In the last hour of my shift, my position rotated to the post down the way at the bend. I found my path crossed with Aaron’s sooner than expected when he was moved to the same spot. He was in good humor about the heat and after some catching up; we spoke in spurts. He had a lot to say about grand topics like space exploration, technological innovation, and international travel—all areas of interest for me, but it seemed we weren’t really speaking until he made reference to a recent comment by Salman Rushdie in an article.
“He’s basically saying that people get offended at every little thing nowadays, and that because of the Internet, people have an excuse to be loud and pissed off,” Aaron paraphrased.
While he explained, I sifted through Google looking for the quote. The comment from Rushdie was in reference to his upcoming book: Everything I write upsets somebody… It’s an age in which everyone is upset all the time. All you have to do is look at the Internet. It’s full of people screaming at other people for saying things they don’t like.
Reading the quote brought one or two things to mind, but I was intrigued by Aaron’s candid honesty and wanted to hear more before adding my two cents.
“You think everyone’s upset?” I asked.
“That’s sort of a grand accusation,” Aaron said. “A lot of people are angry. I think a lot of people are looking for conflict.”
“Which group or groups of people? And by conflict do you mean fighting, arguing, what?” I asked.
“Well,” Aaron scratched the back of his head, “take BlackLivesMatter for example. They show up at political rallies, usually ones for the Democrats, and just shout. They’re not there for an open dialogue, they come out to shout and interrupt.”
“You think those activists are just angry?”
“No,” a look of frustration spread quickly across his face. “They’re divisive. What they’re doing is pushing people apart. They just focus on people’s differences and it’s driving people away that are trying to help them. Look at what they’re doing to the Democrats.”