Throughout the last few months, with the mass protests and unrest surrounding social injustice in this country, we’ve seen many things that have been deemed as “progress” in the fight for equality amongst the black and brown community. We’ve seen syrup bottles and rice get rebranded, we’ve seen murals painted and streets renamed, we’ve seen statues and symbols of oppression taken down, we’ve seen people protesting in the streets, riots, kneeling, and most notably we’ve seen a candidate pick a black woman as a running mate to take down the scapegoat for all the racial oppression in the country, Donald J. Trump. The sad thing is that NONE of that is progress.
The original goals of these social justice movements were to:
Stop the disproportionate killings of minorities at the hands of the police
Dismantle, repeal, and replace inherently racist policies that are still in place today
Reform America’s police systems, (qualified immunity, over-policing, etc.)
Ensure that justice is served regarding the police killings of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and countless others
Improve the relations between minorities and authoritative and governmental institutions
NONE of which were achieved.
Rather amid the upcoming election, we have been pit against each other to perpetuate inequality and anger when it fits the agenda of whatever party or group. The terms “Conservative” and “Liberals” have been transformed into words that trigger hate and dissent. We have athletes, celebrities, and other public figures constantly providing “calls to action” without any move to create that action. We have people in different minority groups and communities protest, riot, and yell for equality without taking steps such as Registering to Vote or participating in the 2020 Federal Census. We have the hateful and unnecessary trend of “Cancel Culture” which is the embodiment of “far-left” tendencies that don’t seek to reform or even provide accountability but rather provide hate. We have the emergence of the “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” movements that are counterproductive. We have the inherent support of Black Lives Matter as an organization that seeks to destroy what “Black Lives Matter” as a movement stands for. We have a presidential administration that constantly shifts blame onto external parties rather than address the internal problems. Additionally, we’ve seen supporters of this administration constantly dispel any criticism of said administration with such devoutness and passion similar to that of a religion.
Those who support the Republican party and the Trump Administration as a whole have become ignorant and blind apologists.
Those who support the Democratic Party and the Biden-Harris candidacy have become mindless.
Those who support Bernie Sanders and other socially progressive candidates have become reckless and impulsive.
Those who support the United States of America have become hateful and ignorant.
What does this all culminate to?
A country that continues to divide and hate.
And that’s exactly what they want.
Media outlets are constantly polarizing and dividing the country.
Conservative outlets such as FoxNews and OANN are constantly telling their viewers that liberals are seeking to destroy the patriotic values and safe ideals that they hold dear. They move attention away from conversations of social justice by displaying skewed and uncontextualized data, and making claims and perpetuating fallacies that they don’t care about. They embed rhetoric that reflects fears of communism and oppression to rile up their viewers to fight those who seek to destroy this country. They employ figures such as Tucker Carlson, Tomi Lahren, and Sean Hannity, people who are viewed as sensible, understanding, and trusted. They allow them to deliver the “news” in the country, but they allow the opinionated, filtered, and biased interpretations of the news that only satisfy their agenda.
Liberal outlets such as CNN and MSNBC are constantly painting bad pictures of the country and those in power with no regard to the problematic issues that those on the left have. Constantly calling to fight against the oppressive qualities of conservative authoritarianism but only when it satisfies their agenda. They paint the pictures of the harsh treatment that police and other forms of authority administer to broaden the gap and increase the hate between the police and minorities. They constantly try to paint conservatives and the Republican party as an elitist group that seeks to oppress minorities further and usher in a new-age fascist America.
But, we as consumers buy into whatever they tell us..
We allow the media to tell us what’s going on, what’s important, and what to believe instead of going out and learning for ourselves. From both sides of the spectrum, we fall into the close-minded trap that is laid out for us. We support what we feel holds true to our values without further investigating whether or not they are honest in their portrayal or whether or not we are solid in our understanding. We paint those with different values and opinions as hateful, destructive, ignorant, and soft people and continue to dehumanize them, then we become offended when we receive the same treatment. We have unrealistic, hypocritical, and wavering worldviews. And we don’t recognize it because it is what our politicians, our news outlets, and other public leaders and figures are telling us is right.
If we want social justice we need to come out of the prison of the world that the media has built and realistically look at things. We need to use the policies that are used to oppress, to liberate. And regardless of what party, candidate, or system you support, you must understand that those who truly support something the most, are the ones who are most critical. We must understand what it is we are truly fighting for and take logical steps to get things done. Because this country is not great and it never has been. But if we continue the path we are heading down, the dystopian views of the world that we’ve seen in literature and media in the past will become far too true. Neither side cares about us as people, and both sides are not contributing to the success of the United States.