I made a commitment not to post memes. I’ve slipped on that a few times. Today, I remember why I made it. I just saw one, posted by a FB friend ridiculing and mocking the intelligence of a politician who is almost certainly more intelligent than my friend. No deeper message, no politics with which he was disagreeing, not even a reference to anything the politician actually said or did. Just a completely fictional “this person said X, isn’t that stupid?”
The politics of hate. Making “jokes” that others jump in and laugh at, not because they’re funny but because it gives us a chance to vent our hostility and then hide behind the defense “C’mon, it’s just humor!”
So when the new kid walks into the locker room and someone makes a “funny” comment about his clothes or hair or mom and everyone laughs, they aren’t laughing because of this insightful witticism; they’re laughing as a means of ganging up against the new kid. The ones who don’t hate the new kid (for the crime of being new or of another race or poor or all three) feel pressured to laugh so they don’t stand out and get attacked, as well.
So here’s what I’m asking: don’t post political memes. If it’s so damned funny that you can’t resist, just send it as a message to someone who shares your views. If you have something of substance to say, say it. Absolutely. Share your thoughts, share an article, add your comments. Put it out there for people to agree or disagree. Back it up. Dialogue.
But honestly, when we post political memes that do nothing but mock and disparage, we’re only widening the massive divide. We’re only playing the politics of hate. No matter who gets elected, we all lose.