Much has appeared in the media recently about fake news. Librarians have been concentrating our efforts with out students for years on evaluating sources. This election has certainly proved the need for this education. We all look for one quick and definitive test for vetting a site. I think I have that for you.
A BI-PARTISAN HYPERTENSIVE GUIDE TO FAKE NEWS
Is it real or is it memorex? (this slogan sure shows my age) Is it fake or is it slanted?
SYMPTOM: Blood pressure is through the roof. OMG! This is OUTRAGEOUS. I must post this to FB immediately.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: It might be a hoax from a fake news site. Calm down and do your research before posting.
Have a glass of wine!
SYMPTOM: Blood pressure is normal or below. WOW! I knew I was right. I must post this to FB immediately.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: It is probably a story from a news source that is slanted towards your side of the political spectrum. Don’t believe everything you read on this site. Go outside your comfort zone a little to read a site with another point of views.
Have a glass of wine!
SYMPTOM: Blood pressure is normal or slightly elevated. Oh my! Some of this is challenging my long-held convictions. Some of it matches my opinions. Whatever should I do?!
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: It is probably a story from a news source that is a little more balanced. You still should not believe everything you read on this site. Research and read some more.
Have a glass of wine!
In honor of Gwen Ifill, I will suggest that we all try to come together as a nation. Perhaps we can all identify as human beings and citizens of a great nation.
All of you on my friends list here know how painful this last week has been for me. So I truly understand the pain and fear many are going through. I also am beginning to understand the impatience of the other side who cannot understand that pain, often because they have felt disrespected and ignored.
We need to HEAR each other. We need to READ IN DEPTH, and LISTEN with intent to understand. We need to ANALYZE our news sources so we can recognize spin and outright hoaxes. And finally, let us all find ways to find common ground. Let us all find ways to identify the issues that are the most important to us. And let us do something practical every day to improve our lives and the lives of others.
Gwen often said that her job was “to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society.”
Let us cool down the heat and turn on the lights.
So far I have not seen any reason to hope for anything good from trump on any of the issues I care about. I have received sympathy from friends on my feelings of devastation. I have heard encouraging words about what he will do for our economy – none of which I believe will come to pass. Mostly, I feel that his election is a total rejection of everything I hold dear. I wrote an email expressing my thoughts, and I am posting it here. I hope that I can retract much of this in the future – but I doubt it. I DO appreciate the efforts of my friends. Those efforts have made me feel appreciated. But nothing is assuaging my deep sorrow and fear. Below is part of my reply to one of these good friends.
I am ABSOLUTELY opposed to violence in demonstrations. I am from a police family and understand the danger they are in. On the other hand there have been blatant abuses. Like the man in Staten Island who was suffocated after being approached for an extremely minor offense, tackled by multiple police, and ultimately killed by that tackle in spite of the man pleading over and over, ” I can’t breathe”.
I DO feel the pain of the demonstrators acutely. I have seen many examples of some trump supporters who feel empowered now to do vicious things. Rainbow flags are being burned here in Rochester, students in a high school calling other students niggers and cotton pickers and more. I am close friends with several of my LGBT former students and a relative who is a gay man planning to marry the man he loves. They are devastated and afraid. Meanwhile I have no words to comfort them except perhaps to tell them to channel their pain, anger and understandable fear into positive and peaceful action by joining respected and supportive activist groups. But I cannot deny their fear. As a woman I feel that fear and pain myself. As I said in my blog, the thing that hurts my heart the most is that we now have a president who thinks of me and my daughter as lesser beings.
I keep reaching out to ask for specific things that trump might do to better the lives of minorities, the disabled, LGBT people, poor people struggling with medical bills, and women….not to mention our first amendment rights which I feel are at great risk. But I have not received any answers. None of these things will be his priority. I understand the immigration problems. Really. I even defended trump early on when he said he would call a halt to immigration. Why? Because he was not quoted fully. He finished the statement by saying he is calling for a moratorium until we could fully examine our policies. We DO need to be cautious. Of course we do. When he examines our policy with regard to legal immigration he will find that it takes an average of one year for immigrants to be vetted. But again I do not object to caution and an effective process.
All that said, I feel he and the people who surround him do not care even the tiniest bit about any of the issues that concern me. And it terrifies me that all three branches of government will soon be under the total control of one party. People were so upset with Obama, but he had much opposition. Going forward, we will have a leader who has unfettered power.
I understand the discontent of the average blue color workers who supported trump as their savior. But I do not think trump cares about them either. He has proved that in numerous ways throughout his career. Manufacturing jobs are not going to come back. Technology will see to that. I predict that the economy will go down under trump, hopefully not as far back as 2008 when the Dow Jones stood at around 7,000 as opposed to the last few years when it has been at 17,000 to 18,000 plus.
Obviously I could go on forever here. I will spare you. I will never support or condone violent demonstrations. I will support a peaceful transfer of power, holding my nose throughout the process. I will do so partly because I will follow Hillary’s gracious bidding in her wonderful concession speech. And then I will do whatever I possibly can to ensure that this bad man has only four years to walk all over the already downtrodden. I hope I am wrong about him….but I don’t think I am.
Thank you for listening to this lament from a woman who feels that this election has spit upon everything I have held dear all my life.
Get ready for a rant.
I am HONESTLY looking for some help seeing the bright side of this election. No one who voted for trump has been able to give me any hope so far. All I have ever heard from trump supporters is “Never Hillary”, gun rights and “he says what he thinks”. So I am asking in an effort to understand. Really,
Why should I hope that he will raise the status of women above leering and locker room talk, and being shamed because we are not young, thin and beautiful?
Why should I think he might help the disabled and not laugh at them?
Why would I think he might be fair to immigrants?
Why should I think he will allow free speech when he threatens reporters, especially women reporters?
Why should I feel that we will EVER get any help with our outrageous medical bills?
Will people of color be able to keep their civil rights – or do we turn back time to the “good old days” of white supremacy and the KKK?
Should I fear for my first amendment rights or will I soon hear the trump, trump, trump of jack boots if I dare to disagree with him?
Most of all I am hurt that so many voted for a man who thinks of me and my daughter as lesser beings.
What is something – anything – positive he is going to do?
I know many trump supporters are kind people, unlike trump. There must be something that I cannot see. I disagreed mightily with George Bush and Reagan and Mit Romney, but I did not fear them as I do trump.
Please – tell me something good about him. I am devastated and afraid. Sorry for this. It is a very bad day for me. My daughter called us in tears this morning. We are both afraid. His attitude towards women is at best like a master and his sex slaves and, at worst, like Hitler towards the Jews.
I know many of you did not vote for him for the despicable qualities I have mentioned. You must have seen something good in him. At the very least, maybe you can see why many of us are devastated, and can offer some comfort.
Forgive this poor Hillary supporter who is having the mother of a “Horrible, No Good, Terrible, Very Bad Day!!
I want to see a light out there somewhere to give me hope that all the gains in civil rights I have seen in my lifetime will not go away….but I cannot see even a flicker right now.