Letter: Social media actions have consequences
Today I write to express concern about comments overheard throughout the current Councilperson Ron Christianson's situation. Whether we like it or not, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are here to stay; they are staples in our eve...
Today I write to express concern about comments overheard throughout the current Councilperson Ron Christianson's situation.
Whether we like it or not, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are here to stay; they are staples in our everyday lives. Don't think so? I bet you can find what your mother-in-law had for lunch yesterday with a quick scroll.
Research provided by Facebook shows that, on average, Americans spend 50 minutes per day using social media. That's nearly the same amount of time spent doing things necessary to sustain life like drinking and eating (which people do, on average, for 1.07 hours per day).
It is vital to understand the gravity of this: What you post on social media platforms matters. It's a very public extension of you. It's easy to laugh and say things like "It's just Facebook" or "Nobody reads what I post," but the fact is, what you post or "like" is seen as an endorsement regardless of how informal it may feel.
With this in mind, I'd like to share a portion of a letter to the editor from a few weeks ago that seems to have been overlooked:
"Article IV, Section 8 of the Minnesota Constitution requires elected municipal officials take an oath of office thereby affirming that they will uphold, among other things, the U.S. Constitution.
"It appears that some of the posts in question advocate extra-judicial removal of certain citizens and legal residents based on their purported religion or country of origin or, even, alleged low IQ.
"These posts are not only discriminatory but, more importantly, call for actions that may violate both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. These and similar rights are also granted to residents of Minnesota in several sections of Article 1 of the state Constitution.
"This may be legitimate cause for concern as elected officials should not in any manner support actions that are unconstitutional."
Whether anyone likes it or not, the posts Ron Christianson "liked" on Facebook was in fact him endorsing racism. Someone who publicly endorses beliefs such as those should not hold positions of power.