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Politics & Politeness

Abdul & MikeThe other day I had the honor of helping emcee the 10-Point Coalition’s annual luncheon.  It’s an event raise money for programs that tackle issues like urban youth violence and empowering minority communities to help make them self-sufficient.   The keynote Speaker was Vice-President and former Governor Mike Pence.   I covered Pence as a Congressman and later as Governor. And I follow his movements pretty closely as V.P.   

When we saw each other, we had a good chat for a couple of minutes and then took a couple of pictures (including his signature selfie).  I posted a couple of them on social media, and you could have sworn I took a photo with the devil.  Of course, there are some hardcore social conservatives who probably say the same thing about me.   The Vice-President was a called a bigot, racist and just about everything but a child of God.

As I read through the thread, all I could do was shake my head and feel sorry for people.   It’s one thing to dislike a person, it’s another thing to spend that kind of time, energy and effort into hating someone you don’t know; and then go through all the trouble to post your hatred on social media.   

And what’s interesting is the hate wasn’t just directed at Pence.   You would be amazed at how many haters and detractors went after the 10-Point Coalition because they are working with the administration to work on problems of youth violence and urban crime.  I frankly think these guys would rather see more dead black children than 10-Point be successful working with a Republican administration.  

Maybe I’m getting older, but I don’t see how getting worked up over people you don’t know, and situations you have no control over can be healthy, physically, mentally or otherwise.  To disagree with someone’s policies is fine. You can express it and offer alternatives.  But to get personal, it doesn’t solve anything and kind of makes you come across as a feminine hygiene product.

To paraphrase an old saying, if you can’t post anything nice, or at least thoughtful, don’t post anything at all.


  • http://www.bill.eccles.net/bills_words/ Bill Eccles

    You are so very correct, and it is truly sad that we’ve lost any semblance of online decorum.

    I have a rule that I wish people would follow. If you wouldn’t get up at a dinner party or wedding, take the microphone, and say in front of a crowd of 400 (big wedding!) what it is you’re going to say online, don’t say it at all. If you wouldn’t be comfortable saying it to my face without having had a drink or two, don’t say it at all.

    I call it “dinner party decorum,” and it’s largely lost online. And after the events of these past few years, I’m not sure that it hasn’t been lost in the real world, too.

    I pray for success for your organization. The problems of children and families do not go away or deserve to be ignored at the national level just because there’s a Republican in the White House.

    A word to Vice President Pence: keep doing what it is you do. Continue to work with 10-Point Coalition and other organizations of all kinds to benefit the children and families of this country. I’m praying for your success, too.

  • Bob Dungan

    Great post. I am in complete agreement with you.