Mondays With Marta G. : Mixed Messages

Lord, have mercy! I thought I was going to make it through the day without seeing something that forced me to step up to the plate. I promise I was just minding my own little business checking out this Forbes article about moving trends in the US.

http://www3.forbes.com/leadership/the-u-s-states-people-are-fleeing-and-the-ones-they-are-moving-to/?utm_campaign=The-US-States-People-Are-Fleeing-79336-mbl&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=referral

I should have known better than to scroll down to the comments, but I naively assumed that there might be some thoughtful discussion about the trends named in the article. It didn’t take long before I ran up on this little gem.

Now, for those of you who follow me here on #TheWRITEaddiction, you know I live in West Texas and I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that the closest political “box” I fit into is Liberal. So, when I see something like this and nearly 1,000 people giving this poster encouragement for this viewpoint towards “liberals” I can’t help but wonder a few things:

1. Does that mean you don’t want my “liberal” dollars spending money in your restaurants, stores, gas stations or athletic arenas?

2. Does that mean you don’t want me applying my talents and skills to support education and health care and nonprofits in YOUR state?

3. Have you told your economic development commissions and the headhunting firms that recruit us “liberals” to move away from our families and friends to help stimulate YOUR economy, educate YOUR children, pay to support YOUR parks and other infrastructure and invest in the things that matter to YOU?

4. Have you thought about how these words you throw out so casually onto the internet make your neighbors and co-workers feel about the time they invest with you?

I am southern-born and I tell you there is nothing gentile, there is nothing civil, there is nothing of courtesy in the comments posted on Facebook by this user. Every single 👍🏻, ❤️ and 😂 makes people like me question whether the people we pass in the grocery store, on the walking paths and in church service harbor these or similar feelings about us for not being card carrying members of the GOP.

I am grateful to have friends I love and respect who have political views that are nothing like mine. Our conversations are vigorous and enlightening and wonderful because we take care of one another. We are never going to fall out with one another because we have differing political beliefs. Every once in awhile we even sway each other to change a stance based on the strength of an argument. To me THAT is what can make America great. What these people did on Facebook in this comment section is more of the polarizing rhetoric and divisiveness that threatens to poison the very heart of our nation. We can and MUST be better than this.

Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Lubbock, Texas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.

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