I seem to have spent much of the past few decades wondering how or why others appear to be tuned in to a different frequency than I. The most basic of values are so often shockingly dissimilar, definitions are opposing, and the entire approach to life is so unalike as to make me wonder if we’re even the same species.

Case in point: a man on a Facebook page that I administer is vociferously in favor of a sometimes-contentious local issue. Fair enough – many people support this initiative. But I was curious about this rather disturbingly vehement man so I looked at his page.

Boy wearing googles and a colander on his head attached to some voltage meterIt is a festering public hellhole of pro-gun memes, falsehoods, “alternative facts”, anti-immigrant images, knee-jerk hatred, and other revolting lunacy. I’m sure that when he’s not glued to his keyboard, he probably seems like a fairly normal guy – and to many people in this country, he IS normal.

And that’s where I get confused and, admittedly, just a tad pessimistic. We are told to “find the middle-ground” but where exactly is that elusive real estate when we’re talking about things like racism? Slightly racist is okay as long as one doesn’t go all white-hood? Sexism is fine short of raping a woman? Xenophobia is tolerable as long as you don’t shoot immigrants? Homophobia is all right if you refrain from physically attacking an LGBTQ individual – deny them equality and respect all day long, just don’t beat them up?

I’m the first to proclaim that human life is 7 billion+ shades of grey – but I also know that some things are absolute…for me. There is no middle-ground in the question of whose “rights” are paramount; a madman’s to obtain a gun or a child’s to live to see the end of a school day; a “religious freedom” politician pandering to the lowest (intellectually) constituent’s or a same-sex couple’s to marry and build a family; a man whose masculinity is predicated on demeaning and subjugating females or a woman who strives to attain equality in all things.

Meh…I’m going to go back to listening to my own station. I know there are others out there but that doesn’t mean I have to dance to their discordant tunes in that polluted moral bog known as “the middle-ground.”

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Alex Kearns

Alex Kearns

Alex writes for a variety of national and international publications. A relative newcomer to the United States, she co-founded her town's first environmental organization (The St. Marys EarthKeepers, Inc.). In turns bemused, confused, entranced, frustrated and delighted, she enjoys unravelling the eternal enigma that is the Deep South.