My oldest son graduated from 5th grade this year. There was a very nice ceremony at the elementary school…if you define very nice as miserable acoustics in the gym, a microphone that had less power than the batteries in my (…er…nevermind), and two parents who shouted out — independently of one another — “We can’t hear nothin’ ya’lls is sayin‘”. (Editor’s note: They probably wouldn’t have been able to understand even if they could hear it, given that it was at a 5th grade level. Just sayin’, ya’lls).
While there were many awards given, I was most proud that my baseball All Star/football varsity team/basketball varsity team athlete won an academics award. In fact, it was a President’s Education Award, complete with a letter from bossman “O” (that’s Obama, not Oprah), a certificate, and a pin.
I posted a picture of the letter from Obama on my Facebook news feed with the comment: “Alex received a President’s Education Award. Hopefully this scholastic achievement won’t stand in the way of his dreams to become a pro athlete.”
And then I braced myself for a barrage of comments from some of my friends and family members whose political leanings are not like my own. I expected to see things like:
- Nice that the Prez has taken time away from reading my text messages to sign a bunch of letters for some kids.
- Do you think the Illegal Immigrant in Chief’s signature on the letter matches the one on his green card?
- Bring a shotgun to the next family reunion. You’ll need it to defend yourself for allowing a letter from Obama into your house. P.S. Mom says hi.
- What an outrage!!! Why is my taxpayer money going to fund programs like this? I’d rant more, but I have to sign off and go pick up my food stamps cuz I dun run out of Marlboro Reds.
- On behalf of the Tea Party, we plan to revoke your membership for accepting this award. Please join our group immediately, so we can get our jollies by kicking your liberal-loving ass out.
- I knew you were no good when the best man at your wedding was a gay Jamaican immigrant.
In spite of what I expected, here’s what actually happened. No one posted anything obnoxious/snarky/FBI investigation-inducing about the giver of the award. In fact, the post received 20 likes and two comments: “You must be very proud” and “That’s awesome!”
With 561 Facebook friends, it was only a 4% response rate. Perhaps the haters were busy renewing their membership to the Westboro Baptist Church and didn’t see my post.
Or maybe — just maybe — my Facebook friends and relatives decided that regardless of political or other differences, this was a tremendous honor, personal/political opinions had no place in the conversation, and that the right thing to do was congratulate my kid on his achievement.
And that is a change in people I can believe in.