Respect others’ opinions
I do not pretend to have all of the facts about what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri. The only thing I know to be true is that I was not there to witness the shooting of Michael Brown ... and neither were you.
Unfortunately, there is a mass amount of ignorance and cruelty being woven into these conversations. We were not there to witness what transpired. People on both sides must recognize that no matter how much research is being done, any information published by the media has been distorted and misconstrued to best suit the purposes of the organization publishing it. Even with “objective” news sources, after being filtered through so many participants, the information is always changed, regardless of the intentions of the messenger.
More importantly, I am horrified by the ways in which we disagree with each other. These issues are incredibly important to our country and they should be talked about — both openly and thoughtfully. I applaud the time, energy, and passion spent researching and debating what has happened.
What is inexcusable, however, is the name-calling, demeaning of others’ intelligence, and gross generalizations that are being applied to all races. “Different than me” is not synonymous with “wrong.”
Voice your opinion, question those who disagree with you, and get involved in issues that are important. But please, always do so with empathy, respect and kindness. The moment you lose those traits, you cheapen the message you are trying to send.