Irresponsible Media Has Led To White Supremacists
Start writing a post
Politics

Irresponsible Media Has Led To White Supremacists

White Nationalists don't become that way overnight.

7
Irresponsible Media Has Led To White Supremacists
Slate.com

As I watch flashes of the hatred and violence that took place yesterday in Charlottesville, I am overcome with emotions. I am watching videos and breaking down into tears because I can't believe what I'm seeing on my television screen, and yet, in a way, I can believe it.

I can believe that a group of men decided which humans were inherently less and one of those men decided that killing Heather Heyer in the streets was okay because she was standing for something that they didn't agree with. It's happened before and this probably won't be the last time.

It's incredibly jarring that for months, I've heard older adults and my more conservative peers complain about "snowflakes" and "the violent left." The left didn't kill anyone. What happened in Charlottesville was cold blooded terrorism, and it worked, because I'm terrified.

When I was in middle school, I was ignorant (as many middle schoolers usually are). I was conservative in all possible meanings of the word. I was a conservative Christian, against feminism, for the death penalty, against taxes, and I was adamantly pro-life to the point where I would argue with my friends' parents.

(My friends all came from more liberal households, and I credit their parents with much of my personal growth) I was lucky, and I was able to question my surroundings. Was I evil? No, I wasn't. Was my family evil? No, of course not.

I want to reiterate that my family's viewership of The O'Reilly Factor did not equate with recent events, at all. What happened in Charlottesville makes my heart ache, even more so because I know that hatred is learned and not innate.

Yet, had I not stopped at Fox News and moved onto more dangerous media like Breitbart or Daily Stormer, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this as a rationalist, anti-fascist, and women's liberationist today.

Being overtly political around impressionable people is dangerous. I would regurgitate what I had heard on Fox News without any understanding of the issues. All it took was for me to be exposed to an extreme pundit. I didn't stop to think that what I was saying had real life consequences for other people because children don't think, and unfortunately some adults don't think either.

No child is born thinking that women should not have personal agency, and no child is born thinking that white men are superior to people of color. We learn these ideologies through exposure to politicized media. In the same way that people become desensitized to increasingly violent pornographic images and bloody violence on the television, white people have become desensitized to racism in mainstream forms.

When we intake problematic media, it generates profits, views, and ratings. That is what media companies thrive off of. They will say and do whatever it takes to get a pat on the back from their primary viewership, even if that means they aren't taking the moral high ground. Capitalism can be brutal when there are no alternatives. So what should we do?

We should start using critical thinking and compassion. Philosopher John Rawls coined the term "veil of ignorance", which means that when we think about public policy, we do so without thinking about the advantages that we have. You must create policy, argues Rawls, as if you don't know where you fall into the social hierarchy.

If we educated our children to use the veil of ignorance when dealing with others, as well as to use critical thinking, empathy, and reason when analyzing public policy, then we'd be safer and a better country for all, not just a country for white men.

If we want a change to happen, we have to mobilize in droves. Turn off your television, get some statistics and look for people who were there and saw it happen. In the age of social media, you don't need to go to the networks.

There are reputable print publications like the New York Times and the Atlantic. There are YouTubers and Facebook live streams. There are so many mediums for so many people to communicate on. We must not let hatred infiltrate our lives.

In memory of Heather Heyer, that's what I'm going to work on, and you should too.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

43199
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

27161
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

952121
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

143362
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments