Kristen Soltis Anderson: How about you, Krupal?
Krupal (22-year-old Asian medical assistant from Maryland): I’d say you’re no longer allowed to be free. A slew of trolls has amassed enormous power due to the internet and social media. They’re always out there trying to catch you off guard. So it would help if you took caution.
Patrick Healy: For those of you who have experienced this, where have you felt people have come after you or become angry because you expressed an opinion?
Danny: I’ve worked as a Realtor for 22 years. Orlando has been my home for 44 years. I have a very good reputation. I’m not being conceited. I was the president of one of our community’s homeowners’ associations about a year and a half ago.
We got into a fight with an Asian woman. When I say “us,” I refer to the entire board. That night, she went on my business page and wrote a review accusing me of being a racist. My parents are from Lebanon. People beat me up every day as a child because I am Arabic. But I was born in the United States. I am not a racist. I love cultures and languages.
She left a negative review, and Google will not remove it, although she was not a client of mine. She’d never bought a home from me before. She never did business with me, but she accused me of being a racist. That’s what’s going on right now.
And that never happened ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. Worse, you know what’s worse? You have no control over it.
Robert: Danny’s argument is valid. People take on the roles of judge, jury, and executioner. It might be at work. Even in the church. If you have a different point of view than the majority and are in the minority, people will bully you.
Patrick Healy: Robert, is there anything specific you recall happening?
Robert: I supported Trump. I liked Trump when he was on “The Apprentice.” I was familiar with him as a businessman. That is why I supported him. And then, people started having issues with it everywhere, from the church to other locations. You cannot have a different point of view.
Christopher: I agree with Robert. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this term, but I’ve been called coon, Sambo, and every other word in the book. When it comes to Trump, everyone is focused on sound bites.
But when I show them the executive orders, he’s issued for so many different cultures and people who make up America, they’re not interested. They are only interested in sound bites. That’s when I realized how insane many Americans are. And I blame the media for a large part of that.
Derrick: I think politics infuriated people even before the information age. Even before the information age, discussing religion enraged people. Now that you have access to this information from various sources, it is coming at you fast and furious.
But the same thing has been happening to me for a long time. You get into a heated debate when you talked about politics 20 or 30 years ago.