AS AMERICANS, CAN WE BE MORE CHILL BEFORE WE’RE SO EASILY OUTRAGED?
As I scan social media and the latest online news, I’m seeing more examples where some readers are easily outraged. It may not occur every day, however, it appears almost weekly if not every 3-4 days, you see the example of outrage about something someone said, wrote or did. As you dig deeper into the story, you may find the outrage to some stories not justifiable. In some situations, mistakes may have been made but should it always trigger an outrage? I’ve included some examples of social media outrage I’ve tracked over the last 6 weeks or so. Read several of these examples and decide for yourself if you think the outrage was justifiable.
A few months ago on United airlines, two female passengers were flying as guests and were turned away because of their attire. In other words, there are certain dress restrictions on guest travelers. Before some readers had a chance to review, many in the media cried discrimination. My first reaction to this story was I need more context and information. How could United discriminate against travelers based on their attire. It wasn’t until I read several online articles until I realized these travelers were guests of a United employee. I must also state, several articles did not state there were dress restrictions based on their status. Some on social media became outraged that United had a dress policy for travelers, not always providing context that these two women were guests of United. Sometimes, it’s best to take some deep breaths after reading an article that may potentially send you into a rage. Sometimes, there’s more to the narrative that what initially meets the eye. Of course, this case is a prime example of that. Chill A Little.
In Chicago, airport police dragged a man (doctor) off a United flight bound for Louisville. Is it Ok to be outraged without knowing the full story? Many on social media thought so. Indeed some United employees and airport police may not have handled the situation but is the doctor completely innocent? Most civilized citizens would have eventually given up their seat in this situation — maybe not right away but before the threat of force was imminent. Back to the doctor, did he have a hidden agenda? Some on the flight said they overheard the doctor on the phone state that there will be a lawsuit if they physically drag him off the plane. Was he itching for a confrontation? If indeed he had to get back to Louisville the following day, his actions by refusing to leave the airport certainly indicated that wasn’t going to happen once the confrontation began. Chill A Little.
About a month ago, Bill Maher mentioned the ‘N’ work on his show, Real Time on HBO. He quickly apologized for using this word. He knew he made a mistake and in fact apologized a number of times. Reverend Al Sharpton said at his Saturday sermon after the event in NY that Mr. Maher is sanitizing and normalizing the n-word. Some members of the media are suggesting Bill Maher be fired from HBO. Should he be fired? Did Bill genuinely apologize and admit his mistake? If so, once he was contrite, should not the media and social media move on? Mistakes do happen so why so quickly the outrage? Chill A Little.
Some people on social media including members of the tennis world were upset or outraged when John McEnroe said Serena Williams would be the 700th men’s player in the world. If you read the transcript from NPR, John was actually quite complimentary towards Serena about her tremendous tennis accomplishments and was quoted sayings, “Serena is the best female tennis player ever. That was not enough for the interviewer, Lulu Garcia-Navarro to ask why qualify this? Why not the best tennis player of all time? I don’t want to be too critical of Ms Garcia-Navarro but she’s out of her element here. To actually suggest Serena is the best tennis player period is laughable. In addition, does Ms. Garcia-Navarro realize the men’s game plays up to 5 sets and the maximum set amount for women is 3. Does she also realize there are several playing surfaces: grass, hard court and clay? With other variables included, could you possibly get a fair tournament? Look, if John had to do it again, he might not provide an exact number and say she’s arguably the best female tennis player in the world and add that she could definitely defeat many male players and leave it at that. But he didn’t’ do that so consequently the outrage which may get clicks but serious sports fans realize there’s nothing outrageous here. Again, Chill A Little.
Denver Post writer Terry Frei was fired after he said he was ‘extremely uncomfortable’ about a Japanese driver winning the 2017 Indianapolis. It might be cringe worthy to hear this but is it a fire able offense? He apologized right away but losing your job over this one tweet? Overreaction? He didn’t say he hated Japan or he hated the fact that there are Japanese drivers participating in the Indy 500. He was just being honest, saying he was extremely uncomfortable. My interpretation of his reaction suggests he was not accustomed to a Japanese driver winning such a prestigious award. Nothing personal, just a guttural reaction to this year’s winner. Many called it racist…not sure if it was or it didn’t appear the intent was there. Is it necessary for many on social media to be outraged or upset with what he said? Was he trying to say something outrageous or just being honest? Can we just Chill A Little?