on false equivalencies and an election

screenshots of tweets demonstrating tone policing and false equivalences

Update: This post has been updated with a response from my friend, below. 

For my visually-impaired friends, the above graphic displays three tweets with the following content:

Tweet #1:
rando: “i want more machine guns”
woman: “if i get raped don’t force me to carry the baby”
white moderates: “wow both sides are really hurting”

Tweet #2:
white dude: “brown people scare me”
black mother: “i fear for my child’s life every day”
white moderates: “let’s join together in mutual respect”

Tweet #3:
lgbt person: “i would like to exist”
conservatives: “no”
white moderates: “wow how did this rhetoric get so nasty on both sides”

False equivalencies are false, and tone policing sucks. Neither do anything to advance an actual conversation.

In case it wasn’t already abundantly clear, no, I’m not happy with the outcome of this week’s national US election, at least on the federal level.

I am, in point of fact, terrified. I am livid. I am enraged. I am distraught. I am sick.

That last part bears some elucidation. I haven’t thrown up but, I think, once in the last 15 or more years. I didn’t throw up once during my pregnancy.

This week, I’ve been so sick to my stomach that I actually vomited three times. 

Twice, it was a result of contemplating Trump/Pence policy statements.

Once, the trigger was reading a compilation from the excellent journalist Shaun King, who’s been collating and attempting to verify then publish reports of hate crimes committed against vulnerable people by Trump supporters. I highly recommend you follow Shaun on Facebook & Twitter and lend him your vocal support.

I can also say that I’m really freaking disappointed in some of my friends right now. I don’t think you’re all racists or sexists, but you threw in with them. So far your only proffered justifications are that you were paying more for health care or insurance, or that you wanted lower taxes.

Compare that against the existential threat posed to those vulnerable populations — women, Mexicans, Muslims, blacks, the disabled, and LGBTQ people.

Existential threat = denial of the right to exist unmolested, unharassed, unassaulted.

Compared to that threat, your financial concerns – which, by the way, are shared by literally every person in the country, so it’s hardly as if you’re being singled out here – are selfish and trivial. How can I possibly think otherwise?

Beyond these statements, I’m still not ready to write coherently about my response to this election. I’m apparently too angry to be allowed to write what I honestly feel.

This week, I responded to a hateful comment on a friend’s post – getting friend’s permission first, because I never want to cause trouble for people I actually know. “Go for it,” she said. So I did. I responded. I fought back. He got personal, and rude, and I told him to stop. He escalated. I gave what I got.

My friend’s response: To (apparently) delete all our comments. (I say “apparently” because I blocked the hateful person immediately after the second escalation.)

This communicates to me that he and I are viewed equally. That our words are equivalent.

I don’t accept that. And that’s what this post is about.

UPDATE: My friend saw this post and messaged me, alarmed, to the effect that “I DIDN’T DELETE YOUR COMMENTS WTF.”

This friend in particular, I believe completely.

So if she didn’t delete them, and I didn’t delete them, then we’re left with the conclusion that Facebook did it, either as a result of a bug (doubtful) or as a result of someone complaining about them/reporting them to Facebook’s content police.

This aligns nicely with reports from other friends that many posts about the alarming rise in hate crimes this past week have also been yanked from FB, so make of that what you will.

Know that I’m not ready to pack it in and head for another country, I’m in no way ready to take this lying down, and I’m not about to advocate embracing the abusers (Trump & Pence both belong in this category for past statements and verified actions).

But beyond that … I just can’t. I can’t put this anguish to words yet. It’s still too raw. I’m still too raw.


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