In the past few weeks I have gotten really into some twitter discussions and joined in on some good old fashioned ribbing, roasting and snaps. Some would call it trolling, and it probably is, but trolling is in the eye of the beholder.
When Driscoll launched his Ask Pastor Mark campaign I fired off a bunch of snarky questions, and he even answered one.
When Driscoll got caught up in Driscollgate 2013 (the plagiarism scandal), I jumped at the chance to join that fracas.
Today, when Justine Sacco sent her tweet into the world… I hopped on board and sent out jokes, retweeted jabs, and slung mud with the best of ’em.
While both of them are guilty of some real doozies and while both of them need some accountability and deserve to be confronted with their issues I need to remember and realize that they are both children of God.
We need to remember that they are people too. They make mistakes while yes, their place of privilege and authority places them at a different level of accountability, we should not take delight in their misfortunes. I struggle with schadenfreude, the concept of taking delight in others misfortunes. I have to be honest, that in each of these instances, I got a little zing and it felt fun to send jabs and hashtags. But that is not treating people like people.
I fault Driscoll and Sacco with sexism, racism, misogyny, and insensitivity. Yes, they are at fault for those things. But somehow, in my false sense of righteousness, which really comes from a place of arrogance and anger, I stopped treating them like people too.
So Mark, I am sorry.
and Justine, I apologize.
I want to see people as people. I want to treat others with love and respect and seek to treat them with compassion. Throwing a hashtag and sneering at their struggles is not a Christ-like thing at all. I’m sorry. I hope we can all see people as people.
This doesn’t excuse their actions but Anil Dash really had me thinking when he tweeted,
“So, @JustineSacco will probably get fired, if IAC does the usual. But could we get something more useful to happen?”
“For example, instead of firing @JustineSacco, what if her job was now to document her learning about privilege & serving those with AIDS?”
That is such a better attitude. How do we turn these moments into learning and change rather than comedy and snark? I want to be a part of that. I am sorry I was a part of tearing something down.
Please don’t misunderstand this as an endorsement for their beliefs or statements. Please don’t think this means I think Mark’s views on power, women, or violence are now okay. This does not mean I agree with Justine’s racism (no matter if it was on purpose). My desire for compassion and attempts to love them don’t mean I give a thumbs up to behavior. It actually means I might call them out more, or others, in an attempt to love them more. Love and care doesn’t let people stay in their ignorance.