Social Media has been on a meme frenzy ever since Donald Trump commented that we should try injecting disinfectants and UV lights into our bodies to fight COVID-19. Admittedly, the ridiculousness of those comments and the memes the inspired brought me to tears of both sadness and joy. Joy, because I needed something to laugh at during these dark times, and sadness because I knew that his followers would inevitably take Trump up on his advice… and they did.
But something has changed in the past few weeks. The tone of social media discussion – about “re-opening the economy” the lunacy of using household cleaners as a treatment for COVID-19 – has become much darker. My colleagues on the left have become much meaner and acerbic and, quite frankly, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between the hateful rhetoric of Trump supporters and progressives on the Internet.
I’m beginning to see more people cheer on the possible deaths of Trump supporters who either want to reopen their businesses and/or take the president up on his “sarcastic” medical advice. To those people I say, really?!
Like them, I have no respect for Trump 2020 voters, and I believe that their ideas should be expunged from the social fabric of America. Their hate-filled ideology has no place in an America where the phrase ‘all men are created equal’ is more than a shallow catchphrase. But there is a vast difference between wishing for the end of a toxic ideology and wishing death upon another human being. The former is warranted, the latter should be beneath us. But, as the social media left has shown, apparently it is not.
Adding to my frustration are people like journalist Charlotte Clymer, who tweeted “sips tea” in the retweet of an article about Georgia re-opening. Clymer’s flippant comment merely expressed her callous disregard for the human cost of opening a state too soon. It was as if she was saying that mass sickness and death were nothing more than a spectacle for her amusement.
Clymer’s tweet, and thousands similar to it, was for a number of reasons. First, as I have noted before, the myth that southerners are all backwoods, cross-burning hillbillies is, in a word, bullshit. Despite the stereotype, we aren’t all Big Coal supporters who deny climate change. We aren’t all the disgusting bigots that her tweet assumes that we are. Many of us are committed progressives who have to keep our heads down because Clymer, and so many of the costal elites, refuse to support and empower us. The death that she is cheering comes to us all not only to the Trump supporters she despises.
Second, the South is filled with large African American and Hispanic populations who will be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Let us not forget to add the LGBTQ+ people who are either forced into the closets of their backwoods churches, or the are lucky enough to live openly in the South’s larger, and more tolerant, cities. They are going to die, too.
While Clymer and her fellow white-savior progressives sit behind the screens of their phone and computers celebrating the death of their fellow humans, while at the same time singing the praises of their own intelligence and sophistication — always in comparison to us Southern savages – I have come to a different conclusion. I know that I shook myself free of the chains of conservative hate and I have only traded it for the hate of another ideology.
If we want to be better than Trump supporters then we must stop acting like Trump supporters.
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