Original Post Date – November 13, 2016 –
Thank you Facebook, you’ve made an addict out of me. I look at you all the time and I wonder how I will relate to you in the future. You’ve also blocked out all the awesome cat and dog videos with opinions parading as facts. Facts matter. Opinions are interesting. I’ve been unfriended and it hurts.
Truth be told I looked at my friend list yesterday to see who I might need to dump. This Trump-Clinton, 18-month “hell-hole” has left me exhausted and the pain of a Trump election has left me looking to create my own echo chamber. I had slipped into the “if you are not with me, you are against me, a$$hole thinking.” That’s a dark space I want to escape. That purge will not service my learning or our creating community well, so I looked over my “friends” list to find people who might be able to engage in a meaningful, spirited, but respectful conversation.
What I found is that nearly a dozen of my work, college and high-school mates have dropped me. I’ve been un-friended without warning. I will live. I don’t like it. Not one goodbye, not one reason why. I’ll no longer get to see their kids, learn what motivates them or see what awesomeness they ate last night. I fundamentally believe that in getting to know people who are vastly unlike me and that have different opinions, I can grow- and so can they. Without interactions with those that differ from me, I remain stuck in my own thinking. I’m like wine – under stress and challenge, I produce a better fruit, we are a better vintage. Do I push for Blue States of America or United States of America?
There is much I want to say about this election. There is much I will say. I am also, like many of you, stirred to action. Before I go to those spaces, the most important thing for me to say as a white man is that I am sorry. I have tried to combat sexism. I have tried to be an example of unlearning my own racism. I have tried to be an example of Christian faith that joins people of all religions into a community rather than emphasizing our difference. White men failed and I feel accountable. I am sorry and heartbroken.
My next post? Facts & Opinions. I’m searching for a way to engage my family. This passion reminds me of how annoyed my father Clovis would get when someone wouldn’t concede a fact. He’d get fired up a swear in French if someone couldn’t agree to what is a known fact. I miss that. Today opinion seems to conflate with fact and there is an important difference. More on that later. For now- again, I’m sorry. I’m sad. I’m still your friend.