A Letter to the Blogosphere

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Dear Blogosphere,

I apologize for my lack of presence lately. I’m feeling depressed, and I’m avoiding you.

Oh, sometimes I will pop by to visit a few writers here and there. I tend to stick with the short-worded writers, as I feel the panic grows inside me the longer I stay within your sphere.

My depression started when I was taking part in things outside my realm of normalcy. I changed up my writing schedule and style, and I wrote with the hope of ‘winning’ rather than for the joy of writing.

Then came the news about a shooting in Florida. I’m sure you know the shooting to which I am referring, George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin on Sunday February 26, 2012.

Like many, I was appalled with the news as it trickled down the wire. Like many, I was inspired by the reaction of the community, coming together to take a stand in hopes of getting charges filed against Mr. Zimmerman.

As the days passed, I noticed the tone changing. The alleged hate that filled George’s heart causing him to kill Trayvon seemed to slowly seep into the hearts of others, as Twitter lit up with harsh words, harsh sentiments and what was thought to be the home address of George, himself.

Why would someone tweet the address of another? Why?

I don’t have an answer for that question. All I know is the address tweeted and retweeted to countless people was the address of a couple in their seventies, the McClains. The McClains had nothing to do with either Trayvon or George, yet the hatred and outrage of people, brought them into the mix and caused them to leave their home and check into a hotel out of fear.

According to Elaine McClain, reporters were showing up at their door and hate mail started filling their mailbox. Hate mail.

Hate mail sent to two innocent people, completely unrelated to either Trayvon or George.

Blogosphere, I can relate to anger, and I can relate to rage, because I have battled both emotions in my life. But I cannot relate to or understand why people would tweet someone’s address without permission. Aren’t the tweeters circulating the same kind of hatred they claim to be against?

Aren’t we all under the assumption that ‘hate’ started this whole thing in the first place? When will we stop the cycle of hate?

Blogosphere, I don’t know if this matters – actually, it probably doesn’t matter. But I still wonder if both parties involved were the same color or ethnic origin, would the same thing happen? Would the shooter’s address be tweeted and retweeted?

I believe the address was tweeted and retweeted with a malicious intent, and I believe anyone and everyone who retweeted it should be ashamed of getting caught up in a mob mentality rather than an informed and decisive community.

Recently, I made a comment on a post I read. I wrote:

Racism is a word that is thrown out and used by many, but I wonder if those that use it know the meaning – based on Merriam Webster: “Racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” I don’t deny racism exists in some – I do not believe is still predominant in today’s society. I just don’t.

After making the comment and talking with others, I concede that racism is more prevalent than I cared to admit. I think racism is a result of violence. I think violence fuels fear, which fuels ignorance, which fuels racism. If we stop the violence, I believe racism will be a thing of the past. And yes, I have hope that racism will be a thing of the past.

Blogosphere, I admire the work Cease Fire Chicago is doing, along with the other Cease Fire organizations throughout the U.S. (though more are needed). Cease Fire was profiled in a documentary called The Interrupters. I wish everyone would take time to see the documentary and get to know the people behind Cease Fire.

Blogosphere, as long as we are yelling at one another and filling our hearts with hate, we lose. Period.

.|.

These things have been weighing heavily on my heart for weeks. I reached out to a friend, letting her know how I was feeling. This friend of mine is an atheist, and I am a Christian. I do not judge her for her beliefs, and she does not judge me for my beliefs.

My friend responded to me by saying, “Pray about this Lenore. You have faith. This can help you. Ask Him to get you through this rough time; to give you the skills to get past all this crap and horrid, horrid stuff going on in our country.”

Amen, friend. Thank you for reminding me what to do with my sadness. I wish everyone could find something to believe in that is bigger than him or herself. Hate is such a vicious beast, and it needs a higher power to beat it.

With hope, love and prayers for peace,

Lenore

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38 thoughts on “A Letter to the Blogosphere

  1. Amazing sentiments. I shared the social media aspects of this case with my class this week. I kind of felt heartened that social media kept this case in the forefront of conversation, not realizing that it had such a dark side. So sorry for all involved.

    In my class, we just took 48 hours of the media. It sounds like thats where you are. Go for walks, read Thoreau, meditate.

    You’ll come around,

    Best,

    Julie

  2. Aahhhh, Lenore, thank you for this honest, open piece.
    You are right. Hate is at the core of this and it is such an ugly emotion. It takes away your energy and drains you completely. And for those who care and don’t want to be haters, it leaves you feeling helpless and hopeless.
    I hope your prayers will bring you some consolation.

