Two of the buzzwords that have surfaced in mainstream media (primarily social media) in recent years are "offended" and "triggered." It has become a joke to one particular group of people who ridicule another group that is radically different in thinking and values than themselves.
When I see the words "offended" and "triggered," a certain stereotype comes to mind. It’s the group that is under constant ridicule and attack from the"‘jokers."
However, when the "jokers" become the subject of criticism, they cry that they are unjustly under attack. They do not call what they are doing as being "offended"—which to be quite frank they are "triggered" by being called out like they do to others but won’t call it that because they are the ones that are allowed to offend others.
This has been seen most recently with the backlash and boycott of a large razor company after the release of a commercial that challenged the conservative, out-of-date values of masculinity.
To be "offended" or "triggered" are words given to people who are so deeply disturbed by what they witness that they become overwhelmed with emotion and the need to say something.
I witnessed someone once become so overwhelmed with disgust over a "joke" that they threw their device across a room. Before they did that I saw what was on the screen and I would have done the same.
I’ve stated this before here and I am not going to shy away from saying it again: many truths are said in jest and these so-called "jokes" about real issues are laced with doses of hate speech.
There was an incident that broke on social media and some news outlets thanks to a cell phone video taken at the time where an individual was going off on a store clerk.
If I had left that sentence right there many people would believe that the customer must be such an awful person for tearing into the store clerk just trying to get by on minimum wage, but there is more to this story.
As it happens, that store clerk repeatedly misgendered the customer after they were repeatedly corrected and the customer had just had enough. They’d had enough not just from the store clerk, but from everyone who discriminated against them and would deliberately say the wrong pronouns.
This incident exploded on social media and trolls crawled out of the woodwork. Hate-speech "jokes" started going around that ridiculed and humiliated not just this customer but every single person going through the same situation.
It’s not just individual people jumping on this hate-speech wagon, it's companies too.
Not even a week after the video went viral I was scrolling through social media and an ad popped on my screen. It depicted two gorgeous cartoon women in swimsuits (one in a bikini and the other in a one-piece). They were both looking in a full body mirror admiring how they looked.
Innocent enough, right?
Then I read the text.
“Expose the man!”
I was livid.
I don’t think I ever reported something for hate-speech so fast before. I was sick to my stomach at how hateful someone was to create such a "joke" and worse that it was approved to be on a social media site.
It amazes me that people can be so cruel to someone else that is just trying to live their life, to be themselves.
The worst part of it all: it was a shooting game. It encouraged and advocated violence against a certain group of people.
What did that person do to you that you find it justifiable to spread hate-speech about them? What did they do to "offend" you?
This hate-speech needs to stop. People need to start speaking out more against this rampant, unchecked, seemingly acceptable discrimination.
It starts with you and me.
I am not "offended." I am on the offence against hate.