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Please begin with an informative title:

Okay, a Facebook exchange isn't exactly like staring down the Klan in 1960's South (and by "isn't exactly like" I mean "not even remotely like, and even putting the two in the same sentence is rock freakin' stooopid").  But a small win is still a win.

A Facebook friend posted this picture, saying, "Couldn't resist!  LMAO!"

(And because the exchange started with the picture, I guess I have to post it.  Sorry about this.  It's below the orange sherbet swirl.)


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Here's what he posted:

Yeah, I know.  Ugh.
Which got my blood boiling.  I couldn't figure out what was more offensive.  Was it the implication about the crowd at the Inauguration -- like there couldn't be anyone there who worked his or her ass off getting Obama re-elected while working a full-time job, and deserved to celebrate?  Or that there couldn't be anyone there who appreciates the fact that he or she is witnessing history?  Or maybe it was the fact that the guy that posted this is out of work, and should know better than anyone how wrong it is to look down on people who are unemployed (like many on DKos, including me a couple of years back)?  Was it the mockery aimed at public assistance?  The fact that this went five miles past dog whistle, straight to freight-train-in-the-middle-of-the-night whistle racism?    

Well, fine.  I probably won't teach him anything about making snap judgments about others, and I can't make him see beyond Obama's skin color.  

But I can sure as hell shame the bastard.  

The first comment was from another friend of his:

Haha good one
Glad to see another warrior in the patriotic fight against the Communist Punctuation Plot.  Schmuck.

After typing, deleting, typing again, deleting again, and several deep breaths, I chimed in:

I'm glad you posted this picture showing the food stamps with Obama's face on them.  I've seen Obama associated with public assistance before, but not by very many people I personally know, so you can explain something I've been wondering about.  Why is Obama always associated with public assistance?  Because I don't get it.  It can't be that he's a Democrat, because other Democrats haven't been tied to welfare the way Obama has.  Is it a policy thing?  Because he hasn't expanded welfare.  Because he was a Senator?  Is it an Illinois thing?  Just wondering why you found that association worth sharing.  Thanks!
Yeah, it wasn't quite the "You miserable bastard" comment I wanted to leave.  A few seconds later, his response:
Seriously, I do not get political with anyone, just found it humorous!
Okay, Facebook Friend is right about that.  The last thing this picture does is put forth a coherent policy argument.  

But I still had questions:

Why was a picture saying people who attended Obama's inauguration because they don't have jobs, showing food stamps with Obama's face on them, humorous?  What amusing observation was it supposed to be making?  That's all I'm wondering.  I was hoping you can explain it?
And I waited.  

And waited.  

And waited.

Then I thought, "Hmmm..."  I had been posting on the mobile app on my iPad.  I opened Safari and logged into FB using the browser, and scrolled down.

Couldn't find it.

Went to his page.


He took it down.

My husband asked why I was even replying to him.  I explained that the only other option was letting it go.  And I can't shake the feeling that I'd be just as bad if I let it go; by not challenging him, I'm implicitly condoning it.  If I do that, I'm no better than him.

I know, it's not like I put my life on the line here.  But little victories can make a difference if there are enough of them, no?  

(Why am I friends with him?  He and I were childhood friends in Brooklyn, and now he's active in keeping people from school and the old neighborhood in touch with each other -- which is nice if, like me, you moved hundreds or thousands of miles away from the old neighborhood first chance you got when you grew up.  And he did a lot of good after Sandy hit New York, coordinating fundraisers and getting supplies to former classmates who'd lost everything.  But that doesn't get him a pass from me if he tries to spread toxic bullshit.)  

UPDATE:  Just thought of this.  Something had been bothering me the whole time I was writing this, and of course I finally realized what it was right after I hit "publish" -- it was that I couldn't figure out why I even wanted to publish it.  I mean, come on, what do I want here, a cookie?  "Ooooh, she made someone take down a Facebook post."  I didn't even risk raised voices here, much less a real fight.  Do I get a medal for bravery behind an iPad screen?  

But I thought about it, and hey, what the hell.  Put in perspective, it wasn't much -- but it was an exchange that ended well for the forces of non-idiocy.  It won't change the world, but it's a nice way to end a Monday.  :)  

UPDATE 2:  Rec list?  Wow.  I'm going to get my thanks in real fast, before it drops back down off the list.  Thanks, all!  

UPDATE 3:  Thanks again, everyone, for the discussion, the kind words and the encouragement.  It's getting late, and I need to get some sleep (how tired am I?  Just now I almost spelled sleep "slepe."  That's how tired I am).  Before I go, Jorybu posted this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. in the comments, and I've grabbed it to put here:    

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Indeed, it's a very nice way to end a Monday.  :)
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to kcc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:03 PM PST.

Also republished by RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

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