This blog post results from reading social media commentary on the latest online news articles. Some of these comments may be extreme examples, but they show ignorance and a lack of awareness. Each comment is listed under the individual titles. My reaction to their observations is bolded and listed directly below their input.
A LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE IS NOT USEFUL? Today's online article pertained to student debt forgiveness and whether the Biden Administration can cancel some student debt. This is being heard now by the Supreme Court after some Republicans objected to the move made by the Biden Administration. One commenter said, "A financial disaster because Liberal Arts Degrees add Nothing to the ability to get a job."
From where I sit, it seems like this is a stereotype of liberal arts degree holders and isn't necessarily the case for many employers. There are a significant amount of employers that would disagree with that sentiment. Many employers are looking for well-rounded people and problem solvers. A liberal arts degree emphasizes thinking and reasoning skills, which many employers seek. Even if someone doesn’t have the exact skills for a job, they have the potential to be groomed and trained in new skills for that position.
BICYCLE SAFETY I?
Someone complained about our current justice system and how it's unsafe to bike on my roads. Some responses were: "Bye" and "Please feel free to leave anytime."
How is stating one's opinion about the American state of the criminal justice system evoking a comment that the person can leave if they don't like it here? If that logic applies to all citizens, we'd have few people left to deal with the current issues in our country. That's certainly not a constructive way of dealing with social problems in the US.
BICYCLE SAFETY II?
Another comment is, “They won't ride in the bike lanes or trails and then wonder why they get run over- bikers are responsible for staying out of traffic lanes.”
This individual thinks the issue of bike safety has to do with bicycles being in traffic lanes and not on the trails. But we must realize that motorists need to share many roads with cyclists. I won't refute that some bicyclists ride on busy roads and don't obey traffic signals. That annoys me as much as the other guy, but according to this commenter, bikers must stay out of traffic lanes. Let's put the onus squarely on bikers here; if a bicyclist is hurt or killed by a motorist, it's the cyclist's fault. According to this logic, bicyclists don't belong on roads with traffic. I don't know how else to interpret this comment.
Writer's note: The number of cyclists killed by drivers has been on the rise in recent years. The National Safety Council reported that 1,260 cyclists were killed in 2020, an increase of 16% over the previous year. Cycling deaths have also risen some 44% over the past decade.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
The actor, Bryan Cranston, was interviewed on CNN recently when he objected to the term 'Make America Great Again' slogan. Referring to the history of black people in this country, he asked when they had it great. And some politicians and citizens want us to return to a time when it still wasn't great for African Americans. How should this group feel about this term commonly used in our news media? Several commenters wrote, "Never heard of him before the article. Guess that shows how famous and popular he is.
Mr. Cranston’s popularity is beside the point. Indeed, he's exercising his First Amendment rights. Would this commenter feel differently about his words if he were much more popular? Unfortunately, many negative comments were targeted at the messenger, not the actual message.
FOUR VERSUS EIGHT YEARS
One commenter complained that more debt was created under the Obama Administration than in the four years under Trump. They said, "Go look it up, I did."
I'm grateful that this commenter looked it up about the Obama administration (two terms) creating more debt than during Trump's one term. One might look at this comparison and quickly realize this was done carelessly and without proper context. The fact is that Obama was in office for twice that amount should pour water on this comparison. With additional context, we had the Great Recession late in 2008, when Obama took office, so part of the debt came from deficit spending to get the economy moving again. Unfortunately, it appears this commenter did not look up these facts before commenting.
FLEEING BLUE STATES?
Yet dims are still fleeing blue states to move to Florida.
First, when this male commenter uses the term 'dims,' they use it in a derogatory manner. If I understand him correctly, he states that people who voted Democratic in past elections are fleeing their blue states and moving to Florida. He appears to postulate that they are tired of the politics in the blue states and want to move to a more attractive state government. I live part-time in Florida and never considered moving here because of Florida's state government. Not once did I choose to live in Florida because of its residents. I've not heard of others moving here because of Florida's state government, bugs, or crime. I will say that some permanent remote workers may move here and welcome the sunny weather. Yes, avoiding state income tax is a secondary reason, but people are moving primarily because of the weather. People like to see blue skies, especially during the winter months. It's that simple.
Unaware or Ignorant Online Commentary