Today I got into one of those Facebook “discussions” I should know enough to avoid – but the truth is, I cannot sit quietly when people share rumors that are inaccurate – so I disagree. And, of course, they disagree – calling me one of “those liberals”. Yes, I am more liberal than conservative, but one of “those liberals”? Come on guys! I didn’t call you one of “those conservatives” or one of “those righties”.
The issue was the rumor that Muslims find the American flag offensive – their implication being that the Muslims were trying to change our beliefs to match their own, and perhaps to change the laws which allow us to fly the flag. Therefore we should share to show we don’t give a damn and comments were hatefully suggesting they should go back to their own country. Perhaps I should have ignored the post, yet, is it okay to ignore a post basically promoting something that is not a truth? I think not. I think we all have a responsibility to fact check before we share anything that could be divisive – there’s already enough division in this country.
The rumor comes from the story about a Texas man who flew the American flag on his apartment patio, which according to him, the apartment owners asked him to remove because it “was offensive to Muslims”. This was his account – there was no accompanying support and the apartment management stated that they fly the American flag in an appropriate manner and it was against the regulations for an apartment dweller to fly the flag in the manner this man did. See https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/remove-flag-muslims-offended/.
What’s the deal anyway? Why are we so willing to accept what we read on Facebook, or hear via the grapevine without checking the validity? We are obviously not open-minded nor thinking objectively if we all choose to believe what suits us without questioning. Why must we choose sides so quickly? Are we just lazy? So just show me concrete evidence that someone really is trying to take away or criticize us flying our flag. I’ll jump right in there with you. Too bad, too sad. Otherwise, don’t propagate falsehoods.
I think our government is the one infringing on my rights, on our rights – on the right of each of us to live with air clean enough to breathe, water clean enough to drink, a planet healthy enough to survive. That’s my deal.