…and the misconceptions, beliefs and opinions formed from a perception become so entrenched in that persons reality that NOTHING you say,NOTHING you do, no amount of proof will change that reality.
I had to learn it the hard way. AGAIN. A hard head = a soft ass.
I should have known that me saying anything – no matter how tongue in cheek – would be akin to me taking a stick to a hornets nest. Even The FireMarshall warned me “Lisa, leave it alone. Don’t say anything. You know what’s going to happen.”
I did it anyway…and down the rabbit hole I went.
Tuesday, one of my FB friends posted a plea to please refrain from posting any “obnoxious, pity, snide, partisan” comments on FB during the debates. I found that amusing. My thought was, well, if you don’t like all the posts, just don’t watch the newsfeed during the debates. By time they are over(or at least by the next morning), the newsfeed will have scrolled to the much more mundane. Shrugs. See, I have a lot of FB friends that wax eloquently about a lot of stuff that I find ridiculous, offensive, insane, funny, etc. etc. I also realize it’s a free country. Opinions are like assholes – everybody has one. I agree or I don’t. I seek to understand…and sometimes I can’t. Sometimes I make a point, enter into the discussion, banter – sometimes I don’t. I respect another person’s right to present their beliefs/opinions. We still have the 1st Amendment, right? AND the Book of the Face is free – where all your “friends” know your name and you are free to roam about the world and share and talk about whatever.
For others…I guess not. So, against better judgment; against the advice of the FM I chimed in with my tongue in cheek (at least I thought so) comment of “I do what I want.” All hell broke out. The response was basically –So, Can I expect that by 9:10 pm you will start commenting on how "awful", "despicable", "disgraceful", "unethical", "miserly", "disingenuous", "job shipping", "offshoring", Cayman hiding", "little people eating", "53% supporting", "racist", "homophobic", "misogynistic", "xenophobic", "dog whistling", "country club redneck" Romney is???? ;)
I missed that wink smile at the end and responded that I have not used any of the words above on any of my posts except maybe unethical and blatant liar and pointed out that he had, in fact, used some of those very words to describe people that he has disdain for. Then it got personal. Then it got twisted to be that I was talking about him – PERSONALLY. Say what? I was accused of refusing to have an honest debate. What were we debating about again. You asked me what would people say if you called the President a liar – I said probably nothing. I tried to agree to disagree and gracefully exit the room and then I’m I’m accused of passing some kind of judgment on him. He asked me three times if I thought HIS discourse was dishonest. Three times I said NO! Not good enough. He just ignored it and went on with his dressing down. Despite the fact that I pointed out that I don’t name call & label people, went back over months of my time line to find where I did that and came up empty, he continued to accuse me of it saying “though some of your name-calling and labeling I find repugnant in its, at times, direct labeling and indirect insinuations that dissent with a politician you adore, is tantamount to some insidious undercurrent of "something" (racism).”
SAY WHAT??? Where/when have I ever said or implied that dissenting opinions with the President (I don’t adore any politician) is racist. I have had discussion with numerous people on my wall that have a different opinion than mine and NEVER have I resorted to calling or implying that they are racist. NEVER. During this whole political season, I have not slammed, insulted (well, maybe because I disagree – if that’s insulting), name called, labeled anybody. I haven’t called anyone a socialist, right wing nut job, racist, fat, ugly, communist, elitist…blah, blah, blah because they disagree. I have only unfriended one person without so much as a BOO because, when they posted a picture that I found very offensive along with a bunch of other VERY OFFENSIVE stuff – no need to try and argue them down – that’s what they believe and it was against everything I believed – nice knowing you but I don’t have to play with you everyday. CLICK, goodbye. What’s even more interesting, is that he has NEVER said one thing, NEVER commented with a “I disagree with your assertion because_______” on any of my posts – EVER. So, when were we supposed to have honest discourse? Silly me.
I made my case. I then asked “But calling someone a "ignoramus, complete idiot, racist, ignorant, pandering, self-serving, sycophant" is not name calling or labeling at all, right?” See he used those words to describe someone he has intense disdain for – whether it is justified is another conversation – my point was to clarify. Is having a differing opinion and questioning what someone says/does name calling & labeling and what you do is not? I will admit that I do mock the Governor & the some of those in the GOP & Tea Party – especially when they say or do something mock worthy – say, like “binders of women”, legitimate rape, 47% of America are greedy victims…etc. But all the name calling you say I do – NOT.
IRRELEVANT. I was summarily dismissed with a long condescending diatribe closing with “I'll double check this post to ensure I didn't label you or call names. Sometimes I do it in my sleep and forget that's what I did.”
WOW. How was I supposed to take that? So you do call ME names – just not where anyone can see. In your sleep, huh? Just WOW.
