When I was asked to teach classes for Gallatin College in Bozeman one of the requirements was a fingerprint and background check.

I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief at KMMS when I passed.

Things we’ve done in our past or present follow us into the future and may affect our future job prospects.

We’ve all seen news stories where politicians and other prominent people have revealed their true colors on social media and paid the price for it.

Current Social Media More Relevant Than Ever

Society loves to pigeonhole people. You’re Muslim, or black, or conservative or liberal. Whatever I think of that philosophy applies to the entire group.

If conservatives have some KKK members then all conservatives are KKK in some way. If some liberals follow Saul Alinsky or Louis Farrakhan then all liberals feel the same in some way.

No one believes liberals follow the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. or that conservatives follow Mother Theresa. That just doesn’t compute. Those folks are the exception — not the rule.

Aren’t we trained by media to look for the worst in our fellow man rather than the best?

Social Media and Job Interviews

So how does all this filter down into the corner office job interview? The KKK, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Southern Poverty Law Center, Westboro Baptist Church and others all reflect on the candidate sitting in the interview chair.

The candidate might have a stellar record of achievement but there can be a perceived association with radical groups based on a bias created by media and personal experience on the part of the interviewer.

Is this right? Of course not. Is it legal? Of course not, again. Does it happen? You bet.

So the innocent person sitting in the interview chair is guilty by association — not by their actions.

If it comes down to the actual decision on the best candidate to hire, all these biases could, and sometimes do, come into play.

The innocent becomes the unwitting victim of some group’s civil disobedience overblown by social media and the mainstream news.

The end result — no job —and society is blamed while the true divisive elements are ignored.

Some Final Thoughts

What you post on social media can have a negative effect on your value as an employee. Many employers are taking the time to look candidates up on Facebook and Twitter to get a better feel for the type of person they’re considering.

There’s a reason protesters wear masks today. They could be fired for their actions, assuming they actually have a job.

Free speech is becoming an endangered species. I expect to see it on a milk carton soon.

The more vocal and violent these fringe groups are the more damage they do to those who are associated with them by race, color, creed, nationality, religion or sexual orientation.

We the citizens give these groups the power to damage our society with our silence. While their hearts might be in the right place — their actions clearly are not.

There are many ways to effect change in our society without violence or destruction of property.

I have no problem with civil disobedience. Our nation was built on righting wrongs. Wholesale destruction of city blocks for your own selfish interests is not the way to do it. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

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