Family Alienations

 

I looked up a (thirty-something) relative today on Facebook. I won’t get into the detailed branching.

Still, I thought I might want to connect and introduce this young educated lady to another person, not for romantic reasons since she has a boyfriend but since the man I know is isolated in that city and she might be kind enough to include him among her acquaintances and perhaps she might know of a matching lady. Things looked okay for a fair amount of scrolling through photos etc. Then it flashed before me.

She had posted a close up of a Nazi-Klan rally from somewhere being guarded by cops, with her comments:

This does not surprise me. If you’re surprised, you probably voted for him. And you’re white. And you’re either lower-middle class or upper-middle class. And you lack compassion, and you stand by and are “sad but I’m not the one doing it,” and you are part of the problem. We know who you are, but YOU do not know who you are. The candidate you voted for gave these people a voice, legitimized them, and brought them out of the woodwork. If you deny that at all, you need to read the news starting from the beginning of the campaign–and not just Fox News. Choose news about it from another country if that is most trustworthy to you. (And can we all just finally admit that “having a black friend,” listening to hip hop, making out with that black guy one time, and watching the Cosby Show doesn’t mean you’re not racist.)

I would not have cared who she voted for. And not so long ago, people didn’t tell other people that unless they voted for the same party and candidate, they were responsible for all bad things. Besides, she knows your views come from one source, and nothing in your actual interests and behavior could challenge her summation of you. So I’m not making any introductions. She didn’t care who read this, she thought it was brilliant and convincing, and even if I had voted the approved way she immediately lost my respect. If you can’t conform to her parameters, you’re not invited into her world and she doesn’t want to know anything else about yours, so that takes care of that, which is sad.

There are 26 comments.

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  1. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    It is fatiguing, isn’t it? 

    And so wasteful. 

    And boring.

    • #1
  2. Eridemus Coolidge
    Eridemus
    @Eridemus

    And I wonder, why was it necessary? To flash herself before her “approved already” friends, I presume.

    • #2
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    This is a Pandora’s Box opened by the last administration under the banner of equality for all, and let’s put down our prejudices only to reignite more prejudices than I have seen since the 1960’s and I was only a baby!  Now there is prejudice against men, women, blacks, whites, police officers, conservatives, Christians, Jews, heterosexuals, and you fill in the blanks!  Those words are from the programming that the younger generation has received who don’t know history and are doomed to repeat it.

    • #3
  4. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I know exactly who she is, and I know who I am. I’m the guy who could be compassionate, and I’m the guy who could put someone right down on the pavement. I’m the guy who has seen the best, and worst in people. I have seen my share of intended, and unintended mayhem. I’ve arrested, and come to the aid of people from all classes, and all colors. I see the world as it is, not as I would like it to be. She would probably call me judgmental, and she would be right. She is judgmental, but it is based upon ignorance, and it certainly is without any compassion for those that she disdains.

    • #4
  5. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Eridemus (View Comment):

    And I wonder, why was it necessary? To flash herself before her “approved already” friends, I presume.

    There’s something rather poisonous about social media that way.  I commented on a friend’s movie review, and though I had set my privacy very very high, because this movie review was a public post it showed up on my friends’ feeds too, as “Skipsul has commented on this post”.

    Well, a lefty guy I’ve known since 1st grade took a few lines from the review out of context, then proceeded to excoriate my friend for his “racist” review for multiple paragraphs.  My friend engaged rather politely, asked for counter arguments, and asked if this fellow could read a couple of other reviews.  Instead this old acquaintance of mine responded with pure bile about how he intends to shout down all right wing racist hate online until Trump is shot for treason, and all his supporters driven from this country they’re ruining… 

    You get the picture, I’m sure.

    Kate is right – after a while it is boring. But it is also frightening, and after 35 years of knowing this guy, I ended contact.

    • #5
  6. Eridemus Coolidge
    Eridemus
    @Eridemus

    I understand the wide angle sparring over global warming, border enforcement, trade and pipelines. But otherwise, in human rights terms, what specifically has Trump actually DONE to any group….take away someone’s equal recognition or right to vote or continued access to anything? Even the trans issues would have hit the courts. And wasn’t it actually Obama who spouted a fountain of executive orders when he couldn’t get congress to comply with his agenda?

    • #6
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I guess this is “politisexting”.

    • #7
  8. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    I know exactly who she is, and I know who I am. I’m the guy who could be compassionate, and I’m the guy who could put someone right down on the pavement. I’m the guy who has seen the best, and worst in people. I have seen my share of intended, and unintended mayhem. I’ve arrested, and come to the aid of people from all classes, and all colors. I see the world as it is, not as I would like it to be. She would probably call me judgmental, and she would be right. She is judgmental, but it is based upon ignorance, and it certainly is without any compassion for those that she disdains.

    That’s the opening monologue from a police show that needs to be made.

    By the way, I work in academia.  This is the normal setting for posters and random conversations about politics.

    • #8
  9. They call me PJ Boy. Inactive
    They call me PJ Boy.
    @SimonTemplar

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    I know exactly who she is, and I know who I am. I’m the guy who could be compassionate, and I’m the guy who could put someone right down on the pavement. I’m the guy who has seen the best, and worst in people. I have seen my share of intended, and unintended mayhem. I’ve arrested, and come to the aid of people from all classes, and all colors. I see the world as it is, not as I would like it to be. She would probably call me judgmental, and she would be right. She is judgmental, but it is based upon ignorance, and it certainly is without any compassion for those that she disdains.

    lovely prose dude

    • #9
  10. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    They hatefully tag us as haters . Preaching tolerance they decline to tolerate our very existence. Proclaiming our ignorance they refuse to know the first thing about us. If they are a powerless minority they deserve to be ignored or shamed, as if that is possible with them. But if they ever get the levers of power we are in for it. 

    • #10
  11. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Eridemus: And can we all just finally admit that “having a black friend,” listening to hip hop, making out with that black guy one time, and watching the Cosby Show doesn’t mean you’re not racist

    Gah!  I only hit one out of the four.  I guess that makes me a super duper racist.

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I have a pretty large circle of friends.  The smallest group of them is as close to me as family and they know me pretty well, warts and all, and I know them pretty well, too.  Then, as my circle widens, I know less about people I still call friends, until I get to “acquaintances” in circles still further out, and then, “people I’ve met once or twice,” and then I get to the largest circle of all which is “all the people in the world I’ve never had any contact with.”

    Like the circles of Hell, the closer in one is to the main event, the more difficult it can be.  Sometimes it’s hard to like, let alone love, those who think very differently about fundamental beliefs than we do, so I suppose most of the folks in that most intimate circle with me think in in a manner quite similar to mine.  Because if we’re going to expend that much energy on a close friendship, neither of us wants to spend it arguing about which of us is Hitler and which of us is Stalin, or how stupid or wonderful our respective countries are, or whether this, or that, religion is better than the other.  For folks I like to have lunch with a few times a year, or who I might see at a concert or go out with to a show,  I don’t really need that level of detail or argumentation.  There are other things to talk about, and we do.

    That’s how relationships used to work.  We didn’t have to know absolutely everything about absolutely everyone in our social sphere, no matter how tangential our relationship.  And that’s how I like it, how I’ve tried to keep it, and how I’m able to have quite meaningful, rewarding and longstanding friendships with folks whose politics, philosophy and worldview are quite different from mine.  At some point along the way, I did the “are you a human being?” test with them, and they passed that with flying colors, so it’s all good, no matter who they voted for in 2016.

