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Skating on thin ice

Cong Corrales

“Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice appears under your feet.

“You slip out of your depth and out of your mind with your fear flowing out behind you.” -The thin ice, Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

THE animosity on social media has really taken off. People whom I thought I knew to be discerning and critical are sharing obvious propaganda passing off as journalistic work. Even people who are close to me by blood have been espousing hatred towards political dissenters of the republic which he based on an article written by paid hacks of the “fifth column.”

It pains me to see government employees, career bureaucrats, and academics swallow President Digong Dada’s hate rhetorics–hook, line, and sinker. Hasn’t it occurred to them that hate escalates? It’s like wildfire. You keep fanning on the flames of hate, you will get burned eventually. When it does, please don’t act surprised, aghast or scandalized at the level of hatred floating around because we did our part in it.

How do you think the Rwanda genocide started? It started with hate propaganda against an entire class of people broadcast on local radio over and over until the collective psyché of the people snapped. Hate took a life on its own. Interesting sidebar to this is that it was fanned by religious people. Just like what the fictional international crime lord on the TV series “The Blacklist” said: “Hell hath no fury than a fundamentalist scorned.”

Trolls and even actual people who behave like trolls on social media have been fanning this great ball of hate. With all the available information online, methinks these people consciously choose to be ignorant like fanatics in a cult. I agree with Prof. Ben Domingo when he posted online: “Trolls do not deserve an explanation.”

I mean what can you really do or say when the person you are trying to reach out to has decided to believe in the alternative reality this regime has whipped up. I used the word: decision, because it is exactly that–a conscious choice to shut out dissenting opinions and perspectives. One cannot even call for sobriety online without being branded as either a “dilawan” or an “adik.”

The “us and them” tactical narrative is as old as time. The generals and czars used it to divide and conquer. It even has a biblical version: “If you are not with us, you are against us.”

As for me, I take solace in the thought that the age-old primeval law of self-preservation will ultimately kick in. Human beings can only eat so much bull crap in their lifetime.

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About Cong Corrales

Before joining the Gold Star Daily, Cong worked as the deputy director of the multimedia desk of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and before that he served as a writing fellow of Vera Files. Under the pen name "Cong," Leonardo Vicente B. Corrales has worked as a journalist since 2008. Corrales has published news, in-depth, investigative and feature articles on agrarian reform, peace and dialogue initiatives, climate justice, and socio-economics in local and international news organizations, which which includes among others: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World, MindaNews, Interaksyon.com, Agence France-Presse, Xinhua News Wires, Thomson-Reuters News Wires, UCANews.com, and Pecojon-PH.

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