What Facebook and Twitter Taught Me About Osama Bin Laden’s Death

Another Call for Civility

(This blog was originally posted on the Yahoo Contributor Network on May 2nd, 2011. As of 7/31/14 YCN has taken down all of its content)

Last night was a good night to be an American. After about ten long years, the families of the victims of 9/11 and all of the others who suffered or died by the hand of Osama bin Laden received justice. Americans received justice and we felt good about it.

President Obama made a good speech hitting the right notes along the way. In the beginning he highlighted how united we were as a country in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack and at the end he tried to inspire us to come together like that again.But then I went on facebook and twitter, and while most of the comments I read were a combination of proud sentiments, wishes for the victims families, and jokes about Osama, there were still partisan comments that were anti Bush, Donald Trump and even cynicism towards Obama for the timing of OBL’s death. Really? All of this occurring within an hour of the announcement.

This reminds me that it hasn’t been that long since the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. After which, there was a call from many corners to tame down the rhetoric. Slandering your opposition, hate filled speech and labeling your opposition’s motives as nefarious were being spotlighted as potentially endangering lives and contributing to the growing divide in the country. Giffords’ gunman may have turned out to be a lone nut without political motive but the righteous calls for civility remained. Those calls didn’t take then, and after last night I am left to wonder if they ever will.

I see good people on both political sides. People that you can trust and count on. People that are good sons and daughters, husband and wives, and that are philanthropic. Fair-minded most of the time, yet when it comes to politics some sort of brainwashing takes over, the fair-mindedness dissipates, and the mind closes. Their words become hate filled, condescending, and or antagonistic. Their judgment of those who would disagree becomes harsh and impaired. They can’t even agree to disagree, for the opposition is either brainwashed, stupid, evil or crazy.

I thought we would get a complete break from this last night. That it would be a coming together moment. And in fairness it was for many. For those people I hope it lasts longer than it seems to have after Congresswoman Giffords was shot. We need it as country to come through these hard economic times and when terrorism is still a threat. Facebook and twitter taught that we may have even further to go than I thought.

Published by Jeff Schubert

Jeff Schubert is the Host/Executive Producer of the show Filmnut that airs on thestream.tv. Each webisode provides an in-depth interview about the making, marketing, or distribution of film, TV or new media…


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