On Tuesday evening I participated in #MichaelMoore‘s Facebook Live Event. It was a very interesting experience to say the least. After I introduced myself to Michael, numerous Canadians chimed in to say they “agreed” with me. That was nice and of them and not surprising. After all, we are known as a country of “nice and polite” people. But there was one comment, from a Trump Supporter, who wasn’t pleased with what I had to say and made his thoughts abundantly clear. He called me a communist idiot and #HillaryClinton a criminal whore. I went to bed that night completely unaware of the comment directed specifically at me. I had been tagged. Meanwhile, I was in Dreamland, and happily oblivious to the fiery discourse that was taking place in response to The Trump Supporter’s comment to me. It was the last thing I had expected and disconcerting to say the least. Just the number of email notifications alone was overwhelming. Enough said.
Below are the unedited comments between the Trump Supporter and I. He never replied to my “response”. Perhaps I rendered him speechless.
Bonney (Boo) King: Hi from Victoria, BC. I’m Canadian and if I could vote for Hillary I would. No question. Love Bernie too. And you. Just watched your movie over the weekend. It was brilliant.
The Response to My Comment.
The Trump Supporter: Hey Bonney stay in canada we don’t need another communist idiot like you to vote for that criminal whore HILLARY
The Response to His Comment.
Bonney (Boo) King: Firstly, I wouldn’t be a good Canadian if I didn’t start by saying I am very sorry that I offended you. I also want you to know that I hear you. Although we may not agree politically I do hear what you’re saying. But more importantly, I hear the anger, rage, fury, frustration, fear, anxiety, and maybe even a bit of sadness, within your words. For these are difficult and challenging times for your country, a county that is not only worthy of your dear and patriotic heart, but worthy of the admiration and respect of the world, in particular your neighbors and friends north of the border. So worthy.
And believe it or not, I love your country too. I grew up in a small border town in Northwestern Ontario and have many fond memories of my wonder years spent in Minnesota.
So during these final days before your election, an election that will not only decide the fate of your country – but in many critical and important ways – the fate of ours and others all around the world, you are in our collective thoughts. Sounds a bit preposterous perhaps but it’s true. Because of your hard-won status as a world leader, what happens in the United States affects us all. We’re all watching and waiting and wondering what will be the outcome next week. And what will become of us, as evolved human beings, in the days and weeks and years that follow. I don’t know a lot for sure, but I do know that whatever happens it will change the course of history – good, bad or otherwise. As an outsider, I have found it exhausting, and at many times heart-breaking, to witness the turbulent maelstrom of these past few months, so I can only imagine how tired, weary, whipped and battle-worn you must feel.
I wish you well and all good things. I wish for you peace, and that somewhere in all of this stressful patience testing, that you find understanding and a place of common ground with your fellow Americans, who like you, love their country dearly. I pray that you will continue to love it mightily regardless of who becomes President next week, and that you will stop calling each other names and move forward in loving kindness.
On Wednesday evening I shared the above post with my Facebook Friends. Their overall response was twofold: A) very supportive and sorry that I was on the receiving end of such unpleasant name-calling, and B) somewhat astonished and perhaps even confounded and perplexed by my response to The Trump Supporter.
After reading all their intelligent, thoughtful, kind and loving comments, I shared the following explanation of why I replied the way I did to The Trump Supporter.
The Final Comment.
Thank you all for your thoughtful words of kindness. I am grateful.
Believe it or not, my initial reaction to the comment from The Trump Supporter on Tuesday night’s #MichaelMoore’s #FacebookLive event was to chuckle. Seriously. In my defense, it was very early in the morning and I was in a pre-caffeinated state, but it seemed hilarious that he called me an idiot. Me? An idiot? Silly perhaps, often foolish, and at times downright asinine. But an idiot. No. Never. Plus, I wasn’t your typical garden variety either. I was a “communist” idiot. I’m not that either. Socialist – perhaps. I do have a distinctive left-leaning gait. And I do care deeply about my fellow inhabitants of this awe-inspiring planet that we all share and call home. If that makes me a Socialist, then I confess.
I am also acutely aware that we are all tenants, stewards and custodians here – not owners or landlords. So we’re all in this together – like it or not. We’re here, to not only love and care for the planet, but to love and care for one another. And yes, even the unlovable ones. Or the difficult, the different, the distasteful ones. Yes, even those impossible to understand, accept or breathe the same air.
But this is our challenge as evolved human beings. And it is not easy – at least not for me. I wrestle this devil every day.
When I read heated contentious comments like those of The Trump Supporter on Facebook, I typically move on and refuse to participate. I don’t like public shit shows. One of the great things about this country is that we all have the right, to not only have opinions, but to express them. And with that comes agreement and disagreement. I don’t want that to ever change.
I decided to respond to The Trump Supporter. His comment required it of me. But I didn’t want to reply in kind and spit back the same vitriol that he vomited on me. So I looked into my soul, my Girl Warrior spirit, right to the very essence of my being and thought this:
What would Michelle Obama do? Go high when they go low. What would my mother (Ma) and Jesus do? Turn the other cheek. What would my daughter Aimee do? Stand up for herself.
Inspired by that, I wrote from the purest place in my heart. I did my very best to take the high road, turn the other cheek and stand up for what I believe to be true. I did this knowing full well that it most likely wouldn’t change The Trump Supporter’s mind or heart. Not one bit.
But here’s the really great thing. It transformed my heart, my mind. And if in the process, even one person was moved by my humble thoughts then I think that maybe, just maybe, we’re moving the level of discourse in the right direction. It is my prayer that together, hand-in-fragile-hand, we head towards greater awareness, compassion, kindness, empathy, tolerance, respect, generosity, love, acceptance, peace and ultimately healing. Yes healing. Because after next week, we’re all going to need healing in massive doses. And we have to carry on. But we get to choose how we do that – good, bad or otherwise. United or apart.
I hope you will all join me on this journey of raising our level of collective spiritual consciousness. We can do this. Together.