Maybe it’s because I live in Los Angeles? Maybe it’s because I read too many diverse news sites? Perhaps it’s because of my background in politics? But I feel in my bones that there’s a storm a brewing, and it’s gonna get a lot messier before it all settles down.
This post is not about taking sides in the current political debate of immigration (reform, protest, whatever side you rest on). It’s about cautioning us all to maintain our dignity and relationships when commenting, discussing, and debating this highly charged issue.
I don’t know about you, but I have friends and colleagues all over the board on this issue:
- I have friends of Hispanic origins who are dismayed, to say the least, about the law.
- I have friends of Jewish heritage who are absolutely horrified that the Arizona law is being compared to Nazi Germany.
- I have friends who are against the law, but were disgusted to see the American Flag hung upside down with a Swastika attached (photo from last night’s protest in front of Staples Center).
- I have friends who very much want to see the current Federal, state and local laws enforced.
- I have friends who believe in no borders.
- And, I have friends who have absolutely no political opinions and just want the Lakers to play ball.
Why bring this up on The Legal Watercooler? Because a lot of these debates and conversations will take place around the water cooler, in the elevator, next to a secretary station, in a conference room, while sharing a meal, drinks or a business dinner.
The conversations will spill over onto Facebook, Twitter, and into the comment sections of blogs with your name, email and possibly your website linked.
It is up to us to show restraint of pen, tongue and keyboard when participating in the political discourse about us. We are professionals and we conduct business with people of all political persuasions. We are also well educated and opinionated, and we will have the opportunity — and the DUTY — to participate in the current debate.
Over the past month, I have had some WONDERFUL conversations with friends of opposing political opinions because the discourse remained civil and on point; and I have had to bow out of conversations with friends of like political opinions because the discourse became ugly, personal and insulting.
While face-to-face you can see when you have offended someone to the point of no return, in social media you will not.
So speak freely, share your thoughts and opinions, and, as I remind my children, before you say it, ask yourself:
- Is it truthful?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?