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Cindy Maddera

I noticed last week that there was a lot of outrage and debate happening over whether or not we should still be playing the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cartoon. The Huffington Post did an article about the jokes posted on twitter during the Tuesday evening airing of Rudolph. Turns out that some people took what started out as a joke about this 1964 Christmas classic, a little bit too seriously. Other news outlets picked up the story and turned it into the telephone game. It went from ‘we’re just making hilarious observations’ to ‘this cartoon should be banned!’ The next thing I noticed was my Facebook timeline filling up with Rudolph images and outrage. I just shook my head at all of it because now even Rudolph the Reindeer, a cartoon about acceptance and inclusivity, has become a weapon of division.


It’s not just Rudolph. The idea of banning the song “Baby it’s Cold Outside” has got some people riled up and shouting about taking the #MeToo movement too far. I’m not one to go around saying ban the music and books…because Nazis, but I’d rather listen to other holiday songs than one where a guy is pressuring a girl to do something she’s not so sure she wants to do. For me that’s called freshman year of college and my brief foray into online dating. I don’t need to hear a song about that. But to each their own. I think the meme that really tops it for me are the ones that are intentionally incendiary. “I celebrate CHRISTmas. Sorry if that offends you!” Honestly I don’t care what you celebrate; what offends me is the obvious attempt to start an argument.

This is a time of year when there is supposed to be joy and good will. According to Charity Navigator, 31% of annual donations for 2014 happened in December. It is a holy month for some religions, many of which encourage acts of charity and kindness towards those less fortunate. If there’s one month out of the year that should bring us all together in love and peace, it should be the month of December. Yet we have managed to find ways to incite hatefulness and arguments even during ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. What is wrong with us? Is it just easier to incite hatefulness and arguments than it is to be kind? Maybe for some, kindness only happens on a face-to-face level, that it doesn’t transcend to online and social media. Maybe it’s easy to forget that the things we post are a reflection of who we are as a person.

It makes me ask myself: What kind of human being do I want to be?