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Local Column

Heimerman: Reserving my hate for social media

Christopher Heimerman
Christopher Heimerman

Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s why I try to avoid social media.

I’ve got a huge family that doesn’t get together much, and I have many, many friends. I’m kind of a big deal (he said, tongue firmly in cheek).

Jokes aside, when we venture to the Motherland (read: Wisconsin), most of our time is spent with family, so I haven’t seen some of my friends in a long time. Gosh, I haven’t seen two of my groomsmen in more than a year. Gotta fix that.

That’s why I love social media: It keeps me informed on what’s going on in the lives of those I love and those I just like a lot and am not comfortable saying I love.

Back to why I hate it, though: Unless you’ve deleted your Facebook account or never signed up, you a saw a video of a teenager wearing a Make America Great Again hat, bearing the smuggest of smirks as he stood inches away from a Native American elder and protester in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

But wait. There’s more. A longer version of the video revealed black men, who identify as the Hebrew Israelites, yelling unspeakably disgusting things at the group of teenagers, whose Catholic school was there to protest abortion.

The Native American maintains the teens were trying to antogonize and disrespect him, while he was trying to defuse the situation.

It’s seemingly America’s favorite game: Who’s the Biggest Hate-Monger. Here’s your host, Mark Zuckerberg. You know what, that’s not fair. Let’s be honest. We’re the host, aren’t we? We’re the couriers of misinformation and accusations. Zuckerberg just gave us the vehicle.

Yesterday, I scrolled through my Facebook feed with purpose. What I found was the latest details on the plot twist in Washington, D.C.

What I was looking for was recognition of one of the greatest leaders our nation has seen: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

I found a couple of posts, but I was massively disappointed in just how much his positive message of men and women of all colors walking hand-in-hand was drowned out by vitriol. I’m pretty sure I saw more photos of Chihuahuas (not dogs in general, mind you – that specific breed) than pictures of Dr. King.

My disappointment was further cemented when I attended the MLK program Monday evening at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church – along with about 60 other people, 10 of whom were in the choir.

How, during a time of such unrest, does only a small fraction of the city of DeKalb turn out for an event whose chief purpose is building community?

In the immortal words of Marvin Gaye, what’s going on? Why are so many people faster to lash out than to promote cooperation and compassion?

If you have an answer, I’ll be standing by.

• Christopher Heimerman is the editor
at the Daily Chronicle. He can be reached
at cheimerman@shawmedia.com.

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