an even better way.
On the other hand, they believe anything that plays into their twisted beliefs, no matter how outlandish.
Take for instance the travesty that came to be referred to as #pizzagate. A story that started to circulate about a pizzeria in Washington was a front for a child-sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton.
Unfortunately, the pizzeria in question is an actual restaurant. Staff have been threatened and harassed.
Doctored pictures have circulated around the internet as proof.
On Dec 4th, some mad man fired into the restaurant in an attempt to “self-investigate”
Read the wikipedia article and see for yourself the level of crazy that now passes for social and political discourse.
Add to that the baffling trend for some of those on the left who have started to preach that we should be more tolerant and accepting of the alt-right ideals.
More tolerant of bigotry, ignorance and hatred. Can you even imagine?
In my humble opinion, it now even more important for those of us who are accepting of others regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, orientation, or any other factor other than their level of ignorant asshole, to stand up and speak out.
While it is doubtful that we can change the minds of those bigots posting on social media and other outlets, if we fail to challenge the misinformation and fear mongering we allow it to grow. Even if we cannot convince bigots that they are in fact bigots, we may be able to reach the silent lurkers, who have not yet swallowed the poison pill.
2016 was bad. 2017 and the four years after might be worse.
I will continue to speak up, and to fight against hatred, tyranny, ignorance and bigotry.