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e_moon60

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Baby Elephant Stomp [Dec. 21st, 2011|01:22 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |annoyed]

Tonight the local news reported--with a screen shot of the tweet in question--that the president of the GOP's student club at the University of Texas, Cassandra Wright, had sent out a rude and slanderous tweet about Barack Obama, to wit: "My president is black, he snorts a lot of crack. Holla!”    Cassandra is, by the way, white and blonde and cute as a button in her picture   She's the second student GOP prez to spout off on Twitter...the one before her, Lauren Pierce,  considered that it was "tempting" to Republican students to shoot Obama.  Lauren is also white, blonde, and pretty.   Cassandra (or Cassie as she prefers to be called) and Lauren both thought Lauren's tweet was just a joke, something to giggle about,  just freedom of speech...which is why I have a pang of sympathy for Cassie's grandmother, quoted as saying she didn't think her granddaughter would write something like that.  No, sorry, ma'am, but Cassie's already demonstrated a lack of common sense and political awareness that makes her tweet all too believably hers. 

Young Republicans learn political behavior from older Republicans, and it's clear Cassie and Lauren (and maybe the rest of the club) are following in the footsteps of the divisive, the racist, the fact-avoidant, those who confuse sound-bites with facts, rumors with truth, insults with cleverness, and whose behavior is roughly on the level of third-to-fifth grade mean-girls' cliques.   They expect their behavior to be excused--to be laughed off indulgently--because they are who they are.  They don't expect to be held accountable (and it's hard to hold a Republican accountable...you cannot get most of them to face facts and add two and two.)   (It is worth noting that the Elephants are exquisitely sensitive to criticism from the other side, and cry foul and politicizing as if their toenails were being pulled out.)   But still--these young women aren't children anymore, and they should be learning how to assess sources,  how to assess the logic of someone's argument,  etc.    Beyond that, they're plenty old enough to learn that some forms of discourse make diverse communities stronger and some do not.   They're old enough to find for themselves (since their parents and culture so far have not handed one on) a value system that puts the health of a community above the giggle-content of a snarky remark.   They have had, in college, the opportunity to learn to think...and clearly they have not.   

Lauren Pierce did issue a rather weasel-like apology for her tweet (saying it was "tasteless"--no, dear, it was actionable if you'd said it in a line at an airport.  Where joking about things like shooting presidents or wanting to shoot presidents gets you yanked off your flight and into a windowless room.)   She gets five points out of a hundred for that, though, because it was probably the best she could do.  Cassie Wright, so far, has no points on the board.   She's not saying anything (and nor is the student Republican club...you'd think someone would have the guts to say  something.)

So here's the thing, Misses Pierce and Wright:  it's past time to grow up.    Understand that you don't live in the protective bubble of Elephantine isolation when you engage in social media.   You can say whatever you want--but others can say whatever they want about what you said.   Not just other Elephants patting you on the back for being clever, but...everybody. 



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Comments:
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-12-23 04:45 am (UTC)
Nor did I say asinine behavior was limited to Republicans. Interesting that you try the "everybody's doing it" defense rather than stating your opinion of the reported instance. Hmmm.

Speaking as a mother...that's a weak defense. I don't like mean-girl behavior whether it's from a liberal or a conservative...and yes, mean-girl snark is not limited to one political party. But nobody gets let off because "well, SHE did it."

Racism directed at African-Americans, however, is a right-wing (and in this decade that means Republican) habit. It's the Republicans who have said that President Obama isn't really an American citizen, is really a Muslim, etc, etc. Can't pin that one on the Democrats since the southern Democrat block switched parties '60s and '70s. Miss Wright's comment about President Obama was racist. And Republican. As the president--the public face--of the University of Texas Student Republicans, she's not just someone mouthing off to her sorority sisters (which is bad enough.)





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[User Picture]From: dalesql
2011-12-23 12:32 pm (UTC)
I would not try to defend asinine behavior of a clueless college student. That task would be right up there with Sisyphus's. But as it is, once again, political election season. I'm reading in so many places biased stories that present one stupid or thoughtless political party member as typical of all members of that party. That broad brush tar and feathering is what bothers me.

I agree, Because they do it too is not a excuse for this sort of behavior. If you had written the piece implying that nearly all college students say stupid things in the protective bubble of academia, it would have been just as accurate, and just as narrowly focused.

Unfortunately, the alarm has just rung, and I must be off to the day job. Please have a lovely solstice holiday season.
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