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'Why Does Kindness Seem Revolutionary, When Did We Let Hate Get So Ordinary'

Michelle Liou

Posted on September 16, 2020 00:27

6 users

Within the lyrics of John Wilson's song, Revolutionary, is a question we all ought to ask ourselves today.

With the grim realities of the coronavirus and other recent tragedies, 2020 has been a brutal start to the decade. Many have utilized their social media pages to express pent-up bitterness and emotions to their followers and the public. It should come as no surprise that countless people, including myself, are stuck at home drowning in boredom and using social media more than ever before. 

I recently made a Facebook and Twitter account to keep up with current events and dialogues, and I followed politicians, activists and news networks. Every time I log on, I feel overwhelmed by the sheer animosity and anger present on these platforms. As I scroll through my feed, I see depictions of turmoil and hatred. Rarely do I ever find uplifting stories; heartwarming accounts of kindness have been replaced by devastating occurrences of violence. In many posts, I see words of intolerance rather than tolerance, and indifference rather than compassion.

There are two main factors to this status quo:

1. Election Season: 2020 is the election year for America's next president, the two main nominees being Joe Biden from the Democratic Party and Donald Trump from the Republican Party. From the beginning of President Trump's term until now, many in the mainstream media have been attacking his character, accusing him of being racist, sexist, and homophobic. Right-leaning media has fired back by criticizing Biden's integrity and competence, bringing up past recordings that suggest mental ineptitude, and revealing questionable comments and actions. Instead of civil discussions about their policies and diplomatic strategies, social media is fueling divisive vilifications and facilitating inconsequential and conjectural back-and-forth on their dispositions.

2. Racial Tensions: The tragic deaths of several victims at the hands of the police has led to the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter Movement. However, with it came the emboldening of Antifa, as well as burning, looting and rioting. The increasingly extreme violence has done nothing but intensify tensions and incite disunity to current social media dialogue.

Although some degree of hostility is inevitable, as people are bound to have different opinions, it feels as though the resentment has increased tenfold. The unfortunate truth is that this trend in social media is a reflection of our society's spiral to conflict and enmity. For me, it is heartbreaking yet also frustrating to witness this decline.

I hope that it is just a phase, that it will come to pass, and that it will not solidify itself as the new normal. I cannot predict the future, but I am certain of one thing: We cannot fight hate with hate, we can only fight hate with love.

Michelle Liou

Posted on September 16, 2020 00:27

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Source: Al Jazeera

Social media made the Syrian revolutionary movement less resilient and more exposed to regime brutality.

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