Cutting each other some slack - CBS46 News

Opinion

Cutting each other some slack

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Lyn Vaughn

Former CNN & 11 Alive TV

By Lyn Vaughn

I applaud Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter’s effort to make peace following his rash decision to post on Facebook, the comment that Georgia’s 5th district Congressman John R. Lewis is “a racist pig.”

He reached out to the leadership of the NAACP chapter in the county asking to attend a meeting and was met with loud protests.

He was not given an opportunity to speak. 

The protests were, I think, a misguided reaction to Hunter’s Facebook post and the post was an equally misguided response to Congressman Lewis’s decision not to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump.

It was Mr. Lewis’s right to decide for himself that Russian interference on behalf of President Trump, as well as the candidate’s litany of highly offensive remarks, made the election results “illegitimate” for him. He didn’t call for a boycott. He simply stated that he would not be attending the inauguration and dozens of members of Congress and others decided to join him.

Likewise, it is Mr. Hunter’s right to believe and say what he pleases online. But sometimes, the consequences can be painful. 

Remember the case of the East Point woman who, in April 2015 posted, “All Black ppl should rise up and shoot at every white cop in the nation starting NOW.”   She was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats. 

The charges were dismissed after she was required to make a public apology. She had acted in anger to police shootings of black men. 

Hunter reacted in anger to a perceived slight to President Trump. Rather than trying to hound him out of office, settle the matter when and if he runs for reelection.   

While calling someone a name and threatening harm to people are two very different things, what they have in common in this instance, is that they were placed online.

Having been reared during a time when private was private and public was public, I’m not a fan of social media.

There are too many snap judgements, worthless, rude and ill-informed comments, plain old misinformation—not to mention fraud, deception, phishing, catfishing and all manner of scams.  But if you must post when you’re furious about something someone has said or done, we’d all be much better off if everyone just vented via text or telephone to a spouse, partner or friend.

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