‘If you don’t agree with my arguments, let’s agree to disagree, and keep talking with the aim to learn from each other. If you don’t want to talk to me because of my arguments, I won’t miss you..’ ~ ANON
News like this—that the noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage was a year-old pull rope for the garage door—is a stark reminder that it’s not only Trump and his trumpsters who stoke civil conflict, and that this is why we’re not getting the vast majority of people behind the push for change. The media, in a state of frenzy/chumpstery, are taking everyone for a fool, fueling the fear, drowning out critical mass, putting the wrong kind of ideas in people’s heads.
It’s a game out of control, and getting worse. When the president of the US tweets about Mexicans, calling them ‘criminals and rapists,’ he raises the chances that POC are seen in that way. The chances of innocent people coming to harm increases.
And when the president of the US says that senators who oppose his policies should go back where they came from and be careful when going about their business, he’s knows exactly what he’s doing, promoting hate crime.
And when he says that when ‘the looting starts, the shooting starts,’ he sets up the stage for chaos. It’s a scum move. He’s supposed to lead, not add fuel to the fire like a DC Universe villain.
The same applies to the media. They act like this is J. Jonah Jameson’s turf in the Marvel Universe where The Daily Bugle stokes up whatever sensation it wants, just because.
Newsflash: The media has a responsibility to report, not sensationalize.
So when the media report Klan nooses where there aren’t any, they raise the likelihood that next time not only there’ll be one, but that it might have a neck around it, to boot, and we’ll all be worse off for it, choked by the very news that’s supposed to keep us informed and safe.
Rolling your eyes? Take a chill pill. The problem is not this analysis but the way in which we perpetuate conflict, self-righteous and quick to judge, quick to convince and unwilling to listen. It’s a toxic game, and all sides have the obligation to end it. Get their heads out of their lightless enclosures and behave better. The president is responsible for the stuff that comes out of his mouth, and 45 and his administration—plus copycats round the world—spew trash nonstop, have been for the past few years … and so have many of the media, poisoning the situation even further, creating a perfect dumpster.
THE WAY AHEAD
The way ahead is tricky, but things will get better, provided one does the following:
Vote (to get rid of the shit-hearted who are currently in office, not just in the US but also in the UK, Poland, Hungary, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Philippines, the list goes on) and
Boycott any article and media outlet that engages in pathologically self-righteous, fear-stoking, hate-inducing, panic-causing, fanatically-driven reporting that makes things worse.
Note: those who think that the answer to red poison is blue poison are in delirium, and in urgent need of detox.
Perhaps I’m wrong—this, after all, is it, the moment when push comes to shove, take your cliche pick blah. There’s no space left to maneuver, no time to pick and choose our battles. It’s do or die, us or them. We have to stand with the wave of resistance, warts and all, dirt and debris, whatever, making sure it washes over the rotten structure.
Then again, maybe this is what the scaremongers would have us think, forcing us to choose between a rock and a hard place, between religious right dogmatism and secular identity dogmatism.
The way to discern is simple. When a statement works like a blanket, over-generalizing without merit, it’s trash.
For example, when people say that black folk are niggers and criminals, it’s racist. Time to weed out that mentality. Period.
Ditto when they say that Mexicans and immigrants and POC are rapists and thieves.
Ditto when they say that white privilege is a thing from which white people benefit (really? ALL white people?) and that all men are patriarchs (news to me) and that anything a man says is mansplaining (the noose for me? for having a penis and an opinion?) ..
I mean, are we getting rid of white trashy racism in order to replace it with POC/gender-identity trashy counter-bigotry?
Suck my refusal to play along!
PARTING THOUGHT: I hope that the US senate turns blue by a very narrow majority, bringing about change while keeping things real. (No one wants a repeat of what happened during the first Obama term, when the blue wave led to a toxic-red rebound. No more political booms and busts). I hope Joe Biden wins the 2020 election, and that he survives his term—I mean that he stays alive and well, with his faculties intact, able to govern. This is no time for a midterm VP takeover.
I also hope that the House remains blue in 2020, but that identity politics takes a back seat once key changes and reforms are implemented. A return to centrist politics is difficult, but not impossible, and perhaps exactly what the world needs to get out of our populist rut, which the pandemic has made worse.
If the above happens, things may calm down enough for lasting reform, all without tearing the place down. Keep the lid on Pandora’s Box. Once you start bending the law, making ideological exceptions for violence, the bottom’s the limit. Politicizing the institutions is criminal, dangerous, a recipe for disaster. Once underway, it’s hard to control, be it in the administration or on the streets, in government or colleges, in any organization.
I’ve been researching revolutions for a while. Once the blades come out, they’re hard to pack up. Don’t take my word for it, do your own research.
My takeaway comment is this: It’s not worth to throw out the American baby with the racist bathwater. Keep the baby and the bathtub intact, or the rest of the century will turn out worse than ever—and that’s not scaremongering. It’s an increasing likelihood.
From your socratic Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.