On social media, certain words mean more than others

Two & Out
By James Peters
July 15, 2016 - 4:30pm Updated: July 15, 2016 - 5:33pm

KAMLOOPS — I've spent the past couple of weeks in Disneyland and a series of airports.

Thus, it's not particularly out of the ordinary for me to see Pokemon Go players walking around like zombies, when zombies are all I've been seeing.

While I was down there, racial tensions in the United States exploded once again.

Existing in the bubble of Disneyland, though, you never would have known it.

In fact, I only spied one person sporting Donald Trump apparel.

It truly is the Happiest Place on Earth.

The fact that the fallout from the police shootings of black people, followed by the assassinations of several police officers in Dallas, spilled over onto social media isn't surprising.

But that doesn't make it any less real.

What's kind of sad is that social media statements that seem pithy and prescient on the surface have been co-opted to mean much more than the dictionary definitions.

Decontextualized statements like 'Black Lives Matter' and 'All Lives Matter' should both be powerful and positive.

Unfortunately, in context, both of those statements mean something entirely different.

The words are now associated with two groups of people, neither of which are paragons of virtue.

That's why a Canadian tenor holding up a sign saying 'All Lives Matter' while changing the lyrics to our national anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game doesn't go unpunished.

The tenor was singing from a songbook he didn't really understand.

And now he's fired.

By the way, if one of the Tenors is fired, does that make them the Niners?

Boy, that joke would have killed at Disneyland.