Honestly, no matter how I may feel about Cecil or trophy hunting, I absolutely agree that there are bigger things happening in the world that deserve our attention. And no matter what the hot topic of any given day is, there will almost always be something bigger or more important.
But that doesn’t mean we should ignore Cecil or whatever other issue may pop up. If something is in the news and getting widespread attention across the internet and social media, it’s probably because people care about it. And what better time to discuss something than when it’s in the news? Because if not now, when? An event like this is an opportunity to discuss and learn, and though the debate may get heated and downright rude on both sides, we shouldn’t ignore that opportunity. It doesn’t make sense to let something pass us by in favor of a topic we deem more worthy of our attention, or to invalidate what’s being said or felt.
Besides, some of your Facebook friends posting articles or their own opinions about Cecil doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the only thing they care about or are talking about. Talking about Cecil isn’t the same as ignoring all other issues. What people post on social media is only a fraction of what they’re thinking and feeling at any given point–and sometimes, thanks to Facebook’s shitty algorithms and greed, you only see a fraction of your friends’ posts, but that’s a discussion for another day. And while there might be more important things to discuss than Facebook’s really shitty pay-to-boost-posts business model, it’s a discussion worth having, because people running pages and trying to promote content shouldn’t have to pay Facebook to ensure the content they’re posting reaches all the people that have already liked their page.
And just because something is getting attention now doesn’t mean people haven’t discussed it before. Some people keep asking why people suddenly care about Cecil or about the Confederate flag, but in reality, they haven’t suddenly starting caring at all–they’ve been caring and talking for a long time, but something happened to draw more attention to the issue. I’ve seen plenty of criticisms of trophy hunting before, and unfortunately, I know I’ll see them again.
And of course, no hot topic would be complete without someone jumping in and saying, “But what about the troops?!”
There’s this guy I deleted from my Facebook months ago because of how disrespectful he got. He started by calling me stupid for basically calling out Fox News on a flat-out lie, and because he didn’t like that, he proceeded to make assumptions about my personal beliefs and went tagging me in comments on statuses of people I don’t even know, seemingly to drag me into a debate so he and his equally disrespectful friends could then just trash me. It culminated in him commenting on a post, saying he thanked my dad for his service because unlike “spineless liberals,” he actually valued the military. And I went off. Hard. There’s a post about it somewhere, but it was the kind of comment that didn’t serve to genuinely thank anyone for their service–he made it just so he could make himself look good and put down others at the same time. Because if he really wanted to thank my dad for his service, he would’ve done it and left it at that. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his tone changed drastically after I called him on it.
I deleted him for my health. I mean, he also went to a party a few years ago in blackface, so good riddance. But my best friend kept him on her list and often tells me of their debates, in which he frequently insults her. And he’s commented on Cecil I believe twice now, mostly in context of the military–except it’s never really about the military. It’s more like it makes him look good to talk about how much he cares about the troops, and I say this because of his tone and word choice.
Except he only cares about the troops when he’s putting them in the context of other things he doesn’t like. I’ve said this on Twitter multiple times, and not just in the past few days–some people only care about the military when they’re complaining, which is really sad. He’s even used my friend’s Navy husband against her more than once, almost always to imply she’s not supportive enough. This time, he asked her how her husband would feel knowing that he’s fighting for her freedom but she’s upset over a “dumb lion.” Because, you know, she obviously loves that lion more than he husband and she obviously can’t be upset over a lion and over more pressing issues at the same time.