Disclaimer: I usually try not to post like this because I don’t want it to be tied to someone else’s post, which I find petty and rude. I tend to go to the extreme to avoid doing that, preferring to keep the conversation where it’s at on the other post. But this kept turning in my mind enough that I wanted to share it. For those of you that did post about this, please realize, this is not about you and I do not hold you at fault for your views. This is not meant to be a passive-aggressive attack, just an expression on something I was thinking. Mmk? Still friends? Good. 🙂
Recently, I’ve seen a few posts about how the expressions of Nazis, white supremacists, racists, etc, are being displayed by a “few hundred” people, compared to the overall population of America (over 300 million). So we see rallies and riots put on by a few, but meanwhile the rest of us go to work, live our lives side by side, and we manage “just fine.”
It’s that “just fine” comment that sticks out to me. What do we define as “just fine,” by what standard are we making that claim? Because we are anything BUT “just fine.”
I don’t go to the media for my facts. I see comments about how “people need to stop listening to CNN” as if CNN is the only place to go to get ideas like this. I don’t trust the media as far as I can throw it. I read the articles (sometimes), but I dig to find the little nuggets of information that I can trust (there’s always a seed of truth). So please, don’t brush me off as another sheeple taken in by the media – I don’t even follow the media. However, I am a researcher and a journalist, and I know how to find the information I need and the people to talk to when I need to discuss something.
So some might say we’re all doing “just fine” without media stirring things up. And while I agree that media stirs things up unnecessarily, at the same time, we must be careful about dismissing things out of hand on that basis alone. Because it’s true people still face discrimination, based on things like gender and skin color. Just recently, a prominent tech employee had openly stated that women were not suited to the tech industry, because they were not capable of functioning under the high stress, and their brains simply did not function in STEM areas like men do – a story which is not at all backed by science and ACTUAL numbers. Meanwhile, another friend of mine, who is a female in the tech industry (and who had to fight her way through because women were and are continually discriminated against) was told by another woman that sometimes, women have to “loosen a button or two” in order to get by (if you get my drift).
And that’s often how it is. Women go to the workplace, and are harassed, shamed, used, and mistreated in every which way. Either they are preyed upon for their sexuality, or they are treated as inferior are not as capable as a man.
It’s not much different for non-whites. Those with vaguely Mexican appearances receive uncalled-for vitriol about their immigration status. Others who do not have white skin receive insults about taking “American jobs.” One man I know, who ironically did not have a job at the time, was yelled at by a stranger to go back where he came from and quit taking American jobs. Never mind that he was no less American than the stranger.
How can we deny that these things happen, or the scale on which they happen? “I don’t deny it,” some might say. But you do. I see it in action all the time. Any time someone brings up personal experiences, they are instantly shut down. They are told to quit listening to the media because it’s stirring things up. How is it media if it’s personal experience? That’s what I want to know.
To add mud to the water, it’s not simply open racists that are promoting these things. It’s average people, those who have no idea the effect of their own words. Those who lack understanding of the world someone else has to live in. They are not racists, and they themselves are open to friendships of different colors and more, which is why I can’t bring myself to call them Nazis or any other slur. They are just people – but people don’t know what they don’t know.
The problem is that there is very little open discussion on these matters. Someone mentions “race” or some other hot-button topic, and minds are set going in. Few people ask “what if” anymore. But I want to challenge you today – start asking questions. Entertain the idea of “what if” they are right, “what if” these things happen, “what if” there is more than I can see.
I never claim to have my mind set. Far from it. But I do work at surrounding myself with different people to get different perspectives, and evaluate. I am only one person, and my world is limited – but through these connections, I can expand my limitations, see insight into worlds of experiences I may not know existed at all. Can you do the same?