Awwww. Isn’t this meme so fun! It’s so bright, it’s so colorful. It contains such a plethora of happy, positive messages!
Make Facebook fun again! Who could argue with that?
Well … me, of course! I hate this meme. I’m sorry did I use the word “hate”? My bad. What I mean is I “strongly dislike” this godawful meme.
Why, do you have to be such a party pooper Anna? How can anyone possibly disagree with such a cheerful little cartoon?
Let me tell you why … it’s because I absolutely despise people’s attempts to silence others. I don’t care how artsy and cutesy you make it. I don’t care if you do a round-off, the splits and end it with f***ing jazz hands. I don’t f***ing CARE. I hate propaganda. I mean REALLY hate it.
Silencing is silencing. And it’s always ugly.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the messaging on this meme … “if you can’t be nice, be quiet”, “show cute pictures of your friends and family” and of course the ultimate Facebook rebuke … “NO POLITICS!”
I’ve started hearing the phrase floating around Facebook, “I miss the days when Facebook was fun [insert pouty, sad face].”
But lemme tell you. You know what used to be fun? It used to be fun when an authoritarian malignant narcissist dictator wasn’t running our country. Oh sorry, did I break another one of the rules, “quit your psyco-babble”? (Misspelled of course but I keep being told how liberals look down on everyone for their shitty spelling so I’ll let it go.) Who do we think this meme is being directed towards? I can’t for the life of me imagine.
You know what used to be fun? It used to be fun before we found out the Russians interfered with our election in order to have a white nationalist madman at the helm of America. Before we realized a whole bunch of us were using a neo-Nazi publication to get our news … loving it and and lapping it up. Before we knew who “Pepe” was. Before we found out that people actually believed that the DNC was running a child pornography ring out of a pizza shop called Comet Ping-Pong. It used to be fun before legal green-card holders were being detained at airports, questioned and sent back to their home counties. It used to be fun before white people woke up to the fact that racism still reigns supreme in the heart of America. It all used to be so much fun. But I digress.
Let’s come back to the most sinister message of all: “if you can’t be nice, be quiet.”
Listen. I know a lot of you want to stick their heads in the sand and forget who you voted for. You want to pretend that things “aren’t really that bad”. I know you wish people would just “calm down and get over it”. I know you wish folk would just “give him a chance”.
Guess what though? (And this will be a “newsflash shocker” to some of you). Your right to “have fun on Facebook” is actually a whole lot less important than people’s actual lives, people’s actual safety, people’s actual civil rights. Right now, in this very moment there are thousands of mothers, and fathers crying out in despair. There are immigrant and refugee families whose lives have been ripped apart by the stroke of a pen. You want to show “cute photos of your kids”? Well. We all saw the photo of that little Syrian boy covered in mud and dust and blood. Is it “cute” that the blood of that child and countless others is on ALL of our hands?
The sound of those cries, the thought of this injustice should be tearing at the heart of every. single. one of us. It is the sound that should either be keeping us awake or be haunting our dreams every night until we see the Muslim ban lifted.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO HAVE FUN ON FACEBOOK. NOW IS THE TIME TO SPEAK UP AGAINST RACISM, AGAINST HATRED, AGAINST SEXISM, AGAINST BIGOTRY.
NOW is the time to get involved, to speak up for what really matters.
If you want to show that you are standing on the right side of history, you need to SPEAK UP in defense of the right to free speech. Not your right to “have fun” while others suffer. Or hide behind a keyboard while the most beloved and precious values of America are systematically destroyed. To remain silent is to render ourselves complicit.
If you don’t believe me, read the article by Naomi Shulman whose mother “was born in Munich in 1934, and spent her childhood in Nazi Germany surrounded by nice people who refused to make waves.”
If that’s your idea of fun, I want nothing to do with it. The personal is political once again, more deeply, more fiercely and more powerfully than ever. This is our chance of a lifetime to speak truth-to-power and stand on the side of LOVE and JUSTICE.
That’s way more fun.