My social media feeds this week have included a few people upset by the recreational “big game hunter” who killed the tagged lion. Which I can understand. Killing animals as a recreational activity is a behavior we use to identify poorly socialized children who may grow up to be a threat to the people around them. Killing animals for “fun” is a distressing thing, whether the animal in question was in the category of animals it’s okay to kill just cause you feel like killing a living thing or in the category of animals it’s not okay to kill just cause you feel like killing a living creature.
However, my social media feeds include more outrage over police violence against African-Americans, or the Cosby rapes, than over the poaching of the lion. This contrasts what I hear from friends whose social media has very small overlap with mine. They are saddened or angry to see a greater outpouring of grief over the lion than the increasing media coverage and growing common awareness of police violence against African-Americans. So I guess I’m lucky to have been spared a display of inhumanity and racism from friends and acquaintances in social media.[fn1]
What runs through my feeds more than anything else is an increasing weariness with the lack of humanity and empathy in dominant American culture, whether that’s the violence of the police against African-Americans, fear-mongering about transwomen or transmen, blaming those in poverty for not being rich or misogynist jerks on the internet.
I hope that I am following a bellweather.
[fn1] The alternative–that I’m filtered out of those posts or my friends and contacts only say those to people they think agree with them–is a little too depressing to contemplate.