I’m not much of a Facebook debater. I tend to stick to “likes” and comments about things I know – how cute my friends’ kids are and which books I like. I’ve only ever gotten close to an altercation once: When a friend posted about solo parenting for the first time and wondered if she would shower or eat all weekend, I said something about self-care and that it’s ok if the baby cries while she showered. The comments that followed suggested I had told my friend to abandon her baby on a mountainside, exposed to the elements while she sipped champagne. Yikes! I’m definitely not cut out for the big-leagues of Facebook debate!
But, in my year of choice, I’m wondering how to engage on Facebook in a more thoughtful approach. In the aftermath of Ferguson and the Eric Garner non-indictments, along with the protests that continue, I have friends posting things like, All Lives Matter! Get over it! and articles about police support. While I agree that all lives matter and that the vast majority of law enforcement are committed to protecting communities, I also have strong opinions about systemic injustice and the fact that wearing a uniform does not automatically make one a hero.
In a world that does engage in social media debates and where it’s not always possible to go to coffee with someone to talk about things, I wonder how much good I do by sitting back and not engaging, by relying on my own life choices to speak louder than a well-crafted rebuttal, and when I need to pushback a bit and ask questions that bring light to other opinions. I’ve been following more bloggers of color and champions of injustice in the recent months and they say, we the privileged need to speak up. Without everyone’s voice, change doesn’t happen.
I wish there was a kind and gracious way of saying, A hero is made by actions, not by a chosen profession. And, until the majority (whether religious, educational, skin color, or economic level) recognize and work to reconcile the systemic injustices inflicted on the minority, we need consistent and continual reminders that minority lives do matter.
Until I gain the courage and the eloquence to pushback, I’ll keep posting my rebuttals on my own wall, hoping my friends read these articles, just as I read theirs. For now, my choice is to listen to others and promote their words. And, perhaps that is more powerful than any debate I can engage.
How do you interact on social media? Any tips for sharing opinions without opening debate?