Bernie Scolaro explained why they need more Caitlin Clark moments in America right now

Bernie Scolaro is a retired school counselor, previous president of the Sioux City Education Association, and former member of the Sioux City School Board.

I am one of those Iowa snowbirds living in South Carolina. Throughout the NCAA Final Four competition, I enthusiastically supported Caitlin Clark and the Iowa women’s basketball team. While my Carolina friends cheered for their Gamecocks, they appreciated and applauded the ride the Hawkeyes provided for me, the state of Iowa, and, in fact, the entire country.

Watching Iowa women’s basketball brought so many of us together for a few days of healthy competition and a great display of true sportsmanship. For a brief time, we were captivated by the innocence of college kids on a court just having fun. We filled arenas and America forgot how divided we were.

And when the games were over, Caitlin, the coaches, and the other players all spoke highly of one other. They understood the moment was bigger than themselves, and they understood that mutual respect means more than the outcome of any game.

We need more Caitlin Clark moments in America right now - Bleeding Heartland

A day later, I sat with my one of my Republican friends to watch the solar eclipse. Again, we were captivated by the moment and the opportunity. We were both going to see the same eclipse regardless of our beliefs.

The eclipse is as rare as Democrats and Republicans dining together and putting aside their passionately held opposing views. Again, the nation banded together.

I created a TikTok account during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided me with a creative outlet and a connection to others when we were all confined to our homes. I acknowledge that many of my videos were satirical and sarcastic about the Trump presidency. I frequently mimicked his comments as if I were him, made up phone calls with him, or collected some of his most outrageous tweets in parts I dubbed “Deep Tweets by Donald J. Trump.”

Scolaro Not Seeking Reelection

I received a lot of hateful comments by the MAGA people, about my age, my looks, my sexuality. (In all fairness to MAGA, my parody and humor was also misconstrued a couple of times by Democrats. I even received some hate comments from them!) The experience prompted me to do a couple of TikToks on social media bullying. I can see how young people struggle while growing up in this age of social media. They are still forming their personalities, identity and self-worth. Even at my age, it’s hard to not take things personally.

Iowa's Caitlin Clark Will Be Dominating Sports News For The Next Month

With Trump’s new candidacy, my posts once again received hate comments. A MAGA person would “duet” me and all their followers appeared to unleash themselves. I recently have had to make my profile private for the first time, changing my settings to limit comments and followers.

I’m not just blaming the MAGA extremes. I also blame myself. I recognize that in a country so divided, my “humor” cuts to the heart of individuals I disagree with but who feel the same way I do. Although their outburst is still unacceptable, it may serve as a lesson for all of us to be nicer and more aware of others’ feelings. Humor isn’t always humorous. I, too, must challenge myself to think about how I might use social media to bring people together rather than divide them.

A solar eclipse may be an uncommon occurrence, but getting together and sharing experiences with others does not have to be. We should all make time to get together every now and then.

As we did to see an eclipse or to honor Caitlin Clark and the Iowa basketball team. We all need to be a little gentler and recognize that moments are bigger than ourselves, and mutual respect is more important than the outcome.


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