  3. I hope you feel better, Lenore. I hope that was just the release you needed to get the pit out of your stomach. I stinkin love that awesome last picture and you rule the world and could have used that shot in this week’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Just sayin. I am FOREVER preaching tolerance in my home because intolerance comes in many forms, including racism.

    Good to read from you again.
    xxoo

    • I do feel better, Kim. Thank you for the nudge in the right direction.
      I took the picture while contemplating whether or not to participate in the scavenger hunt. I won’t this week – but I will next week.
      Thanks again, Kim. I mean it.

  4. The devil has been hard at work here.. I absolutely dislike watching the news so I have only heard bits and pieces of this story until you wrote about it here. Just very sad.

  5. “…Blogosphere, as long as we are yelling at one another and filling our hearts with hate, we lose. Period…”

    Lenore, I heart you. I do. You have put into words the feelings that I have been pushing down, ignoring. Thanks for reminding me that instead of feeling helpless and even hopeless in the face of inhumanity and hatred – there is still something that we can do. We can make sure our actions and words are kind, loving and filled with efforts toward healing and understanding. We can pray. We can look for beauty and celebrate it. We can teach our children, by word and example, about love and acceptance. I send you hugs, and pray your soul finds peace.

      • Oh, I heart Oma, as well. Oh look – there’s his comment right below mine. Let me go see what he says. I am glad you are lifted up. Sometimes it is hard to pull oneself up. If it were always easy to soar, we would probably not appreciate it quite as much when it happens.

  6. Every step we can take in a positive direction is needed. It’s especially important at this stage of life on our planet to keep walking our love out into the world. Every step counts.

    Blessings on you Lenore.

  7. Thanks for sharing your sentiments. The speed and anonymity of the Internet allow us to pass judgment and be cruel without requiring time to cool down or to force us to see the faces of those we insult. I think we may have decades to go before we realize how negative and hypersensitive the Internet has made us.

    • Thank you for reading my sentiments, Paul. I really do appreciate your visit. I agree with what you said regarding speed and anonymity. I hope we realize it sooner rather than later.

  8. I live in Central, Florida not far from where this incident took place, Lenore.

    Until the authorities finish the investigation, I feel it’s best to reserve an opinion.

    Instead, I focus on stories like the soldier who gave his life to save a little girl. She was in the path of a speeding vehicle; he snatched her out of the way and was run over.

    We all have a purpose in life, and I believe our Lord decides when to call us home. The soldier died a hero and the child can go on with her life … until He takes her home.

    Prayers and Blessings to you – Maxi

  9. The Devil’s been hard at work, rubbing his hands and licking his lips with glee, of that I’m sure.

    I’m not immune to it, either, and, like you, sometimes I feel the need to retreat. It’s the only way I can make it stop for a little while … head in the sand? Yes. But then I square my shoulders and decide to make small efforts to be the change I want to see in the world. You do it, too.

    Hugs
    MJ

  10. A very powerful piece, Ms. D…
    I think you’ve given voice to the thoughts that many have been thinking but just didn’t know how to quite express properly…
    I’m definitely hoping right along with you…

  11. Perfectly expressed, Lenore. Please remember that no matter how large the numbers seem, the haters still represent a small percentage of humanity. But as we’ve seen repeatedly, it takes only a few people to cause trouble for many. Don’t give up hope.

    • Thank you, Charles. Like Anne Murray’s old song, “We sure could use, a little good news today.” If only good news could be seen as controversial we’d hear more about it.

  12. Oh Lenore. I am catching up on my blog reading and found this. I am so sorry that you feel depressed – yours is one of the always upbeat posts I read. And don’t get pulled down by those haters. There are so many more good people out there and you always attract those people to you.
    Take comfort in your boys and know that you are loved from the other side of the world.

    • Thanks, Judith. I’ve taken the advice of many and stepped back from the news. While I can’t deny bad exists – I can focus on the good, which inspires me to keep the good going. I so appreciate your thoughts and support – regardless of the distance.

  13. I have been absent from your blog for too long; and I return to find this heart wrenching gem. I admit that I try to not watch news, as 99% of it is bad and I can do nothing to fix it. What I can say, from what I have been learning lately, is one reason bad things like this happen is to provide contrast for what we want to create: peace and tolerance. And I do believe that racism is born out of a base of fear, plain and simple. I see so much fear these days; and to keep shoving fear based behavior in our faces every days’ newscasts, is not ok with me. So, like you, I keep my daily intention focused on the positive. Whatever it is that we put our attention on the most, is what we will attract the most; be it good or bad. My attention is on the good.

    • M2M, I’ve been absent, too. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a note. The letter was cathartic for me. It felt good getting the thoughts out, and I really appreciated the responses I received (including yours). My attention is on the good, too.

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