It’s Time To Change The Narrative
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Politics and Activism

It’s Time To Change The Narrative

Why does the media and the court of public opinion keep telling us we must choose?

It’s Time To Change The Narrative

This past week has been horrifying. Horrifying for the people of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Falcon Heights, Minnesota, Dallas, Texas, black people, white people and police officers all over our country. And the majority of us are sitting in our homes, slack-jawed and dazed in utter disbelief at just how quickly things deteriorated while being directed to take sides.

We turn on our computers to get more information and are assaulted by memes demanding we make a choice—apparently we’re to be outraged over the police officers who were killed in Dallas, or over the senseless murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile—but not both. And that begs the question, why? Because, to put it simply, even though I refuse to make that choice, my curiosity still demands to know who made it a rule that we can only be outraged over one or the other set of incidents? Who gets to choose which life is more valuable than the other? Why, as a civilized society, are we even entertaining the thought that one life is worth more than the next?

We have leaders, leaders in our government, pushing this narrative. People like former Congressman Joe Walsh, who threatened all-out war with the president and Black Lives Matter protesters via Twitter, and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who played an ugly blame game with Black Lives Matter protestors, and even former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani jumped on the “Blame the Blacks” bandwagon. Meanwhile, other would be leaders in our society are conspicuously silent. Where is the NRA with their outrage over the murder of Philando Castile, a licensed to carry gun-owner who followed all the rules, who was gunned down in his vehicle, with his girlfriend beside him and a child in the backseat? Where’s the outrage over his life being taken from him? This is a blatant example of one life being more valued than another.

We’re told that one bad college athlete does not make them all rapists. We’re told that one corrupt politician does not make them all corrupt. We’re told that the Westboro Baptist Church does not represent all Christians. And yet it is expected, no demanded, that we hold the entire Black Lives Matter movement as being the responsible catalyst for one person’s actions? Dan Patrick called the protesters hypocrites. I think he needs to look at his own reflection before spewing his venom.

So I’m doing what I can to change this narrative. I’m stating, for the record, that I’m done with Walsh's, Patrick's and Giuliani’s brand of division. Finished. This is me saying no. Just no, I refuse to be a pawn in their ugly game. I reject the notion that one life is any more precious than another. My friend list on Facebook has gotten much more selective and I’ve lost a few followers on Twitter, but I’m perfectly OK with that. These aren’t people I want in my life. They can keep their rabid volatility and crushing hate with them—I won’t shoulder any of that burden for them. As the daughter of a former police officer, my stand has zero to do with disrespect for the law enforcement profession and everything to do with one of the key values my parents raised me with: I am no better than the next person. And this is a value I have found myself clinging to over the course of this challenging summer.

Our country is at a cross-roads and the direction we take from here is very important. When you see hostile, angry division along race lines in media posts, say no. Refuse to let it lead or define you. Post kitten videos. Post videos of yourself dancing to music. Drown out the violent noise with positivity. And if it gets too much for you, log off of your computer and go out into your community. Meet your neighbors, lend a hand at a shelter, stop by a soup kitchen, donate items that may help lift another person’s spirit, donate time to help Habitat for Humanity, speak to your local YMCA and see if there’s any experience you may have that can help teach a class, help out at your local community center, talk to a vet, assist an elderly member of the community with their lawn, pick up trash on the side of the road. Anything that leaves you with a positive sense of being and purpose. Clear that nasty clutter from your newsfeed, your Twitter feed and your head.

At the rate we’re going, the biggest threat to our country is our own reflection in the mirror. “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Change the narrative.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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