Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why I stopped reading the comments....

About a month ago, I had the honor of being featured in a video on BuzzFeed. In the middle of January BuzzFeed posted a status and asked for video submissions for Black History month for a video dedicated to black fathers. I saw the status and almost immediately made a video and sent it in and was presently surprised a week later when I was contacted to sign a release form.

When the video came out I got so many messages from friends who had seen it and they made me so excited to watch it myself. When I saw it, I was and still am so pleased with how sincere all of the submissions were and how BuzzFeed compiled them in such a thoughtful way.

After I watched the video I was curious to know what people thought about it so I read the comments. I don’t know why I thought that I would find comments that were sweet and considerate of the feelings of those featured. I thought that I would find comments that would reflect the spirit and community feel of the video but man was I way off.

The majority of the comments that I saw were insensitive, racist, crude and so hateful. I wanted to stop at one  but just like a bad car accident you think it’s awful but you can’t help but to slow down and stare.

Just to give you a taste of what I saw in the comments on the video about MY dad, I’ve pasted some below:

“I thought this video would be a lot of ‘Where you at though”

“There would be less crimes if black dads stopped leaving their kids,”

“lol how pathetic that when speaking about black fathers in general you have to start with ‘when you’re around”

“What’s the difference between a black man and a picnic table? A picnic table can support a family.”

After reading these comments and more and more and more like them, I got off of my computer; I went for a walk and made a decision to for one whole month stop reading the comments section.

I admit that this idea was a long time coming but this video, one that gave me a platform to talk about how awesome my father is, that was made a joke and belittled in the comments section was 100% the icing on the cake.

I took a break from the comments section because I no longer wanted something that I thought was beautiful to be tainted by the hate of others. I took a break from the comments section because I wanted time to decide what I thought about a topic before being bombarded by the opinions and thoughts of others. I took a break from the comments section because I wanted room to let something be sad or important in my life without being told that “it’s not that big of a deal.”

After not reading the comments section for a month I can honestly say that my life is filled with less hate and misguided aggression. I find that I have more conversations with the people around me about topics that matter. Now, instead of just searching for articles and reading other people’s opinions I’m working hard to form and develop my own.

I’m so open to having tough discussions and diving into topics of race, politics, religion and so much more but not with people that spew hate behind the comfort of their computer screens. I stopped reading the comments because they stopped serving and developing me and instead began to fill my eyes with words of malice and hate. This was only supposed to go on for a month but I think that reading the comments section, if I decide to start doing that again, will be the exception in my life and not the rule.

 I hope that this blog, if nothing else, gives you permission to care, be offended, to love and to cry without someone that you don’t even know or even someone that you do know telling you that you can’t.

May the comments never tell you that your dad is a “dead beat” or “non-existent” when in reality he’s the most present, loving, consistent and responsible man alive!  I’m the luckiest daughter in the world to have a dad like mine and there’s not a comment in the world that could change that.  

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