Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were killed in terrible fashion. Ask yourself now, do you really think the media is so altruistic that it would give their deaths, and the deaths of the many other blacks before them, their due coverage if they did not have another agenda-?
Did the American media machine just grow a big ol' heart?
(Police) brutality is the stepchild of lynching, as my cousin reminded me so wisely today, and has historically been symptomatic of the black condition.
So what's changed?
Well technology for one, for sure. The posting and recording of the videos from each incident were significant game changers. Now we have "proof," for all those who somehow cannot countenance how these things happen.
The emotional impact is heightened by the fact that these sad events happened just days apart and were so ubiquitously covered. In a sense, technology brought/brings an intensity to the narrative BLACK IN AMERICA that we as a society are not completely ready for. I read someone's post today who admitted half-seriously that he didn't want to leave his house.
But I'd argue this is not the whole story. Maybe not even a significant part of it.
Police violence, however egregious - and it is - is a misdirect.
Here's why: it's been there - Remember Abner Louima? I do. Google him.
If it bleeds it leads, holds more truth than you will ever know. I'm telling you this because I've been in newsrooms and heard and seen things that indicate to me with great clarity that your (insert any ethnicity) life does not matter.
Which isn't to say that there aren't good people in news, but there are forces and templates at work that compel people to do what they do.
Having worked in broadcast news for almost twenty years, one begins to understand how people are manipulated.
Liberals, for instance, really intellectually like the idea of the black victim, and they attract such people to their cause. I'm sorry, my 'progressive' friends, but it's true.
And the right wing, well, they're self-explanatory. The one thing I can say for the right, they want 'you' to stop making excuses for yourself. Make some money and get on with things, which is fine, if you're running some kind of facility for misfits...
And the mainstream? After the complicated demise of the equal time rule, it was pretty much game over. (More on that here.)
But, if you really want to know the truth: it's just easier to be sensationalistic.
The media will point you towards the horror because it wants to prod you in a certain direction. So actually, it's not a misdirect, but a direction.
If you control what people see and hear, you have a good chance at controlling their thoughts.
So what are you being conditioned to think? This is the real question. I think regardless of the provocation (this week, 2 shootings) the agenda of the day is racial strife and division, in hopes - I dunno, maybe, martial law-?
There is an agenda to move this issue of policing into a zone where your relationship with law enforcement will be changed. I have no idea what it is, but I can guarantee it's not going to be what you think you'll be getting.
People have a way of accepting draconian changes when they feel they are in crisis. Remember what the Patriot Act, etc. was promised to deliver after 9/11? And look, now all your calls, emails, and communications are recorded. Awesome. I feel so much safer.
This is also known as creating the problem, then providing the solution. Look that one up too.
Part of me wants to be wrong. I'd actually rather that be the case. Let's talk in a few months.
Maybe it's because I'm black and white or because my dad's from Africa, but I look askance at people who pit one group against another.
Like any American, I have a deep respect for its laws and those who seek to uphold them. And I hold that in contrast to where my dad came from - where the fabric of his society was ripped apart. Such a tragedy.
It also pains me when I see earnest people trying to come to terms with what they are seeing on their social media and TV, radio, print ... the emotional tumult is unrelenting for sensitive, caring people.
Today, I saw and heard from so many people of all backgrounds, who are deeply concerned, and think we can do better.
No argument there. But don't be fooled. We as a society cannot be so mercurial that every incident of injustice makes us fly off the handle.
Otherwise, we become the sheep they think we are.
Actually, the title of this essay is a reference to a so-so film about fictional machinations some consultants are involved with during a Latin American election.
People in less 'privileged' countries are very sophisticated when it comes to detecting political theater. We as Americans, now sadly will have to be too.
Maybe our lot is to be sheep. But I can tell you one thing, the media is not The Good Shepherd.
So what now?
Well, it's funny. I certainly am not the only one who's seeing this. A lot of people in the Christian community are concerned for those who are in pain, and those who suffer, and are talking about how we can support each other.
Maybe this is not your background, but if you feel something and know, somewhere in your gut that something is false. Know, you're not alone.
Take a breath and keep your peace. If you do not know peace, try to remember how to pray. If you do not know how to pray, be silent. Those who seek truth will find what we Christians call Jesus Christ. And He can help us bear all things.
This essay is part of a multimedia art show, visit it at: findcreatejoy.com