The Rites to Reply: Rest in Pieces the Freedoms of Speech…


TBHWe gather here at this time on this blog to pay our respects; indeed it was this very week that the Freedoms of Speech, departed Social Media. It was an unexpected and untimely passing, which seems for many of us to have gone unnoticed. However, for a great many more, the passing of this beautiful and gracious being has a profound impact. Where there was voice, silence now has lease, where there was once safety, the Sword of Damocles now hangs.

 

TBHThe sense of danger now dangles, upon the last strands of that ancient steed’s hair, as the profiles fade to black. As we gather to remember the Freedom, as it was before the weekend, I am reminded of some words spoken at the time of passing… “When all blame is laid at the feet of the innocents, made to feel responsible for the acts of a few, will that make the world better? When all the responsibility has been handed out, given to all the wrong people, and those who it belongs to are dust, will the world be healed?”

 

TBHAs I look around at the blackened profiles, the sad emojis and the empty comments box, I find that I mourn for that Freedom and I ask “When the last sorry is uttered by the last innocent soul, will forgiveness be given to the forefathers and foremothers? When the last of us stands at the mouth of the dead rain forest, will that valuable contribution online matter? In the echoes, the screams, in our blindness and blame, will the illicit pointed finger of complicitness be as dumbstruck as listening to the power of positive trending?”

 

Peering into the crucible as echoes and the screams of popular finger pointing trends, froths up, boils over; I wonder, will nothing become better? When will the healing be done? Because after the dust has settled and the last sorry whispered at the mouth of the dead trees, no one will know what the foremothers and forefathers taught us. The comments boxes will still be empty, the profiles will still be black and the innocents will have been cast out from Social Media.

 

As the tide of scathing posts and malicious memes scald the blameless, deafen the silent and slaughter innocence, will that satisfy the need for blood? As the last Y and the last X Chromosome are sacrificed upon the altars of The Cyan Bird and The Mighty White F, will that mean all is forgiven? Will that #cleanse and #heal the genderless rift? Will that make the illicitness of being complicity ignorant alright?

 

As we gaze at our brightly lit gods, waiting with heads bowed in silent scrolling, let us hashtag and reflect. Let us post as I read out the last Eulogy and Rites of our beloved Freedom; “Will the crime of having no knowledge punishable through the trail of social media be made better, when the blind author obeys and says sorry through woeful fingers? Will the jury of peers #like or thumbs down, as the last YX child drags his coffin and gets ready to fall upon his password login, before he can grow up and do no harm? and she rises from the ashen pyres of scorn upon scorn for being true to their own knowing, will that allow them to post once again?

 

Lets us depart dear ones, as frenemies; hand in hand and forever distant, separated by the poisoned chalice of social media and let us forget now that each one of us has the Rites of Reply, as we bid farewell and commit The Freedoms of Speech to barren and binary land before us. Remembering how they taught us that If when we post hate online, those words won’t anoint, and the holy waters of comments and likes won’t wash us clean.

 

Instead it will rise up like a tide of poison and try as we might to scream from the bullhorn of perceived justice of being right, the false truth will be strapped to our ankles and as we sink down into the bottomless well of silence; maybe then we will notice how all around, everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless, and maybe then we’ll remember, dear Freedoms of Speech, who is no longer there, because this is after all its last rites.

Amen.