Just Be Nice

This week a video of a boy in tears talking about being bullied went viral. Celebrities and athletes posted messages of support in response. For one brief moment there was a flood if niceness on the Internet. It was a brief moment, however, because we can’t have nice things. I took a look at Twitter today and saw that there is now controversy about the boy and his family.

There are photos of the family with Confederate flags with a message of intolerance towards those who don’t like the flag.

There was a Go Fund Me page that reached $56,000 before it was paused. The person who started it does not know the family and no decision has been made on what to do with the money.

People are angry that celebrities responded with kindness toward the kid because his family might be racists. People are asking them if they are sorry they offered support or invited him to movie premieres, etc. Out brief period of niceness was over.

My question – why can’t we just be nice?  Nothing changes what we saw in a video – A kid in tears because he is being bullied. Are we supposed to be OK with the bullying because we don’t like his family? Are we supposed to vet everyone before we have any sympathy toward them? Is it not possible that human kindness could counteract the negative views he might be exposed to?

Can’t we just live by the standard of “just be nice”?