    These days, though, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and a culture which teaches that even the most vapid and irrelevant thought which passes through the space between our ears is precious and worthy of enormous attention and immense respect,  it seems we’re required to know everything about everyone, whether we want to or not.  And whether we actually know them, or have ever met them, or not.  The woman quoted in the post, who seems to think it’s her duty to grace the world with her ill-formed political opinions is a case in point.  I know more about her opinions on these subjects than I do those of my friend I’ve been having pleasant lunches with a few times a year for decades.  And not only do I not want this anonymous woman in my closest-held circle; no matter how many other interests we have in common, now that she’s led with that, I probably wouldn’t bother seeking her out as a friend in any other circumstances either.

    Sooner or later, perhaps someone will figure out that externalizing your identity, spewing your innermost random and unformed thoughts to the public every day, and giving even those who’ve never met you an intimate glimpse into your psyche, doesn’t enable tolerance, support, affection, and togetherness; it destroys it. 

    That’s why you won’t find me on Facebook or Twitter.  Ever.

    • #12
  13. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    To paraphrase from Pete Townsend …

    Meet the new Brownshirts.   Same as the old Brownshirts.   

    • #13
  14. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    I find it interesting that she is willing to offer up news items from abroad.  I just returned from a long stint abroad listening to local news from a variety of Spanish feeds, all of it was driven by US media, and she’s right you won’t hear opinion that differs from our left wing media’s take.  There was no independent reporting except one station/program that had a Washington correspondent, who just reported facts and the Mexican American feeds that sometimes had a Cato Institute scholar join round tables.  

    She’s your relative and obviously young and ignorant, both of those conditions can be remedied.  Take it as a challenge, avoid anything partisan.  She’s big on identifying fascists, send her some real history on Fascism.   

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I Walton (View Comment):

    I find it interesting that she is willing to offer up news items from abroad. I just returned from a long stint abroad listening to local news from a variety of Spanish feeds, all of it was driven by US media, and she’s right you won’t hear opinion that differs from our left wing media’s take. There was no independent reporting except one station/program that had a Washington correspondent, who just reported facts and the Mexican American feeds that sometimes had a Cato Institute scholar join round tables.

    She’s your relative and obviously young and ignorant, both of those conditions can be remedied. Take it as a challenge, avoid anything partisan. She’s big on identifying fascists, send her some real history on Fascism.

    I “Liked” this idea, but I’m not sure I’d have it in me to execute it. As Kate says, it’s exhausting. 

    • #15
  16. Eridemus Coolidge
    Eridemus
    @Eridemus

    We know who you are but you do not know who you are

    when you think about it, is an amazing revelation. At first it hinted at a kind of surveillance, but after a few hours it dawned on me, she means her group’s definition of us is what counts.

    @okiesailor

    About that ignorance, hating etc. She thinks like Hillary, that only Hillary voters are decent intelligent people. She thinks it’s more important to ”signal” to her own buddies and keep her world clean than to meet any of the ”creatures” like us out here. I have this feeling that even if you adopted a black child (as white adoptees since she has decided you are white)…that would still not be enough to cancel the racist tag. You are racist unless you vote like her. It’s what’s in your MIND and see quote above. They don’t know your name or address, or anything else about you, but from your vote, they know your MIND.

    • #16
  17. Whistle Pig Member
    Whistle Pig
    @

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    This is a Pandora’s Box opened by the last administration under the banner of equality for all, and let’s put down our prejudices only to reignite more prejudices than I have seen since the 1960’s and I was only a baby! Now there is prejudice against men, women, blacks, whites, police officers, conservatives, Christians, Jews, heterosexuals, and you fill in the blanks! Those words are from the programming that the younger generation has received who don’t know history and are doomed to repeat it.

    In short, the war of all against all. 

    • #17
  18. Captain Kidd Inactive
    Captain Kidd
    @CaptainKidd

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    And can we all just finally admit that “having a black friend,” listening to hip hop, making out with that black guy one time, and watching the Cosby Show doesn’t mean you’re not racist

    Gah! I only hit one out of the four. I guess that makes me a super duper racist.

    You made out with a black dude?

