The Hollywood Foreign Press honored Meryl Streep this week at the Golden Globes. Her impassioned speech sent shockwaves through an already divided country. Depending on which camp you were in she is either a hypocritical phony who should shut up and act, or she is a human rights savior calling out the most evil man on the planet.
What is wrong with us? What is wrong with everyone that a speech made by an actress can put us into such frenzy? Why can we not disagree with something someone says without calling for bans and boycotts? And why can’t we agree without declaring someone a saint. For an opinion?!!
Of course, just to make matters worse, President-Elect Trump, her target, Tweeted his response using words like “overrated” and “Hillary flunky who lost big.” And people thought that was either an awesome response or that it is more proof that he’s a bully with a big mouth. No in between.
I understand the concern about his reactions. I understand his frustration regarding a media that clearly does not like him, but come on, Mr. Almost President, stop giving them so much to work with.
But back to us and the point about our conversations on social media. After Ms. Streep gave her speech in which she talked about disrespect inviting disrespect, I attempted to have a conversation with some Hillary supporters, you know those people who were going to go high when “they go low?” When I took issue with a few parts of Streep’s speech, I was told that Donald Trump and every last one of his supporters can go straight to Hell. I responded that it was not a very respectful response only to get another nasty and offensive comment aimed my way. There was no discussion about what I disagreed with. And by the way, I stated that I respect Ms. Streep, her talent, and believe her speech came from her heart. Still, I disagreed, and was willing to explain, but that didn’t matter. I should go to Hell.
Not that the other side is any better. I saw comments with the typical offensive names for liberals who live in Hollywood. I saw comments about how she was “destroyed” by this celebrity’s tweet or that celebrity’s comment. Ironically, these were the same people who said she was just a celebrity and should shut up. Those other celebs though, well, we like what they said so let them talk.
Then there were all of those pesky pictures being shared of her giving Roman Polanski, an admitted child rapist, a standing ovation. I mean if you’re going to set the Internet on fire, make sure you have covered all bases, right?
But you know who the problem is? Not Meryl Streep. Not Hollywood. Maybe, sometimes, not even Donald Trump. We are the problem. We are the ones who seem to have an inability to have civil and respectful conversations. We have become all about the mob mentality, well, the mob mentality on social media.
Oh, and our kids? They are paying attention, so when you’re telling people to go to Hell because they disagreed with you or you’re calling them losers or some of the other lovely names I’ve seen, your kids are watching. My kids are watching. This is what we are teaching them.
We can’t blame that on Donald Trump. We’re doing that all on our own.
Disagree with what she said. Love it. Discuss it. Debate it. Hash it out. But stop demeaning one another in an effort to make your point, to win the argument. Nobody wins, and what I see passing as discussions lately is just a lot of ugly talk that does nothing but make us look bad.
This one’s on us, not the celebrities, not the politicians, not even Donald Trump. This is all on us.