Combat negativity by Kailee Haong

Some words for all of the horrible words I have been reading in my news feed


On police brutality, malicious attacks, and tragedy

It is a shame that we are still seeing so many cases like these. It saddens me to read news story after news story of deaths, injuries, and overall maltreatment toward human beings. But let’s talk about police brutality, first. We’ve dichotomized into two distinct factions here—the brute force, the “law is always right,” the uniforms, the conservatives, and then the youth, the troubled and trouble-making misfits, the liberals, the “be the changers.” I think we forget to take a step back and realize that we’re all human. Disregard race, gender, political background, income, origin, all of it. Humans, we’re humans, people. We’re skin covering 206 bones holding organs and life and 23 pairs of chromosomes. Here’s where I struggle with the issues of these police brutality cases. Let’s take this young teenage girl/pool party story that is the most recent (that I have been made aware of). Lesson one: don’t be disrespectful to police officers. Lesson two: there is absolutely no need to kneel on top of a girl about a third of your size. Lesson three: if you are asked by a police to leave, you should probably leave. Lesson four: there is no reason to scream profanities at children. The problem with cases like this is that dichotomy I mentioned earlier—nobody is willing to look at both sides. We’re stuck in this stubborn mindset that chimes “you’re right, everyone else is wrong!” and this is dangerously caustic to society.

Let’s take a moment to talk about framing (shout out to Kris Morehouse). Here are some headlines about the case I am discussing:

“Texas officer draws gun on black teens at pool party”

“Texas police officer suspended over pool party incident”

“Jarring image of police’s use of force at Texas pool party”

“Shocking video shows Texas police attacking black teens at pool party”

Do you see what a difference language makes in a headline? Can you see the difference between “police officer suspended” and “police attacking black teens”? No wonder people are so staunch in their beliefs if they are only reading ONE headline. Weren’t you ever told to fact check in school? When did the curiosity of mankind die? Don’t you ever crave to know the real story? Get more evidence, keep digging? Maybe that’s just me.

Back to the point. It saddens me to see these atrocities happen to human beings. I don’t know when we decided it was acceptable to treat our own kind like trash, but we certainly should cease that immediately. And this goes both ways—respect should be shown by both parties. Be a decent human being. Easy.


On Caitlyn Jenner, transphobia, and homophobia

Again, I am appalled by the terrible comments I have been reading about all three of the things listed above. Days ago, I saw a post from a news source (I don’t recall which) that included a video of some key figures in Seattle (I forget them now, I think the mayor) raising the pride flag in honor of June, the month of pride. I was saddened and disgusted after reading hundreds of comments about how “gay is a choice,” “a sin,” “an abomination,” “unnatural,” need I say more? Let’s revert to something I referred to in the beginning of this post. I’ll even make it really, really obvious. WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. I’m really not certain how I could be clearer about this point. Your faith or your background gives you absolutely NO moral grounds to judge another human being.  It is A-OK to have opinions, it is A-OK to disagree with things, but it is NOT A-OK to publicly shame, humiliate, or destroy another’s reputation because of your views. I repeat, you have no right to judge another human being. Live your own life, and stop worrying about everyone else’s. If you disagree with something, then disagree. Don’t post about it on Facebook, because your opinion is—get this—just that. It’s an opinion. It’s not right. It’s not wrong. It’s an opinion. Get over the fact that not everyone thinks like you. This is neither the time nor the place to be a bigoted, ignorant human, hating on the lives of other humans. Just love everybody, okay? It’s really not that hard.

More recently, Caitlyn Jenner has made her transformation into a woman and has received an alarming amount of backlash from society. It disheartens me, because we grow up with the mantra “be who you are,” constantly on a loop in our brains, but the second we try to do that, it’s suddenly wrong to be who you are? Why are we inculcating positive messages into our children’s brains and then, when the time comes, taking that freedom from them? When does it stop being okay to “be who you are”? I wasn’t aware that the saying had an expiration date, but it seems like it does today.

I’ve seen posts commending her for her immense courage and bravery, and I too commend you, Caitlyn. It takes an incredible amount of strength to be who you are in a society who falsely claims that it is accepting of all. I’ve seen a shocking amount of posts comparing Caitlyn Jenner to men and women in the armed forces, and this is just ridiculous. The two are completely different, and comparing a transgender person to a person in the military is both irrelevant and just a flat-out weak argument. You cannot say servicemen are courageous and Caitlyn is not. Courage and bravery are not limited to those in camouflage. If you disagree with her transition, that is fine—no one is forcing you to be pro-trans, but that does not mean it is okay to hate, make disgusting comments, or deny her bravery. That just shows cowardice on your own part. We’re all human beings. We need to support one another as such. Just because some are different than you, does not make them any less of a human. I absolutely loathe the color pink, but that does not mean I am going to walk around condemning anyone wearing pink—it’s no different.

 Society needs a wake up call. Someone to grab it by the shoulders and just shake the hate out of it. Hate has no place in our society, and I do not want my future children to live in a world in which they are afraid to be themselves. I’m going to leave this section with a quote I stumbled upon.

“Tolerance is a cheaper, low-grade parody of love. Tolerance is not a great virtue to aspire to. Love is much tougher and harder.” – N.T. Wright

From this point on, I will be removing people from my Facebook, my blog, etc. I will remove those filled with hatred and spite toward humans because I do not need a newsfeed filled with negativity. The world is an absolutely beautiful place if you open up your eyes to it. I see potential in society. I see potential in our youth. I aspire to help create a society that is accepting, that is loving and kind—I aspire to help create a society that is a harmonious conglomeration of human beings, relishing in the presence of other human beings. One last quote from one of my favorite artists:

“Admire as much as you can. Most people do not admire enough.” – Vincent van Gogh