There is a lot to be said about race relations in America. With protests and riots sparking up in various states is clear that there is a problem. The question that America is focused on is not so much “why” people are rising up, but “how” people are showing their displeasure about the state of human rights and race relations. Whether this is the right question we should be asking or not is a whole other kettle of fish (and in my opinion the confusion is just a distraction from the core issues we face.)
There are a couple of quotes/ facebook status updates that have made me think, and have made me believe i know where i stand on this issue.
“First of all, they came to take the gypsies
and i was happy because they pilfered.
Then they came to take the Jews and I said nothing,
because they were unpleasant to me.
Then they came to take homosexuals,
and i was relieved, because they were annoying me.
Then they came to take the Communists,
and i said nothing because I was not a Communist.
Oneday they came to take me,
and there was nobody left to protest.”
Bertold Brecht, inspired by Emil Gustav Friedrich Martin Niemöller”
“If there is one thing that facebook has taught me over the past few months is that people are not going to be satisfied at any way that black people protest.
People rally up and protest peacefully and I see posts saying “Get a job and stop wasting time” or it goes completely ignored
People rally up and disrupt areas “peacefully” and I see the same “Get a job and stop wasting time” posts
People riot because all above measures were ignored “These animals needs to get a life” and “Oh why couldn’t they do this peacefully?”
I do not condone the riots and violence that is going on, but let’s all remember that there was a Malcolm X around when MLK was around as well.”
These are some of the things that have made me stop and think about the uprisings we have seen in the past few months. I will leave that part of this situation here for you to contemplate.
What I find even more compelling is the way the Media has covered it. Sure people stand on different sides of the issue, and how it is being addressed, but the media stands only in how it is being delivered to the public.
This article startled me by its honesty. It was shocked about how often i read articles that look and sound like it. The tone of the media when reporting on stories within our nation, and without, I always knew was different. But it wasn’t so blatant until i read this story.
The Media has a responsibility to deliver the news, but they spend more time laying blame, and taking sides, bringing experts to tell us just how hopeless the situation is, and ponder how those who are at fault “should have” done things. But they fail to take responsibility and give some responsibility to their viewers. We have all come to expect that news agencies are biased. If you’re Liberal you watch CNN to have your beliefs further reinforced, if you’re conservative you watch Fox for the same. No one is challenged, or held accountable.
May be its time for a new age of Media. A responsible media that doesn’t just “uncover” and “Report” but CALLS TO ACTION! EMPOWERS THE PEOPLE TO DO MORE! TO BE MORE INFORMED! To use the information to rid our generation of its apathy. This is perhaps just a dream of a naive optimist. Perhaps our media can inform us how other nations have higher happiness levels, and quality of life.
I realize how we portray the rest of the world as an awful place to live, and America is Great. I am a born and raised American. I do, more often than not, believe that i was born in the greatest nation in the world. But i have to alter that now. I believe I live in the nation with the most POTENTIAL FOR GREATNESS… because may be once we were Great, but as human rights and racial tensions grow… our greatness is being questioned.
How will we respond?
** Please note: I was also raised in Sri Lanka. Sometimes Sri Lanka is the nation i call mine. I’m lucky enough to call both these countries mine. It doesn’t put one above the other. I love them both equally and i criticize them both equally- because someone recently said quite eloquently “to love someone is to want more for them than they want for themselves.” I want more for my nations, and my world. Boom.