So an election happened here this week. You might’ve noticed? And there are many, many discussions occurring around it. On Facebook and Twitter they’re going on, from both sides of the divide. And I see those conversations and I think, “I could respond to that…” with encouragement or questions, a counter-argument, support or denouncement.
But I don’t.
A few moments ago I almost retweeted an announcement on something that happened at my alma mater with “this disgusts me.”
But I didn’t.
Because I’m a coward.
I don’t feel safe to have those conversations online. I don’t feel I can say some of the things I want to say without making myself a target of anger (from both side of this, not just one).
There’s a part of me that wonders if in other points in history this was how some people felt. Nervous, on edge at the anger around them, and unable to do anything to defuse it for fear of becoming its target instead. And I wonder if those people watched from the sidelines paralyzed as their world tore itself apart.
I firmly believe it wouldn’t have mattered who won this, we are a country divided, split on issues that can’t be reconciled. Just look at how the religious vote split and the rural/urban vote split.
But there again, I start down a path of talking about things that expose me and I’m too afraid to go there, here, in the real world. So I’ll do it through my stories under a name that isn’t mine.
Although, even there the risk of anger and backlash is strong.