I tried one last time to defend myself:
“What is the point in discussing anything with you when, if you are of a differing opinion you get slammed, insulted and labeled as some kind of ignorant road groupie- nothing more than a fool kneeling at the alter of the POTUS. As long as I disagree or find something wrong with the party you so adore and can do absolutely no wrong, you will continue to label me, cast me down as nothing more than that simpleton, incapable of rational thought but lucky enough to catch that classy guy...Lord, however, did she get in let alone graduate from WP? Who is doing the insulting? I’m so sorry that you believe everything I post is some kind of adoration statement. I don't mock, name call Republicans or people who don't believe in the President or his administration. How is calling out what some Republicans have said and done and questioning the veracity or sanity of it mocking? All I can do is shake my head knowing that I'm probably wasting my time writing this as you are entrenched in your belief that I am "something" only worthy of your disdain. I know for a fact I don't "adore" any politician. I know for a fact that I haven’t done the things you accuse me of or describe me as. I know who I am and it is not anything you imagine me to be. So, be it. I'm good……”
I closed by giving him the option of hiding my newsfeed or unfriending me since I offend him so and he has such disdain for me. Did he come back with a I don’t have disdain for you, I don’t think you are stupid, I’m just passionate about my position and let’s agree to disagree? NOPE!
He let the anvil drop and went in for the kill. He totally ignored everything I said, every point I made and brought up a disagreement we had back in 2009 where I had posted an article that asserted that the Rights animosity towards Obama was based in racism. I read the article and I felt that some of the points were quite valid based on my experience. I said “My sentiments exactly” as my comment regarding the article. I got a thrashing. The article title and tag line WAS incendiary. However, I felt that some of the authors points were true – I still do. I admitted that I should have been more verbose in my comments and explain what I thought was valid & not.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Basically, no matter what I said, no matter how many times I tried to clarify my position:
“I'm going to state my position once again - perhaps you will take the time to hear me now : While the article/author/tag line may have been very incendiary and offensive, some of his points about the the tone/attitude/disrespect/words towards the President & current administration being racist in nature I believe are true. I do. You don't. I see some of what is going on as blatantly disrespectful with some racial undertone. You see all of it as just normal discourse that has always gone on.
When you said that. Fine. I said "Okay". I don't want to fight you. You are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to mine. Cool.
But you didn't let it be cool to disagree. Nope. You made it about YOU. You made it personal. I (emphasis) DID NOT call YOU, a racist. I DID NOT lump YOU in with anybody. I NEVER said ALL WHITE people were racists...that would be like me calling my own mother a racists...or worse, even myself. YOU made it personal and ABOUT YOU. Not I. And you didn't stop there. You then decided to ignore me, imply things about me and my character and to add insult to injury - you called me out by my name - disparaging my name & character in one fell swoop on your page. Why not just drive on down and slap me in the face. You were at least kind enough to use my maiden name and thereby not insulting the FM by association.”
FUTILE. Didn’t matter. I was told that several of my classmates thought I was a racist too and that I would “have to work harder to turn things around.” I thought we had turned things around. I thought that after our phone conversation that the matter was behind us, the hatchet was buried, the misperception/misunderstanding was resolved.
UNTIL…(fast forward to Tuesday, 2012) – “I'm sorry, you forget that our FIRST disagreement on this medium was when you made the insane charges about the President's detractors after the 2009 SOTU Address. Yes, Lisa, you DID accuse the Tea Party and folks who disagreed with the POTUS of being racist. The classic case of isolating the FEW to smear the WHOLE.”
His PERCEPTION that I am “something” (racist, stupid, intellectually lazy, Obama idolater…insert what you will) when I’m in fact NOT is his REALITY. It never changed. He was just laying in the cut. Tolerating my presence only because he has the “utmost respect” for The FireMarshall and “our union”. When given the chance, POW! You’re still that ___________ (whatever he thinks I am). SO THERE. WOW.
I, on the other hand, did bury the hatchet and chalked it up to him being a very passionate man about politics and the “biased mainstream media”. I made no other assumptions – after all, he was supposed to be my classmate, our friend – the Long Grey Line and all that. We should be able to disagree and still be civil. Shouldn’t we?
Well, now my PERCEPTION HAS been formed of him – watch it, I’m about to “name call/label” - as an intolerant bully (maybe is just a woman thing, IDK) that will eviscerate you if you don’t use his pre-approved credible news outlets or talking heads, disagree or have a different opinion than his, present your thoughts/opinion in a manner that is not to his liking…etc. And that is MY REALITY.
He’s going to have to “work real hard to turn this around on me”…but MY PERCEPTION is that he probably doesn’t care and will come out swinging – or not.