February 26, 2012 has become a date of infamy of sorts. Prior to this date, no one has really thought of racism since the LA Riots and Rodney King. Since then we had many black men that became icons for children. No parents thought twice about the skin color of Ken Griffey, Michael Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, The Rock, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and the list goes on. They were just people, like everyone else.
So it makes me wonder how in a matter of 30 years all that changed so much. It all comes back to 2/26/12. This was the date that the media chose to take a tragic situation, and make it about race. This was done by design. On this date, a neighborhood watch man, who was a police academy reject took the life of a young man who was walking through the neighborhood and he thought the kid looked suspicious.
Were not going to discuss the justifications on the attack from Trayvon or the defense of Zimmerman, were going to discuss the one thing the media chose to point out: A white man shot a black teen. They even went to the piint of making sure to use photos that were 6 years old just to show what a monster this white guy (who was clearly hispanic, but as stated in the title, stop talking about race) had done to such a. Bright and innocent youth. We will never know what happened . It wasn’t caught on camera. What we do have is audio from a 911 call. And whatever testimonies they used in court. What we got was much bigger.
At this point the media hadn’t really played the race card, other than some unsubstantiated claims that there were racist imagery used against Obama. Nothing that could ever be proven, but these were the seeds of the racial divide.
This didn’t stop with the media, President Obama doubled down for the media And personalized the situation. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.” These words personalized this tragic death. This changed everything. No longer would the nation have rose tinted glasses. A white man (who isn’t white) killed an innocent black teenage boy and the president magnified it with words of personalization.
Fast forward to 2020, Social media has done more to create radical racial division in the last 10 years than any medium could offer. It has been single handedly responsible for creating a field of intolerance. Ironically one that is ran by the same people advocating for tolerance for their personal view points and interests. This has created a terrible environment where someone will bash, trash and block family and friends indiscriminately because we have created a digital world with no accountability. People who need to result to BASHING rather than just stating simple facts, are those who should not be trusted.
Like our media…
Social media is only part of rhe problem. The media has worked in lock step with social media in creating this mind set in an ultimate chicken or the egg scenario. Is it that the media has pushed a mind set resulting in more irresponsible behavior or is it rhat people have perpetuated hate to the point where people will forsake normal thinking for mob rule group think? This was something I set put to find out, and have invested a lot of time talking to different people from different mindsets and different backgrounds. This has resulted in AMAZING responses.
It seems the happiest of individuals are those who spend the least amount of time on social media. We would have a survey to determine if this is true, but because social media is the driving force for online news media, it’s hard to really determine.
So we have to trust in our own instincts, what we see, and determine what is best to fit our lives. Exiting social media may be the one thing that can truly reunite this county, and fix all the ignorance and harm displayed by all sides of the political spectrum. It is time to go back to independent thought. It is time to be free.