Annabel Park is a writer, filmmaker and speaker who is known for her innovative work in netroots/grassroots activism. She has made numerous TV and radio appearances and has beem invited to speak throughout the US and Asia. Her writings have been published by cnn.com and the Washington Post.
She co-directed a ground-breaking documentary about America’s culture war over immigration, 9500 Liberty, with Eric Byler. The critically acclaimed film has won three film festival awards and was released on cable by MTV.
She is the founder of the Coffee Party, a growing grassroots democracy movement with over 500,000 people in the network. The Coffee Party has been featured in stories by national and international media.
Letter to Facebook Friends
Friends, I know it’s hard because I find it excruciatingly hard not to get triggered by remarks that seem wrong, awful and/or offensive. I know it’s incredibly tempting to lash out, insult and dismiss people. However, I must ask you to think about this: could we try to have a dialogue here, or somewhere, anywhere, which encourages us to be respectful and work towards solutions on national challenges?
We are truly declining as a nation because we cannot talk to each other about things that matter; make good decisions about things that affect all of our lives. If we can’t do it, why do we expect people in Congress to do it?
In other words, gridlock is not just in Washington; it’s all over the country and many of us inadvertently participate. It’s a lose-lose situation that we are.
It’s very difficult; but, I’m not ready to give up on myself, my fellow Americans or our government. We’ve got to try harder with the understanding that we are in a rut and we are all hurting as a result. We have hit cultural and political rock bottom. Like alcoholics seeking recovery, we must commit to doing something very difficult in the short run but necessary for our future.
It often feels like many of us get stuck trying to win arguments instead of trying to understand each other, problem-solve and figure out how to co-exist, even thrive together. I know I’m guilty of this as well. I’ve had too many pointless arguments on Facebook and elsewhere and I sincerely apologize to all those who were on the receiving end of disrespectful things I may have said to you over the years in my triggered state.
I want to aspire to do better and I want us to aspire to address our enormous national problems without degenerating into these rhetorical/political/egoistic standoffs.
I really want to try to do better. We’ve got to do better than this as a nation. Will you join me?
Letter to Facebook Friends Part 2