This morning, a Facebook page called The Witty Liberal posted a meme about Christ Christie. It said:
“It was a simple miscommunication. I said “CLOSE THE FRIDGE.”
This, of course, was followed by one post after another making weight jokes, all by people whose profiles scream “liberal” or “progressive.” When I spoke up, of course, there was plenty of backlash. I was told that it was a joke, or if I didn’t like it, to leave. I was accused of being a Tea Partier. Someone even had the audacity to claim that it’s OK, because comedians do it all the time.
Comedians also make racist and sexist jokes all the time. That usually means they’re poor comedians, if they can’t be funny without resorting to shaming of some sort. The others, like if I don’t like it leave, are ironic, since they accused me a being a Tea Partier, and them spit out Tea Party-esque rhetoric nearly verbatim.
This is something that really needs addressed.
Now, this little conversation was just a little piece of a larger problem. You see, whenever I see people shouting out against right wing figures that SHOULD be spoken against, like Sarah Palin, or Michelle Bauchman, or even Rush Limbaugh, I see the same type of vitriol. I hear things like:
“That fat pill popper!”
“I hope someone rapes her!”
“That stupid bitch!”
These people have so much that we can criticize them for. Why do we even consider using these tactics, instead of focusing on what matters? Why do we stoop to their level? How do we fight bullying and shaming, if we do it ourselves?
We teach our children not to bully. We teach them to be happy with their bodies. We teach them that everyone should be equal.
Then, we shame someone based on their weight or gender, because we don’t agree with their position on other things.
What are we really teaching our children? What example are we setting for the next generation?
Let me clear. Shaming is never OK. Never. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking the worst possible human being you can think of. The moment you resort to that type of rhetoric, you are no better than they are.
When you shame others, you aren’t progressive in any way. You’re exactly what we’re fighting against.
Contributor: Robert Sacerich
Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.
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