Don’t Like What You Read? Learn to Engage in Civility, Not Polarization

Every time there is a controversial topic in the news, there is usually some crybaby (3 points in example below) that can’t accept reading or hearing opposing views from their own.

This is why Facebook.com/CardinalEmergencies (The Cardinal News Emergency Page) periodically advises people the following, which is also available every day in the ABOUT page (Our Story)

EDITORIAL CONTENT
Articles that are shared may occasionally be about a topic that is controversial or may be about a person or group that is supporting a cause or a political ideology. Sharing of an article should not be considered as an endorsement or alignment with any specific ideology unless specifically stated. Some people might assume that we are in support of certain editorial content because it was shared on this page. Cardinal Emergencies is a news page, not a personal page. Therefore, “editorial” content is shared for the benefit of awareness of readers. Editorial content that is shared on Cardinal Emergencies is connected to public safety issues, but unless otherwise stated, the editorial content is staged as any of the following without notice: 1) agreeable 2) disagreeable, 3) indifferent, or 4) not yet understood or comprehended. In other words, editorial content shared on Cardinal Emergencies is shared for reader awareness, not persuasion.

Cardinal Emergencies recently received this direct message from J.C. (full name withheld), which effectively demonstrates a social media failure in civility …

“So three police officers were cleared of all charges, in a court of law and the only article you can post is police reformers feel progress hasn’t been made?? Because the verdict didn’t go their way? Jesus, whose side are you on? If you have any ties to the fire or police service you should be ashamed of yourself. I unfollowed immediately. You should kerp (sic) your political crap in your pocket and just deal with what your good at…reporting when true heroes do their jobs”

— JC (name withheld)

There are three points that need to be highlighted about the immaturity and lack of civility of this message.

#1) JC: “whose side are you on?”
CE: See EDITORIAL CONTENT above. Intelligent people, when they have the stomach for it, prefer to know what “the opposition” is saying, thinking, planning. Cardinal Emergencies doesn’t filter out articles that might hurt your feelings. Cardinal Emergencies is a news page, not a personal page. Therefore, “editorial” content is shared for the benefit of awareness of readers — not to pat you on the head and try to tell you everything you want to read — that agrees with your echo chamber.

#2) JC: “If you have any ties to the fire or police service you should be ashamed of yourself”
CE: Sorry, but trying to shame someone because a single personally disagreeable article was shared among over 250 articles per week shared, is a little extreme. It is well known in psychology that “shaming” is a control strategy that attempts to damage the target with an ill-mannered attempt to manipulate. Going to the shaming extreme is an attempt to make a person feel terrible by making an accusation that the target is horrible, broken, immoral, vile, worthless, and/or disgusting, etc. Supposedly, if the target initially respects the shamer, or is under some type of duress control by the shamer, there will be successful behavioral modification by the shamer. Otherwise (most likely), the shamer will be disrespected and disobeyed by the target. An attempt at shaming (especially targeting a person you don’t even know) shows lack of civility and lack of ability to discuss and engage issues like a mature adult. A shaming attempt shows weakness and shows lack of confidence that the shamer has any ability or power to influence others in a civil or edifying manner. Hopefully, JC is not a fire lieutenant, battalion chief or police supervisor, who is presumably negatively affecting younger firefighters or police officers with shaming methods.

Personally speaking, the main admin for Cardinal Emergencies has a higher respect for police officers and firefighter/paramedics than the general public. However, that doesn’t mean there is any cop or firefighter jock-sniffing (Urban Dictionary: Jocksniffer) going on here. It is interesting that JC would try to connect “If you have any ties to the fire or police service” with shaming. That’s a clear attempt at trying to hurt Cardinal Emergencies by identifying it as an identity that doesn’t kiss ass well enough. JC want’s to project that Cardinal Emergencies is not genuine, that it doesn’t belong.

Let’s get this very clear. Sometimes Cardinal Emergencies shares articles that are not agreeable to our own ideologies, beliefs and understandings. It does NOT mean we are traitors to firefighters or police officers. It’s called intelligence. Not necessarily personal intelligence, but CIA-like intelligence — like knowing what the opposition is thinking. Understanding leads to anticipating how an opposing ideological group will act out or behave.

#3) JC: “I unfollowed immediately.”
CE: Shaming and unfollowing is kind of like a hit-and-run on an elementary school playground. It’s like punching someone and running away. Everyday people on this page, provide intelligent arguments in the comments section, but JC decided to unfollow and live in his echo chamber, where his protected environment will only bounce around his self-imposed limited concepts. Do you have any idea how ineffective Cardinal Emergencies would be if every single post considered for sharing (and that includes crashes, fires, and crimes) was filtered because a sole person might object to the content?

It’s understandable that people might not have the stomach for some content that is shared here. It’s usually best to explain and defend your view in the comments area, or just ignore the article.

Frequent Hot Button Topics
Gun Control
Drug Use & Legalization
Pit Bulls
Police Brutality
Black Lives Matter
Blue Lives Matter
Racism/Race Baiting
Justice & Punishment
Sanctuary States
Politics (of course)

(All remotely connect to Public Safety)

JC didn’t send a link to the article, so initially there is no awareness of what media agency published the article, or what the exact content was that triggered JC — or how severely the content of the article expressed or stressed any particular ideology.

We live in an increasingly polarized world, and it will become increasingly polarized if people like JC remain a major influence.




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