Media-Fueled Anger Divides and Hurts Us

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post on teaching respect is vital, mainly fueled by media accounts of young white boys disrespecting a Native American Vietnam veteran. For the most part, the sentiments of the post are important, particularly teaching children to see the value and worth of every human being, regardless of race and cultural differences

But, I also included my disbelief that any “black Muslims” had prompted what I saw as disrespect, refusing to believe the mother of the child front and center of the controversy. But after a longer tape of the confrontation appeared, I realized that I was wrong, and that indeed there were Black males there instigating some of the encounters.

I admit that I was so emotional over what looked to be occurring that I failed to consider if there were more than one side to the story. There have now been copious media coverage on the encounter, especially examining how social media accounts can be used to misinform about other people’s actions, presenting only part of the truth.

Don’t get me wrong. I am old enough to know that the media will present wrong information. But what shocked me was the quickness by which people, including me, accepted the definition of the situation, even to the point that the school the boys attend was closed to protect the boys, some of whom had received death threats and their families harassed.

Have we lost our minds in this country? I think not, completely! My theory is that the division among us according to race/ethnicity, social class, immigration beliefs, and ideologies, much of it fueled by economic competition, is fodder used by parts of the media to increase our anger and further separate us.

I try not to immerse myself into the political media, not watching CNN or FOX news. Twenty-four hour news feeds and the power of social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, to influence the most extreme individuals on both sides of arguments results in the craziness we are experiencing in Washington, with 800,000 families undergoing unnecessary struggle and possible financial ruin.

I wanted to correct what I wrote, admitting that I did not know the other side of the story before reacting so emotionally to a picture. The full tape presented various instances of people screaming at each other, including grown men screaming at children. Respect goes both ways, from adults to children as well as vice versa.

What a mess I saw, and it really depressed me seeing so much hatred and lack of respect and determination to be heard, all others be damned. It made me realize my own responsibility to be careful of what I write and that I seek “the other side of the story” before I react and add to the mania created by maybe too much access to news.

Fandango prompt is Copious. Ragtag prompt is Immerse. Word of the Day Challenge is Instigate. Daily Addictions is Theory. Your Daily Prompt is Extreme.


6 thoughts on “Media-Fueled Anger Divides and Hurts Us

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  1. What I don’t like about the “new full-length tape” is that a local media and promotion company helped the students make it. What I find most funny is that many of the comments are divided based on family role. Many mothers see his face and know that smirk. It’s not one of trying to “diffuse the situation”. BI is a known hate group and while two wrongs do not make a right, the actions of the group behind the young man tell more of the story than his side. I think I would feel differently if Mr. Phillips had behaved differently, but I find no fault in his actions. Those kids needed adult supervision, but they should have known how to behave in public.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Lord, I made the mistake of stepping onto Twitter and saw Trump’s new motto for the next two years. There will be no going back to normal. This is a hate-fuled frenzy that will only end with self-destruction.

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  2. I don’t think ANYONE acted appropriately in that situation, not the Black Israelites, not the smirking kids, not their lazy supervisors, not the drummer & co., who stepped into it for no reason. But regardless, no one got hurt, NOTHING HAPPENED, this should not even be news. There is real news happening and people are hyper focused on this non story to an insane degree. I swear, half of twitter has lost their minds over it.

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