apropos of nothing

IMG_0137┬áSomething I’ve noticed, and I’m sure others have noticed it too–society seems to have lost the ability to recognize the difference between constructive criticism or objective opinion (aka critical thinking) and hate speech.

Even a featherweight disagreement with something or criticism of something these days gets the speaker branded as a hater for disagreeing. Has society lost its mind? I lay the blame partly on the proliferation and subversive influence of social media and the cesspool of opinion that rises out of it like marsh bubbles out of a swamp, bursting and sending noxious gases into the fresh air of discourse.

Expressing a differing opinion or making a criticism does not equal hate speech or mean that the speaker hates the other–it has nothing to do with hate. An opinion or constructive criticism can clarify or educate, or simply cast a brighter light on something. Demeaning, disrespectful, and hateful expression is distinctively different from critical discourse. People seem to have forgotten that.