Northwest Missourian Opinion

On the morning of Nov. 3, I noticed something I didn’t quite expect on my social media.

I expected a multitude of photos featuring “I Voted” stickers to populate my timeline. I expected to see people doing some last-minute campaigning for the candidate they were voting for, attempting, and most likely failing, to sway the other side and get them to mark a different bubble that day. I saw some already crying voter fraud with no evidence and others sharing their predictions for the electoral map, but what I didn’t expect to see was a message about civility.

The message was almost the same every time I encountered it. Some blatant copy and paste or screenshot of a notes app with the same phrasing. The words “We are all in this together,” “Respect your neighbor,” or “We are all Americans” were thrown heavily into the message. It was trying to preach civility and unity amid the “deep divide” in this country. 

Now, I won’t lie to you, many of the posts were from people supporting President Donald Trump on my timeline. Many of them were very outspoken in their MAGA ideals and very proud of the president. 

While I respect the attempt and believe that civility and neighborly actions are important in our everyday life, I have just one question: Where was your civility the past year?

Where was your civility when George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other Black men and women were senselessly murdered at the hands of police officers? It must have been somewhere else as you scoured the internet looking for a “good” reason why they had to be killed. 

Civility must have taken a day or days or weeks or months off as you refused to wear a mask to protect others. Sure, scientists and medical experts have more than proven that masks are effective and protect others, but they are kind of uncomfortable, so who cares? The hundreds of thousands of Americans that lost their lives because of COVID-19 must not have been your neighbors.

Civility must work weekends or nights in your household because it wasn’t there as professional athletes tried to use their platform to make a change. You called them entitled whiners that were out of touch with reality. Ignoring the fact that through sheer determination and talent, many of them, including LeBron James, were able to pull themselves and their family out of poverty. 

James sponsored a school and tried to get people to simply vote in an important election and you vilified him because he, as a Black man, believes other Black people’s lives matter.

Civility must have been lost in its imagination when Trump ordered protesters in Washington D.C. to be tear-gassed and dispersed. Was it for a good reason? Were they rioting and looting? No to both. It was so Trump could take a photo holding a book that he most certainly doesn’t believe in or follow in front of a church. He even held it upside down. He’s still the savior of the evangelicals, right?

Civility must have gone to bed early the night of the first presidential debate and must have stayed isolated days after. The president refused to condemn white supremacy, told a white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by” and went after the dead son of President-elect Joe Biden in order to distract Biden and score cheap political points. 

You defended Trump’s actions with voracity and suggested those who were disgusted by his remarks, many of whom were Republicans, were liberal snowflakes or part of the deep state.

The president has spent months claiming everyone is against him. Secret enemies crouching behind every corner attempting to tarnish his righteousness, and you were in stride with him. You touted conspiracy theories about anyone who opposed you, claimed your liberal friends like and support pedophilia, and constantly attempt to further the divide with political barbs and hyper-partisanship.

No, I do not believe all conservatives or Republicans acted like this. Many were outraged by the president’s actions and said so. However, we noticed that many of you didn’t. You continued to gaslight and argue as your position became more and more indefensible. So excuse me for not believing that you actually mean the words you shared on Facebook; the last 12 months show evidence to the contrary.

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