#AnimatED: War has come to our conversations
Something is happening to our democratic fabric. Malicious, hostile and offensive people are ripping it apart, tearing at it.
In public places like the social media and comments sections of news websites such as Rappler, these people insult, call those they disagree with names, and, the crudest of them all, threaten them with violence! In the young history of social media in the country, this is definitely a frustratingly low point.
What gives these people the license to go on a rampage? Anonymity. They hide in the darkness created by false names and thrive in the shadows of anonymity.
They, too, enter these public spaces locking reason out of the internet. But with their aggression, they hijack conversations and intimidate others who wish to contribute to a healthy exchange of ideas.
When we look at the bigger picture, at society as a whole, it appears that many are taking the cue from the President who has not hidden his penchant for profane language and routinely dishes out kill warnings. He has shown little tolerance for criticism and answers back with threats.
In doing so, he has set the tone for our national conversation. Anger and violence in our discourse have edged out civility.
Can members of the Duterte Cabinet, advisers he trusts, weigh in? But if the President can’t take the heat from fellow government officials like Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Senator Leila de Lima, will he tolerate opposing views from his appointees?
No wonder Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, who comes from the academe, justified the killings that come with the government’s centerpiece war on drugs. They’re a “necessary evil,” Pernia declared.
We have always believed that governments can only get better if free exchange of ideas prevails, and where leaders encourage honest discussions.
It would be a disservice to the nation if Duterte opts to stay inside an echo chamber. – Rappler.com