Lately, I've been seeing a lot of videos and blogs regarding racial and religious prejudice, political ignorance and apathy, and the plight of the black man. That's the problem with social media, with it's algorithms in place, as soon as you show an interest in a couple of video types, suddenly that's all you see. I wish there was a way to stop that from happening. But because of this, I've been exposed to videos about cop shootings and tasings of black men, Muslim bashing, and arguments between blacks and whites, blacks blaming whites or blaming themselves, and everyone blaming society. I've seen racists whites and bigots and ignorant people on all sides spouting slurs and insults and committing acts which are totally outrageous. I was literally sucked in for a time generating feelings of hostility, animosity, self-condemnation and humiliation. And yes, even pride and prejudice in choosing a side. Then I woke up.
Aren't we all missing the point? This isn't about politics or race or foreigners, religion, poverty, violence or blame, it's about our reaction to what we see and hear, be it real or not. We wouldn't be human beings if we weren't stimulated by it all, and that goes for everyone on all sides of the issues. Stimulation, whether it be positive or negative is the true purpose. We love being a part of what we consider a war on hatred and the ignorance of the "other side". We think of ourselves as being on the right side of things, and we bask in the glory of our own righteousness.
But what are we doing instead of joining together to change things? We're growing further and further apart by choosing sides and standing firmly on so called solid ground. A ground where our ancestors stood protecting territory and tribe. It's what cavemen did. It's what animals do. Is it what we should continue to do?
Let's face it. Are we to destroy each other in order to bring peace? Is it to come down to rioting in the streets? Are we to bomb each other into oblivion so that whoever's left can claim what's left of this world after the dust settles. Should we begin the destruction of mankind so that the earth can finally be free of our viral catastrophic ways? Is any of it even real?
We see images on screens. We see reactions of those effected by images on screens. If we see those reactions live and in person, we participate by recording even more images to share. We make an enemy such as Police Officers, Muslims, Foreigners, Blacks etc., so that we can be a part of a group who will share our images on screens. We join together against our enemies and rally around those images because it makes us feel welcomed, accepted, less lonely and at home. We can communicate and relate to strangers and neighbors whom we really don't know, but who share the same images on screens. We are stimulated and satisfied with this false sense of security and community.
But are the images real? Do we see these things in our everyday lives? Or do we see cooperation, tolerance, acceptance, and even love from our families, friends, co-workers and the people behind the counters, at the check-outs, on the busses, trains and in the streets. The people we see everyday as well as the people we see but once in our day to day lives, are they truly the enemy? That homeless man on the corner, is he really our enemy? That young family going to the mosque to pray, are they really our enemies? The white man behind that badge helping you in that car accident, is he the enemy? That Hispanic nurse who attended to your hospital bed, is she the enemy? Then who is the enemy really?
The TV says it's them, the news says it's them, social media says it them. But, who is "them"? And more importantly, who are we to point the finger. Aren't we all "them"? Or are we too just images on screens.
Allison C Whitfield, author of "The Shelter of the Shade Tree", is a Freelance writer who creates articles describing the unconventional for those who wish to explore new ideas and new challenges. She has had 30 + years of experience in Office Administration and Customer Service. She is also a [...]