Home Opinions We have tactlessly normalized 2017

We have tactlessly normalized 2017

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If 2016 was the year of political earthquakes – Brexit, Trump’s rise to power, continuously rising tension surrounding police brutality – 2017 is the year of hyper-normalization and apathy toward a tumultuous state of affairs. A time that began with much of the population vowing to ‘resist’ the products of last year has turned into one that either ignores or fully embraces them.

At this year’s Emmy awards, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was promoted from one of the administration’s many dunces to media darling. In what seemed like an attempt to transform Spicer’s image from Melissa McCarthy’s satirical depiction of him to lovable as that, Spicer rode his podium onto the stage. He exclaimed the crowd would “be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period — both in person and around the world.”

It is as if the world had forgotten Spicer’s role as the mouthpiece of an Orwellian administration that blatantly disregards facts and deems journalistic integrity as the enemy, as exemplified by President Trump’s Aug. 22 speech in Phoenix, Arizona which was full of falsehoods that largely went unchallenged.

According to Factcheck.org, Trump not only cherry-picked excerpts from his past statements about the violence in Charlottesville in an attempt to glaze over his blame of “both sides,” but also falsely expressed that CNN’s ratings are going down as a result of their White House coverage. On the contrary, CNN’s ratings continue to rise. Sadly, his claims have begun to be shrugged off as typical “Trumpisms” instead of falsities dangerous to democracy.

Trump’s worst tendencies mirror that of his most fervent supporters: members of the so-called alt-right. According to the Associated Press, the “alt-right” is “an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism, or, more simply, a white nationalist movement.”

The media’s normalization of the “alt-right” is something this country has already started to pay for. The groups tragic success in Charlottesville is largely due to the media’s inaction and disregard toward these “trendy” neo-Nazis. In November, Mother Jones released an expose on Richard Spencer titled “Meet the dapper white nationalist who wins even if Trump loses.” Others followed by deeming the “alt-right” a harmless group of hipsters with nice haircuts, irresponsibly overlooking their fascistic tendencies.

Most tragically, as a country we seem to have reached a point of desensitization toward police brutality. While activists and citizens of St. Louis protested the acquittal of the police officer who murdered Anthony Lamar Smith, the rest of the country was generally unresponsive. While the dangers of police brutality have always been unfortunately common for people of color, we are now in danger of knowingly normalizing the inaction that follows these tragedies. It is no longer a question of being ignorant toward the issues that black and brown America face, but of being aware and still not caring.

The perpetrators behind this hyper-normalization are journalists such as ourselves. Professionals in our field have been wildly irresponsible in framing people like Sean Spicer as humorous victims, Richard Spencer as an appealing anomaly and failing to challenge Trump’s fictitious claims as well as ignoring issues faced by vulnerable Americans. If we are to continue calling ourselves “the fourth estate,” then we need to stop running public relations campaigns for people we are meant to hold accountable.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Another day, another piece conflating conservatives with racist radicals and ignoring the racist radicals on your own edge of the spectrum, which happens to include some university professors.

    Another day, another piece demonizing the force that keeps thieves out of your house, or at least out of the houses of people not willing to or unable to defend themselves.

    I don’t think the officer was right to shoot Anthony Smith out of anticipation, but I wasn’t there, and neither were you. With that being said, there is a very simple way to prevent yourself from being shot by police. Its called compliance. And that’s after you’ve decided to carry out a drug deal, ram a police vehicle twice, and lead them on a high speed chase. All he had to do was put his hands out the window and follow the officers’ orders. Instead, he decided to ignore the orders and rummage around in his vehicle. He very well could have just been trying to hide drugs, and not been reaching for the revolver found in his vehicle. But, it seems to me that someone who has already been convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm, and is most likely assumed by responding officers to be armed, would leave no room for doubt of his good intentions, if they were indeed.

