Where Are All My Friends? The Polarizing Force of Radio,Television And Blogs

Years ago I had a lot of friends, and according to Facebook, I still do (but I don’t believe that boshwah because I know better).  I was first introduced to the negative after effects of talk radio by Tom, a coworker who believed that he was Axl Rose, (whole nother story that) and that racism was dead, and that black people (except for me of course), were lazy welfare swindlers and a lot of other crap that I’ve since erased from my memory banks. Tom was a Rush Limbaugh listener, and what struck me about Tom was not the things he said, but the angry and loud way in which he said them. I cannot think of one single moment in a scary movie that can rival being stuck alone in an industrial sized building for 12 hours a day 3 days a week with a Limbaugh Lunatic. Thank God we could at least agree on Rock and Roll. That was almost 2 decades ago and things have gotten worse instead of better. Had I known then that our political affiliation would become the thing that defines us and determines the length and breadth of our friendships, I would have made the effort to only friend Democrats and Left leaning Independents (and yes that is laughable so go ahead chuckle).

I thought I had friends at the job I worked for 10 years. We did lunch, hugs, Christmas presents, and talked about our husbands, wives, kids, and money issues . But all the while, they were being groomed by talk radio too, or maybe it was Fox News, or maybe it’s already in your DNA? I dunno. Two years ago I happened on one of my “friends” in an elevator, I was so happy to see this friend that I rushed over to give them a hug – they actually physically cringed and shrank into the back of the elevator, the look on my friend’s face was priceless, and the moment is stamped in my consciousness like a bad dream that I just can’t shake. I didn’t know what I had done to create whatever animosity, dislike, or disdain that this person felt for me  – but when I saw some of their more recent Facebook  posts I got what some folks would call “a clue”.

Then there are my other besties who no longer call or respond to emails, or even interact with me in any way shape or form on the public forum we call Facebook.

They say that politics is polarizing America, but I don’t believe it not even for a second. We used to be able to agree to disagree and then go get drunk together. Heck we even used to (gasp) marry outside of our Party.  It’s all the angry (probably white, but sometimes not) men that’s really pulling us apart (did I say that out loud? Ok I went back and amended it) . So tell me, former friends of mine – if you have a roof over your head, a good job, food in your mouth, and the kids are alright- what are you so effing mad about? And why are you mad at me?

And one last question – you keep telling me you “want America back”, but since you also say that it’s not about the President being Black and it’s not about him not being Black enough, and since back assumes that there has been forward movement to some place that’s undesirable to you- then what or whom do you want your country back from?

And another question (sorry this one baffles me so much I gotta ask it twice)- what are you so mad about?

I sure wish you’d turn the radio off, stop reading blogs that offer affirmation rather than information, mute the TV and put some music on, it will calm your nerves.

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