Respect the Dead and the Mourners, Too
Mind your Ps and Qs
We live in a pretty pathetic era of history.
It's truly a sad day when insults are hurled from all sides because of what former First Ladies wore to Rosalynn Carter's memorial service at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church at Emory University in Atlanta.
I don't care if you like Jimmy Carter or not. I don't care if you like Donald Trump or not. I don't even care if you liked Rosalynn Carter. She happened to be married to a former president. Mrs. Carter was a former First Lady who led a life of service in the White House and long after she left Washington.
But even if she had been the old cat lady down the street who never bothered a soul, I would be writing the same thing.
Mrs. Carter died. We should always be respectful of the dead and those attending an event to honor the dead even if you don't like the people who attend. Trust me, I've had to hold my tongue and glares at some family members at funerals, but I did it.
That tongue holding includes being civil to Melania Trump.
All day people were bickering about her choice of a grey coat dress. Who cares? I'm not even going to dignify the comments in this story. Seeing all of those comments on X made me also wonder: Does anyone in America work anymore or do they just battle each other on keyboards all day? Are bosses paying any attention? (I'm self-employed. I monitor myself.)
Sarcasrtic arrows weren't just shot at Melania. People snarked about Michelle Obama's expressions. Hillary Clinton's purse. Laura Bush's apparent eye daggers at Melania. Some even wanted Michelle to throw a punch at Melania.
What is happening to society and civility?
Did anyone bother to feel an ounce of sympathy for the Carter family? For that matter feeling a bit of empathy forvanyone attending the service at all. I really wonder if these cold, heartless keyboard warriors have ever attended a funeral?
If you have, you know that at some point during it you start to think about people you've lost. Your grandparents. Your parents. Any of your loved ones. It just happens. The brain works that way. It's hard to compartmentalize death when a casket is in front of you.
You can't just blame social media though.
Judy Woodruff, the former anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour until late last year, was out-of-line at the memorial service, too. She should have never brought up what Mrs. Carter said about the election of President Joe Biden being a “relief.” Even if Mrs. Carter said that, standing in the pulpit is no time for Woodruff to discuss politics especially when former President Donald Trump's wife sat on the front pew.
Hey, Judy, take a lesson from my grandmother who died the year Jimmy Carter was elected: If you can’t say something nice, don't say anything at all. Just because Trump has said some sarcastic remarks lately about the Carters doesn't mean you have to jump into the fray, too.
Greta Van Susten said this:
My only issue I take with that, Greta, is that journalists aren't the only snarky ones. Everyone tries to out-insult each other all of the time and engage in combat when there is often absolutely no battle to fight.
Human decency has sadly vanished.
Mrs. Carter’s son, Chip Carter, told the Washington Post that his mother had a part in inviting Melania to the service. “My mother was a gracious person and she would treat everybody with respect, including a former First Lady,” he said.
That makes Woodruff's comment even worse.
Mrs. Carter once said: “Do what you can to show you care about other people, and you will make our world a better place.”
That's a lesson we should all learn as we maneuver through – and try to survive – the 21st century Thunderdome where we now reside.