Good Advice; Never Read the Comments

At her recent talk in Vancouver Michelle Obama said something like, “Never read the comments on social media.”

I recently engaged in a Twitter “conversation” around the issue of White Privilege. The conversation started after a disgruntled parent went to social media with her complaints about a Gold Trail School District campaign to raise awareness about systemic racism in our society.

Full disclosure, I do have connections to the Gold Trail School District; I was once a student in the district and many years after being a student there I was a teacher in the district.

This morning I read Patti Bacchus’ column in the Georgia Straight on the fiasco that developed around the well intentioned campaign. It is a good read.

However, this line from Patti’s column quite accurately summarizes the experience I endured after I spoke up in favour of acknowledging systemic racism:

“Reading the social-media comments on stories about racism is often akin to looking down the hole in an outhouse. It’s a dark and fetid experience, featuring an abundance of human waste, some so vile and infectious that it poses a serious threat to our collective public health.”

Yep. I looked down the outhouse hole and it is indeed and dark and fetid experience.