So I nonchalantly commented on a Vice Canada article about whether or not Don Cherry should be fired for his xenophobic comments.
My comment was solely on the story and agreed that Don Cherry has gotten away with this behaviour for too long and should be fired.
The amount of hate I got was a little startling.
I’m a lot older than the typical person who gets cyber bullied so I’m a little removed from this sort of thing.
People immediately went after me
They went after my appearance firstly.
They stereotyped me for my hair colour.
They called me fat.
Said I was dumb, stupid and so much more.
Instantly, I wanted to hit back.
After all, that’s what you do when you’ve been attacked.
But I quickly learned it was getting me nowhere other than infuriated.
I deleted my comment.
Not because I don’t stand by it (because I do)
Not because I can’t handle the criticism (because I can)
But because this war behind a computer or a phone or whatever
Is not one I can win.
That anyone can win.
People become so brave they will literally say anything or do anything.
Frankly, it makes me afraid of the world we live in.
How scary is it when you can’t even risk speaking your opinion for fear of retribution?
This speaks to something so much bigger than internet trolls out for blood.
This is a not a liberated society.
This is totalitarian.
If you dare to step out of line you risk facing the wrath of the legions of people willing to do and say whatever it takes to make their mark.
While I can handle the criticisms, I can’t handle the anger and anxiety that explodes inside of me as a result of such an encounter.
I was so angry at the words they were tossing around.
Not because I’m hurt by them but because someone else might be.
Some teenager might be reading along in agreement and see the inflamed ego it caused and the hurled insults and bullying that ensued.
They might not have the self security to hold strong to their own beliefs.
And that is the biggest tragedy of all.