    (I know, I know. Too easy.)

    • #18
  19. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    We know who you are, but YOU do not know who you are. 

    Once a person makes this leap, the gate is up on the road to authoritarianism.

    I still can’t understand how a person with a brain is able to write this uncritically.

    • #19
  20. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    It’s possible to have a good relationship with family members that have different political views, but it takes both sides actively making an effort. I have an aunt who is about as left wing as you can possibly imagine. She was a politics/sociology professor at the University of Colorado – Boulder (the Berkeley of the Rockies). I recall one time I posted something – I think it was a picture of Hillary’s logo changed to say “I’m with No One” or something like that – expressing my discontent with both campaigns. The day after the election she angrily commented that people like me who voted for a third party candidate were the ones to blame for Trump winning. I calmly replied that Trump supporters would make the same kind of accusation had he lost, and that it wasn’t correct either way because neither one had my vote in the first place. A few minutes later she PM’d me to apologize, saying she shouldn’t have reacted that way, that she was just upset and was wrong to take it out on me and had deleted her comment. I told her it was no big deal, quite understandable. Then I deleted the picture entirely. Because that’s how it’s supposed to work. I’m sure she finds my opinions just as exasperating as I find hers, but we still get along really well. I enjoy spending time with her because even though we disagree on, well, almost everything, she’s fun to talk to. We don’t make it personal and we don’t take it personally. It’s too bad your relative can’t seem to do that.

    • #20
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    You both behaved in a respectful adult way, guarding each other’s dignity and respecting each other’s right to have opinions. 

    That is not what the internet is for. 

    • #21
  22. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Facebook. It’s better than DNA testing for telling you what you probably don’t want to know.

    • #22
  23. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Facebook. It’s better than DNA testing for telling you what you probably don’t want to know.

    Great comment @basilfawlty! I am on the fence about Facebook. There are interests groups (nonpolitical) that I follow that are great but you have to ask yourself at what point is it like using a sewage system to send messages in a bottle? Yeah, it may flow fast and to the right destination but does it have to be surrounded by so much crap?

    • #23
  24. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    Eridemus (View Comment):

    I understand the wide angle sparring over global warming, border enforcement, trade and pipelines. But otherwise, in human rights terms, what specifically has Trump actually DONE to any group….take away someone’s equal recognition or right to vote or continued access to anything? Even the trans issues would have hit the courts. And wasn’t it actually Obama who spouted a fountain of executive orders when he couldn’t get congress to comply with his agenda?

    There is not any rational way to understand what you are thinking about. Good people can try to understand the political dynamics at hand, but perhaps the most crucial element is to understand that it is all about the politics.

    For instance: Obama friggin’ bombed away at Syria, Yemen, Libya, et al. And what he didn’t bomb, he funded so that others did the war damage.

    And the many people who later became ” # resistance” circa 2017 didn’t seem to care.  No pressure from that side of the aisle to be concerned about the people being bombed and strifed. At one point, in May or June 2016 under Obama, there was street fighting in Syria, and the sides fighting each other were both bought and paid for by the CIA under Obama.

    Fast forward eight months later, and there are tremendous marches in major cities calling out Trump for a travel ban. Apparently a ban on a group of people is worse than large scale bombing and strifing efforts? Are you kidding me?

    I could list another five activities in which Obama offered  his Admin’s full participation, and none of that made any headlines or generated protests. When Trump does a similar but lesser thing, the headlines from every media establishment are written to indicate that “Trump is Hitler” and a hater of everyone everywhere, except for people in the KKK and the White Supremacist crowd.

    How does a rational person come to terms with that?

    • #24
  25. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    She (View Comment):
    That’s why you won’t find me on Facebook or Twitter. Ever.

    Ditto.

    • #25
  26. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    She doesn’t sound like someone who’s company I’d enjoy.  I know a fair number of her breed and they are tiresome and quarrelsome and just generally unpleasant to have to interact with.

    • #26

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