All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
There’s a bit of a dispute over the origin of the above quote, but the message is sound. It’s not good enough to just not do evil things… if you don’t take an active role against it, evil will triumph.
Hate is a form of evil.
The conservative in me loathes things like “hate crimes”, but that’s dealing with our legal system. Here I’m just talking about hate, and the spread of such an evil even when it’s not a crime. For example… the following was posted by an anonymous account in the comments of a video posted by someone I know.
You Beth are one of the most hated people in this community and maybe one day you will see just how bad. Do everyone a favor LEAVE. Also what makes you think you can turn your gay husband straight?? Therapy he has been doing is NOT working but your enough to turn anyone gay
That comment was left on the video Beth posted of one of her kids playing in the ocean. The comment was removed. The account seems to have been created within the last 24 hours for the express purpose of leaving that comment.
This was a blatant example. Others have been not so blatant… like a FaceBook status update where someone who wasn’t at Vegas this year was lamenting the fact as she browsed some of the many photos having been uploaded about the event. I need to paraphrase this next part because I didn’t save it, and the person ended up removing the post, but after seeing a photos of a couple of husbands who’s wives are post-ops and part of the Bariatric Bad Girls Club sporting shirts that said ”BBGC Security”, she said something about how only they would do such a thing, or need them.
I think my response was the time was “wow. just wow.”
Lest anyone thing I’m being biased here, there was another recent explosion of drama that caused a lot of things to be said by a lot of people… many were able to limit their comments to the issue at hand. Some weren’t. Some attacked one of the people at the center of this with comments about smacking them upside the head with a water bottle or calling them other names. And before that, as people were returning from Vegas, there were disparaging comments made by someone because they were stuck on the same flight out as someone they didn’t care for.
It doesn’t make a difference to me that the latter items were posted in closed and/or small groups on FaceBook vs a public comment on a YouTube video, it’s all the same.
The stuff that happened in that group… I posted there about it, and I was ready to leave the group over it because I felt my thoughts weren’t going to be all too popular. I get that the targets of those feelings aren’t part of the group, I get how many in that group don’t like those folks… but doesn’t mean I believe it excuses those sorts of comments.
Now I get it. I get how sometimes we say things without thinking. We post online during times our emotions are running high, or maybe we’re just tired and not thinking fully about the consequences of what we’re about to say. It doesn’t excuse it, but it doesn’t do any good to think we won’t make mistakes here and there. But when those things happens… you can also do things to try and fix it. Remove the the comments, post retractions, post apologies, whatever. It’s not about the mistakes you make, it’s about how you go about making up for them.
And for those of us on the sidelines, it’s time to stand up and say something when we see this happening. When you see this crap happening, call them out on it. I’m not saying you need to post a public shaming or anything. But message the person, let them know you think what they said is inappropriate, just be calm and respectful about it. I know, it can be tough speaking up to a stranger – you never know how they might react. And it can be even tougher when it’s someone you know. Someone you like. But that’s when it’s most important. Sometimes we’re too blinded by our own emotions to clearly see what we’ve done. It’s times like those some simple words from a friend can help us see where we screwed up, can help bring us back to reality, can help put us back on track.
It’s tough, I know. But I think as more of us stand up, it will become easier.
So in those cases where it’s not a mistake, where it’s not a matter of emotions running high, when it is a case of true and intended maliciousnous - those are the times where we all need to be standing up against that sort of thing. I’m not talking witch-hunts or anything, just a simple response that “hey, that’s not cool”.
We need to let not just that person, but others as well know that this sort of stuff is not ok. That you, that I, that we want none of that. That we’re not going to just sit here and watch it happen.
That we’re not going to let evil triumph.