Married White Female, Looking for a Healthy Debate

Our world today allows us to create our own skewed version of reality. Social media, every single day, throwing anything and everything that we already agree with in our faces, and news feeds making us feel superior and right. How can I be wrong? I’ve been blasted by twenty-two articles in a span of ten minutes showing my opinions as fact at this point.

I put myself into check sometimes with reminders that this also applies to me. It’s not easy to keep an open mind and truly listen to ideas that push against what has been smothering you since Facebook and other social media outlets started targeting their audiences with sponsored content. Your entire social media existence is warped, and that’s why we feel so strongly about issues – it’s being fed to us on a silver platter. Sure, it’s warped to your liking – but that’s the problem.

Healthy debate is a treat nowadays. I have a hard time finding a person with opposing viewpoints to have a sensible conversation with; to explain, in a normal tone of voice, why they feel a certain way and then allowing me to do the same. Believe it or not, when I express myself, I enjoy a (respectful) contradictory remark. I cross my fingers and hope that this person hasn’t been bitten by the social media bug. That maybe, just maybe, a respectable, low-key exchange of opinions is possible.

The vast majority of humans who utilize social media would rather pump their fists and bang their chests, knowing that you won’t jump on their bandwagon. The opposing viewpoint does not matter, whoever says theirs the loudest wins – and they still hate each other.

We used to debate, we used to try to be open-minded to differing opinions. Not anymore, because we don’t even care enough to educate ourselves, let alone other people. It’s too easy. Fake news is real news, and real news doesn’t stand a chance. The speed at which information gets relayed to and from is faster than we, as a world, can keep up with… and that will be our demise.

It used to be common conversation to imply that everyone was entitled to their own opinion without pure madness erupting. That was fun. Suddenly, no one is listening. No one is interested as to why their neighbor voted the way they did, why they are choosing to not vaccinate their children, why they are for, or against gun reform. Instead of instantly judging, if we could take the time to just ask, why. 

We would be in such a better place if healthy debates were still a common occurrence. Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent, white, black, Mexican, Catholic, Atheist, young, old – this reality we live in affects us all in a range of different ways, but here we are.

Next time you’re in a position to have a real conversation with someone who doesn’t look at the world the same way you do, take it and embrace it. Listen to what is being said and respect that even if our ideas are polar opposites that we’re still human beings, coexisting.

Properly Ridiculous Reasoning: Baltimore Riots

One could say the Baltimore Riots are ridiculous; one could also say it’s proper. The pictures of cars on fire are just as frightening as the death of Freddie Gray; for two completely different reasons. It was only a matter of time before riots like this started happening.

The age of instant communication is among us, friends & foes. The simplicity to record, tweet and share to a million-billion-trillion various media outlets is what has changed, and not much else. Freddie Gray is only the most recent of accounts regarding police brutality & questionable actions by those who are supposed to protect and serve.

balimoreriotsblogproperlyridiculous

In leu of the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, a lieutenant, a sergeant and four other officers have been suspended [with pay] in Baltimore; one of the officers has refused to give a statement. Whose rights are being protected? Is that legal? 

[The 45-minute mystery of Freddie Gray’s death]

There isn’t anyone who holds any sort of power who can explain or are willing to give a logical explanation to how Freddie Gray suffered a crushed voice box and spinal cord injuries that killed him.

Dead.

Do police officers receive special training? I’ve never attended a police academy but the education process, I’d have to imagine it’s fairly extensive, with lots of training for different scenarios and outcomes. Why are so many people with special training resorting to deadly force? Without throwing a bunch of numbers in your face U.S. Cops Kill at 100 Times the Rate of Other Capitalist Countries.

Everyone is so caught up with the hype and craziness of it all it seems to be forgotten that this human being was brutally taken from this earth. It does not matter why he ran or what color his skin was, there isn’t a way to justify the events that led up to his death.

The people of Baltimore feel the only way to be heard is to create madness while the police officers monitor and attempt to control the unbalance of power. It’s now national news. President Obama’s been called. The Oriel’s game has been canceled and a state of emergency issued. Small local business suffering along with the rest of the community as their stores and places of business get busted into and ransacked.

So many police officers in our country want nothing more than to protect the community and serve their fellow citizens. These police officers have families who now, have to watch their loved one walk out the door, not knowing what they’ll be faced with. There are less than honorable people who passed the tests and recieved a badge; the police shouldn’t be smothered with a blanket judgement either.

Judgment seems to be an underlying issue that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Aside from the color of ones skin – we don’t talk much more about it. We judge the police officers, we judge the neighborhood, we judge the witnesses who are telling their story, and now we sit and judge the dead guy.

He had drug arrests in the past. He ran from a police officer. He wasn’t cooperating. 

None of that matters.

Black lives matter, White lives matter, Police officers lives matter. People, in general, matter.

Social Media & A Childhood Friend

Before social media sloppily exploded over everyone’s computer screen people actually had to attend high school reunions to ask (like, verbally…with their mouths) former friends what they’re doing with their lives.

In this day and age: I can tell you how many children, what they do for income, what they drive, who they’re married to, when their anniversary is…and what they wore to work yesterday (thanks to the selfie).  Social media makes it simple to be involved in people’s lives… even if you’re not an active part of their real life.

It’s kind of weird & unnatural, really.

real ife

Real Life : Noun
  1. life as it is lived in reality, involving unwelcome as well as welcome experiences, as distinct from a fictional world.

You might assume that I’m going to go off on a rant [I do that sometimes…] about social media, like I did here. Today, I’m going to surprise you by doing the opposite of a bitching.

I’m going to praise it.

We all had friends we bonded with as a kid that changed our lives for the better. It’s not hard to come up with memories when you think about these people; while some of your childhood memories might be foggy – the ones that include these people are never unclear & almost always fond. I have someone on my social media that comes to mind as I write this.

What is a friend? I will tell you…it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself. – Frank Crane

We jumped on her trampoline. We sang karaoke to stuffed animals. My mom would drop me off at her house in the morning to catch the bus… and I remember her all ‘sleepy-like’ slouching on the breakfast bar eating her cereal with 5 minutes left to catch the bus… but her mom never rushed her. Her house was always filled with happiness. I remember having sleepovers & waking up way before her…cause she always slept way later than me – I’d flop around hoping to wake her up “secretly” so we could continue the concert we started for the animals before crashing the night before.

[Sidenote: We were best being Ace of Base; she was blonder ..so I always had to be the brunette. Oh, the troubles of a 8 year old girl]

via: popsugar.com
via: popsugar.com

I remember playing in her back yard… pretending there were witches behind trees we were hiding from. I remember her telling me the song that played at her Grandpa’s funeral that made her cry every time she heard it.

I have not seen her since childhood.

It’s absolutely normal for childhood friendships to move in different directions for no good reason other than  just growing up. These are the friendships that make me grateful for Social Media even for how much I complain about it.

I’ve seen bits of sadness in her life over the years & prayed for her. I get to see her little siblings who were nearly just babies when I was frequenting her household – and what awesome people they’ve appeared to turn into. I’ve watched from afar as she got married and had babies. I get to see her adorable little girls growing up with the same loving essence I watched her mom give to her day after day.

My largest hope is that my own child will be lucky enough to have this sort of special friendship in his life as he grows up.

Thanks for the memories, friend.  

amber bakke


This was written in response to a Daily Prompt – provided by The Daily Post.