    Like I said, I don’t believe the officer was in the right, but you are doing the community a disservice by excluding context and involving race to fit your narrative. Forgive us if we don’t mourn for a heroin dealing thief. The “inaction” would be no different if the thug happened to be white, green, or yellow; except that there would actually be inaction instead of people going insane and destroying their own community.

  2. All I can say is that those on the regressive left have brought their troubles on themselves.
    Also, Trump is hardly a dictator fascist or anything that he is so often accused of. I do not like them man, but I do not like him because i find him to be egotistical and an idiot.
    He is far from being anything like Hitler, like so many idiots call him. They obviosly know nothing of history.

    And frankly, I worry and hate the communist and so called “antifa” more than the nazis and neo-nazis. BOTH are terrible and should be whipped out. At least with nazis they are blatantly bad you know what you are getting.
    AS History has shown us, Communism is more to be feared more than anything Hitler has done. Communists make Hitler look like a cute bunny.
    Communists act as though they are nice, they work hard to convince the poor and unintelligent that they “care” for them and they will make their lives “better”. As soon as they get any power though they start killing mercilessly. They are much worse than Hitler. Hitler was a terrible person who ordered terrible things, but if anything can be said he actually worked to improve the lives of the people who were under his rule. Communism completely destroys everything and kills the innocent.

    Trump may be an idiot, but he has every right to blame both sides for their senseless violence. Both the neo-nazis and the antifa are roaches that need to be exterminated.
    They only take the minds of the weak and impressionable and convince them to commit acts of violence to help support their own victim complex.

    Something the regressive left does too often. They have ruined communities and work to convince people how they are not responsible for their lives and actions that is is the result of being a victim.
    GROW THE FUCK UP and take responsibility for your actions. EVERYONE has struggles in life, some more than others. While we should aim to alleviate those who are struggling, you should not attack other who you “perceive” to struggle less. Stop making excuses for your own bad actions. Especially stop complaining when you are reprimanded for your bad choices.

    And seriously, the media had become a joke, especially in the advent of social media. So many news sources now rely on what is trending and skew their article to get more views, not more facts and truth…. That is their prerogative, just don’t complain when you are called out for lying.

    EVENMORE…. So many in this generation only gets their news from social media, not even news sources, they quickly look at headlines and run to their twitter or tumbler page and start throwing hashtags and name calling when they have not even read the article. Not that many people could understand it because so many people are ignorant of the actual events taking place in the world. They just rely on facebook, twitter, buzzfeed, huffingtonpost, or other blogs and social media to tell them how to think.

    before this election, the radicals on the right were shrinking, people were becoming more open minded than at any point in history! (and still are)
    But because people on the left could not produce a reputable leader and completely split trying to do so. They have led to their own downfall, and now many on the left are becoming radicalized and intolerant (regressive) and are pushing for discrimination just at those on the radical right would have.

    because of the rise of radical regressive left, it has pushed for a rise in the radical right.

    People are not reacting to logic, science or rationality… they are only reacting to their “feelings”.

    Overall, this is all Americas fault. In schools they pushed that each child is special, and can achieve anything you want as long as you try… THAT IS NOT THE CASE. We are all individuals, but we are not special, we are just one of 7 billion people that inhabit this small rock. You can not, nor should everyone try to achieve “their dreams” You can try, and you should try to achieve your dreams as long as it is logical and does not harm others.
    This mentality has led people to grow selfish and unable to sympathize with others. All they know is THEIR world, and react in that. They do not accept responsibility, because it was someones elses fault if they could not do achieve it. So they get mad at the world and radicalize. a perfect weapon.

    This has been happenign for decades.
    Look to New York City or Los Angeles. People were always told and though that if they can make it there, that because they see themselves as “SPECIAL” that they will get famous and rich. But in reality, getting rich and famous is hard work and relies mostly on LUCK. After a while of trying and failing they are now stuck there and resort to other means and bad choices while blaming “the man” the whole time.

    You people have no one to blame but yourselves

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