There has been so much coverage lately on race, race relations, race wars, race riots, race assimilation and race based police brutality, I’ve gotta ask where exactly are we “racing” to as a nation? What is the finish line? How do we know when we’ve reached it? How long will it be until we get there?
The sad thing is that there are no answers to these questions – there will most likely never be answers to these questions. How can we think that we’re progressing as a nation when there is so much news coverage telling us otherwise? I’m starting to wonder if it’s the chicken or the egg. Has there always been such racial disparity in society and social media is forcing the media to finally cover the pandemic that is racism in this nation? Or maybe, it’s that the media is sensationalizing race and racism so much it’s inciting strong emotions in the average American and even the most apathetic individual is finding it hard not to choose a side of either trying to seek change or maintaining the status quo and emphatically expressing their views through social media and other mediums.
The executions that happened in Charleston, SC last week, were horrifying, deplorable, senseless and unnerving. Perhaps the one thing that I can’t let go of, is that the assailant is a millennial. When I envision a ‘stereotypical racist in America’ I see a white man in his late 40s – 60s with a smattering of silver locks of hair, lightly munching on chewing tobacco in some unidentified southern state – kind of like the Chapel Hill Shooting aggressor. When I think of a racist in America, I do not think of a 21-year-old kid who is trying to be a catalyst of a burgeoning “race war”. When I think of a racist in America I see a disgruntled Baby Boomer, I don’t envision a troubled millennial.
This is ageism at its finest and I see how flawed my prejudices may sound. It’s an elitist way to see the world, but my generation perceives itself as being vastly different from the generations of yore. We are progressive. We ‘don’t see color’ as the sole identifier of a person. We are entitled and see the world as ours. We are ‘trailblazers’ who elected the first black president and ‘innovators’ who promote the LGBT agenda and helped make it acceptable and mainstream. To know that any person could carry out this act is disgusting. To know that a millennial did something so heinous is demoralizing.
This must be how many progressive white people feel. How can they distance themselves from their racist, slave-owning, vote withholding ancestors when the media is constantly portraying a white man who is caught being racist as the norm? However, this just might be the same way the average black male feels as well. How can they properly say that they are assets to society and trying to make it in white-collar America, when they constantly see men who look just like them being shot down like dogs on the 10 o’clock news.
Framing plays a huge part in the way the media presents news and maximizes its revenue dollars. Afterall, all of our “trusted news sources” are all business at the end of the day. As most people know (or should know), the media does not have a legal obligation to tell the truth – but a moral one. Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t stated the names of the aggressors in these situations. It’s because I find it distasteful that we focus on the flaws of the victim or the psyche or the assailant – usually no more and no less. We need to remember those who have lost their lives beyond just the random Tweet that we spend 17 seconds crafting and then moving on to focusing on the latest Kardashian drama (one flaw of the millennial generation).
I don’t know what’s going to happen next in America. I don’t see another Civil Rights movement happening. I definitely don’t see a race war starting. However, something, some kind of large scale millennial aged movement is on the verge of happening if the status quo doesn’t start changing soon.
Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha. Deah Shaddy Barakat. James Boyd. Michael Brown. Depayne Middleton Doctor. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. Cynthia Hurd. Susie Jackson. Ethel Lance. Trayvon Martin. Reverand Clementa Pinckney. Tamir Rice. Tywanza Sanders. Walter L. Scott. Reverand Doctor Daniel Simmons Sr. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. Myra Thompson.
This is just a few of the many who have lost their lives in a violent way for questionable motives in recent news cycles. You will be remembered… long after you’ve stopped becoming Breaking News.
Song of the Day: Strange Fruit – Nina Simone