There is hope in America again. It is starting to show during the ongoing events of the heinous shootings in Tucson, whether in the cheers we shout to hero Daniel Hernandez or by a simple thumbs up from Gabby Giffords. It still doesn’t eliminate the continuous tweets and posts we see that are shamefully politicizing this event, but the call for America to pause and unite is starting to bubble.
Mind you, Twitter is still going a bit crazy with tweets that are blaming everyone, from Palin to the Tea Party to the Democrats to the Socialists. It’s beyond disrespectful, and just adds more fuel to the political fires.
But as we said, there is hope. And, ironically for us, it started on a Facebook prayer page dedicated to Giffords and run by a Michigan Republican. As the site states: “God bless and heal Gabrielle and all those killed or affected by this tragedy. God Bless America and keep her safe, watch over us all and guide us.” As of January 11, it has over 28K fans.
What is interesting to note is that the Facebook page is run by Jason Asselin, who identifies himself as Republican and associates himself with the Tea Party. The story that explains Asselin’s intentions to create this Facebook page can be found on TucsonCitizen.com, a citizen journalism page that covers Tucson.
As Asselin says in the article:
Our positions political don’t matter right now. We need to come together as America. United we stand, divided we fall: I try to live by that every day.
What was intended as a noble gesture to honor Giffords and other victims of the shooting has still been abused by posters who wanted to politicize the crime. As the article states:
Despite Asselin’s willingness to put aside political ideology in the name of empathy, the Facebook page has been evidence that not all share his perspective. He said his ability to post updates to the page has been taken away, leaving him only able to delete comments and comment on them, and he believes the change is the result of objections from people who think he is trying to use the page to further his political views. “It’s really upsetting,” he said, describing how he has painstakingly read and moderated each comment on the page and deleted those that violate his sense of decency. “I banned like 50 people today,” he said.
This was probably the breaking point for us. When a prayer page gets abuse from people who want to politicize a tragedy, we come to the conclusion that civility and respect no longer exists on social media and in society at large.
So in our effort to promote respect, support (even though we might not agree on a topic), and civility, we suggested a new hashtag for Twitter tonight:
If you are Twitter user and feel the same way that we do, If you believe that essence of Twitter has always been one of support and respect, use #bcivil to remind people. We are not expecting that it will trend to the top, but at least if we can calm our own little corner of Twitter, then maybe there really is hope in America.
Profiles that will #BCivil on Twitter