Sunday, May 20, 2012

What is wrong with people?

Yesterday evening, I was catching up on the news on MSNBC and read this story about Mark Zuckerberg. I felt good, reading the story. For me, it was about someone who has priorities in order. Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire, his new wife just graduated from medical school. They have been a couple for seven years.

Dr. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg lead very low profile lives. That cannot be easy for someone with his business, and the publicity that tends to hound and haunt the very successful and very wealthy. From my perspective, having a level enough head to be the founder and CEO of a juggernaut like Facebook and yet live a life that is not ostentatious is a feat in an of itself. To be in a long-term relationship with the head of a internet success story like Facebook and have the focus and tenacity to earn a degree from Harvard and then go on to graduate from medical school speaks volumes.

MSNBC has comments open on their story. The content of some of those comments is what baffles me. Mean-spirited, snarky, judgmental, racist, bigoted ... I do not even have the  adjectives to begin.

There are several websites I read on a regular basis, one of which is Pantheon, "where Star Foster attempts to be clever regarding all things pagan". She is a quick-witted, well read young woman who has a gift for researching a subject well and standing by her words. The comments section of her blog used to be as educational and thought-provoking as the articles themselves. Used to be.

Star had comments open Pantheon up until right after Easter of this year. This was posted, because of "cumulative negativity" that came close to killing her blog. Even so, it is drastically different. Still very enjoyable, and I still read whenever there is a new article. There was a lot of trolling in her comments section, more than a few posts that were hijacked, and even I as a reader found this distressing. I cannot imagine how Star felt.

I follow community pages on Facebook that have to be ever vigilant to keep the hate at bay. They bravely soldier on, still allowing comments and posts on their walls because they value the freedom of expression that is guaranteed in the Constitution and is one of the cornerstones of our country.

I have made no secret of my support of the LGBT community. I just received this message :

Dear Ellen - This is ***** checking in with you.. I appreciate all of the wonderful words that you have taken the time to write. I send my LOVE to you with regard to Chuck. He will be missed but not forgotten. like you, he was my friend ! Your words have touched my heart. I feel that I have fallen victim to a HATE CRIME . Please keep me in your prayers and thank you once again for standing up for the LGBT. LOVE, *****
So this is where I am tonight, wondering what is wrong with people? I wept when I read that message, because a kind and caring person, who has had to battle everyday in ways I cannot imagine just to live a life naive people like myself thought was guaranteed here, has fallen victim to a hate crime.

Comments are still allowed on here, but they are moderated now. Because with freedom comes responsibility. And at least one person has shown me that I have "haters" as well.

Power. Jealousy. Hatred. Xenophobia. Abuse.

These are our enemies. What is wrong with people that they cannot see this?

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