While the phrase “fake news” has become increasingly more popular, the concept of checking one’s news sources has unfortunately not. And what better time for skewed news stories to surface all across the internet than the holidays.
It seems as if when the holiday season begins everyone is geared up to have cheerful celebrations with their loved ones, but by the end we have thoroughly torn each other apart for differing lifestyle views.
So it comes as no surprise that 2018 ended in a slew of viral videos and news stories that attracted bold commentary and controversy. However, it should be noted that most of these stories and ridiculous arguments appear to be incredibly baseless and hate filled more than anything else.
Popular arguments on Facebook, Twitter and other social media forums did have some other things in common though. Many of them began with trolls, and many of them aimed to target the LGBTQ+ community.
By now almost everyone has become familiar with the Fox News gingerbread “people” debacle, in which host Tucker Carlson and contributor Tammy Bruce violently disagreed with a coffee shop’s decision to rename “gingerbread men” to “gingerbread people” on their menu. While this story is obviously a childish one no matter where you stand in politics, it points to a larger issue at hand regarding “fake news,” source checking and willful ignorance.
While I cannot speak as someone who identifies as LGBTQ, I can say that as an ally it is incredibly discouraging to see people argue these type of frivolous topics as if anyone in the actual LGBTQ+ community actually cares. The people of this community have had to repeatedly defend themselves against trolls trying to pin pedophillia to their platform, defend themselves against die-hard gender role believers and above all defend themselves during this political climate for simply existing. They do not care about cookies, they care about their rights.
To put it bluntly, LGTBQ individuals have more important battles to fight than the ones being discussed on local Facebook feeds and “Fox and Friends,” and they should not have to take time out of their day to educate people on the actual issues they face.
As 2019 begins, let us all use the new year to better educate ourselves on political and humanitarian issues that may not affect us, but are of the utmost importance to others and their wellbeing.