Boos, Chants May Make Us Feel Better But Aren’t the Solution
I’m not always up on who’s hot and who’s not but when four-time Grammy winner Drake got booed by an audience Sunday because they were disappointed, he, and not Frank Ocean, was the surprise opening act, I am dumb-founded. Drake, a gifted performer, has been described as “the bestselling rapper of the decade,” and “top selling solo male artist in American history” by entertainment sources, was also taken aback by the crowd’s reaction, but cut his performance short, politely thanked the crowd, and left the stage.
I don’t listen to great volumes of rap but even I know lousy performers get a warm welcome when they appear on stage. To have been so sorely received seems tacky and terribly unkind. After all, he was invited—he didn’t just show up and take somebody’s else’s turn.
Further, when President Trump was greeted in the nation’s capital with chants of “lock him up!” at Game Five of the World Series, I thought this was probably a case of “turnabout is fair play” for Trump audiences chanting “lock her up” in reference to former rival Hillary Clinton. Nevertheless, on Veterans Day, when he was again greeted with “lock him up,” my heart sank because we may have come to a place of no return.
Whether you respect or love Mr. Trump is not the conversation today. He is the duly-elected president of this nation and that office must have some sense of decorum and respect associated with it or we’re all in trouble.
There are very few places these days when protestors are not making their presence known and felt. Protestors are disrupting campus events, concerts, conferences—every place, and I thank God for the First Amendment that gives us the right to be heard and to speak freely.
If we look around the world to places where this freedom doesn’t exist, we understand what a precious privilege this is, yet there must be a way to voice opposition without being disrespectful and mean- spirited. Or is there? I’m left wondering:
- If civility is important, and I say it is, can we challenge thoughts without attacking the speakers?
- In 2019, if we attack folks and ideas we don’t like, what will happen when others disagree with us and the thoughts we champion?
The ditty that says, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is as far from the truth as the east is from the west. Words cut deep and the healing takes a long, long time.
As parents we must set a good example for our children of what acceptable behavior looks and feels like. As president, Mr. Trump, like the late Senator John McCain, and other politicians and press secretaries must set a better example for acceptable behavior.
Many athletes ascribe to the notion that they are not role models, but like presidents and governors, they are. Youngsters often look up to athletes, entertainers, and famous people, and what they see, they emulate. We can and must do better. We must model how to disagree without being hurtful and nasty.
At the end of the day, we must love and appreciate our neighbors and those we don’t agree with. We can’t legislate kindness. We can model it. We can’t undo the innocent killings and beatings that peaceful protestors have incurred throughout history, but we can lift a hand and challenge others to create a kinder, gentler nation and practice the Golden Rule. Today is a good day to start.
What are your thoughts about civility? Do share with me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.