Me, Bruno and a Joke Gone Very Bad!
Recently a well-known rapper made a slur on social media. Allegedly, he was incited by comments left on his page and responded in an inappropriate way that incited a backlash. He immediately removed the post. It’s a lesson on how the things we post on social media can become viral and things can go downhill and fast.
I experienced something similar when I posted the opening line to a joke by Sasha Baron Cohen’s alter-ego Bruno on my personal social media page. The line highlighted an obnoxious viewpoint of a real life person Bruno was interviewing. My friends and I are huge Bruno fans and instantly knew that from that first line this unsuspecting man was being set up for his narrow mindset to be exposed. I actually followed up my post with the link to the YouTube video that I referenced.
So when I posted the line and referenced the video, I never thought that it would be misunderstood. It was not until a few days later that a friend told me he thought the post was offensive. I knew instantly that I was misunderstood and tried to explain the context of the post. It was never meant to offend anyone and I apologized!
But, I left the post up so that others who had seen it could see the dialogue between me and my friend. I live by a certain code of integrity and own every faux pas I make. So I left it there as an abject lesson because I realized that maybe what I should have done was preface the video so that people could get the full scope of what the satire was really telling us.
Eventually I clarified the whole situation by sharing on my main page who the comedian is, how he exposes people’s limited and skewered mindset and how the whole situation had unfortunately gotten lost in translation.
There is a vast chasm between someone being incendiary, and someone inadvertently saying the wrong things. This whole episode made me sit back and think how easily we can misunderstand each other. We post things where at times our tone or intent can easily be misinterpreted. Misunderstandings happen all the time between friends. That’s why I believe we really have to take a step back when someone says something and look at the big picture.
As someone who lives, eats and breathes positivity, I am grateful that my friends know that I don’t harbor obnoxious thoughts about anyone on this planet. I make an earnest effort to keep things positive and refrain from anything that makes fun of others.
At the same time, I am extremely grateful that they would call me out if and when I posted something that goes completely against the grain of the ideas I share with people. I want them to keep me in line and I would do the same for them out of love. I appreciate being asked to explain myself, because I am all about building bridges and mending fences. It is comforting to know that I have good people in my life that care and love me enough, that they would snatch me with a “No Ma’am! Wrong!”
The thing I learned the most from misunderstandings is that they have to be addressed. Even if there was no ill intent to your words, if people are hurt, you have to address their feelings. If we care about each other, we will say we are sorry, do whatever we have to do to keep those feelings of goodwill fostering. It’s quite possible for us to offend others when that was never our intent.
I learned that even though people know me, I have to be really clear about everything I post, so that no one walks away from my page wondering if I had fallen, busted my head open and lost my ever loving mind!
I also learned something interesting that misunderstandings lead to understanding. They have to happen at times so that we all can be clear with each other!
Live the Life!