I feel ambivalent this evening. Conflicted about the trifecta of today’s American news. Today presented media framing that leaves me questioning how we call ourselves free in a democratic nation when we are bound and chained by the undercurrent of hypocrisy that lies just beneath the surface of our freedom.
Malala, Trayvon, and good old Texas. I don’t even want to turn on the news this weekend because 60 minutes will do nothing more than regurgitate today’s headlines; only this time they will have an hour to sugar coat it in instead of three different 60 second sound bytes. It boggles my mind how we view this news without it affecting us. Maybe some of us see the news and have become indifferent. Others, perhaps, unknowingly allow the negativity to slip beneath the mantle of their disposition and carry it with them through their days. Maybe others, I hope, can weed through the muck of the news to find a positive way to spin it within their mind and lives.
For me the day began with hearing how Texas is meddling in the private affairs of a woman and her uterus. Then a quick snap to Trayvon enticing viewers with possible closing arguments. You’re welcome CNN for all the Neilson ratings you received vis a vie Trayvon. Then to wrap up my morning coffee, a supposed shot of hope by announcing Malala’s 16th birthday.
Let me begin with Malala. I admire this girl greatly. However, it bothers me the way the media plays her as a card to bring up the hopes of viewers which have just been shocked by the harsh reality of what is going on right here in our own country. It saddens me that Malala is remembered for a day or for a two-minute clip on the morning news. Isn’t she worth more than that? Isn’t her struggle and strength deserving of a remembrance every day; here and abroad? Don’t get me wrong, I passionately feel her story and can see how the media has brought her story to light allowing us a glimpse into other countries and cultures. In the same respect though, they muddy her essence and fight with their reporting. We take for granted the ease with which we pick up a book and fight over standardized testing when Malala and those she stands for cannot even walk to the freedom that is education.
Then there was Texas… What can I even begin to say about the fight women are having there? Senator Wendy Davis did an amazing thing. I applaud her conviction and dedication. Yet instead of seeing the logic of Davis’ filibuster, it has been demoted to a minor speed bump. The more pressing and all together dangerous question of the day was, which women were packing tampons. I cannot say I do not see the dark humor in that because I do. It is because I do that it bothers me so much. Roe v. Wade here comes Texas with their guns blazing, hide your tampons or you’re likely to be shot on sight for hiding a concealed weapon. Is anyone else seeing the absurdity of such trivialities?
And lastly, Trayvon. A light extinguished. Social media, radio, television, and streaming media all shared in the trial. A whole year has gone by and this case is still unsettled. The eyes of Justice are blind they say but somehow I doubt that. Why else would Manslaughter have been slipped in as one of three possible verdicts? My opinion, because Justice is not blind. Justice sees and knows full well which state she is standing in. Justice knows which courtroom to be in. Justice is summoned along with the defendants and jurors. Justice knows full well Zimmerman might walk on 2nd Degree Murder. Sad isn’t it, to know Justice already knows what is going to pass bar and what isn’t. Is that perceptive of Justice or is it true she may not be quite so blind…
And now, here at the end of my evening I sit still reeling from the harsh reality of what we do to one another. What we choose to forget and what we still allow to continue. How after millenniums or eons, whichever school you prescribe to, we still have yet to just get it right? On paper it all sounds like a cakewalk but the reality is there is a lot of invisible ink that goes unseen between the neatly spaced and typeset rows of words that intend well. Days like today make me question why we haven’t learned our lesson yet. How many more days must go by before we realize how fortunate and miraculous it is to be here with one another? How much longer will we continue to toss our dreams upon the waves only to have them dashed upon the shore of reality?
I sit here still ambivalent. The only progress I’ve made is writing this out and determining that the only purpose in all this senselessness is to find hope. Hope that justice will prevail. Hope that we don’t set ourselves back centuries. Hope that a little girl can make it to school here and abroad. Hope that our dreams and intentions are able to one day be realized. Hope that we one day learn to live with love rather than fight with hatred. Hope that the news no longer has any negative stories to report on…
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