I wasn't sure what to write about, or even if I was going to continue publishing articles on Daily KOS. I try to come up with material, that is factual, has referenced sources and a mixture of my own observations, but in reality I don't think people really care unless something is controversial, inflammatory, or otherwise provocative in some manner. We have become a society who enjoys chewing on our wedge issues and happily devouring whatever ideological propaganda is tossed our way, that happens to fit our fancy.
Ferguson is a perfect example of this. People lining up into ideological camps. Those who rightfully see the injustice of a police officer murdering yet another unarmed, Black person, and those who have their own prejudices against the African American community and support the police's actions because they don't really like Black folks. Everyone was up in arms, shouting from their soap boxes. Aspiring writers and Faux Journalists wrote inflammatory pieces for both sides of the issue, milked the tragedy for the proverbial 15-minutes and moved on to the next "News Worthy" scandal.
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The Death of Robin Williams, like Ferguson was another example of milking a tragedy. Instead of a real discussion taking place in our society over the need for mental health reform and more comprehensive access to mental health treatment, this event was treated as so many other preventable tragedies are these days, as feed for the News Cycle and discarded after a week or so.
Last night I sat down to watch a movie marathon of Robin Williams films. I started watching, Good Morning Vietnam, but found myself crying instead of laughing. I realized the world had lost something that can't adequately be explained away with words, when Robin passed away. Here was a man who brought laughter and joy to the entire world, touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people, yet struggled with the laughter and joy in his private life and was ultimately consumed by his own depression. Because our society views depression and mental illness as some sort of personal failing, cases like this are far to common. Robin Williams death could have been a catalyst for real reform and change, given how much he touched the lives of everyone in our society, instead we were to apathetic to address the important issues, and instead waiting for the next juicy scandal to occur.
I can't look at my Facebook news feed without reading articles about women who are raped, and their rapists get off with a slap on the wrist or nothing at all in some cases. Emma Sulkowicz is a prime example of this very thing. Raped in her own dorm room, at Columbia University of all places. Her rapist is not only still on campus, but the school dismissed Two other reports about him from other women, as well as Emma's report. This happens all the time in our country, yet collectively we are to apathetic to do anything about it. We just don't care enough as a society.
When it comes to our apathy, even our beloved pets aren't safe. It is bad enough when unarmed Black folks are gunned down, either by stand your ground lunatics like Theodore Wafer, who murdered Renisha McBride because she had the audacity to knock on his door late at night after having been in a car accident. It seems we also see video's or read articles about police shooting dogs and even cats for doing nothing more than existing, because these officers claim to fear for their safety. This depravity, while nothing new in our society has become so commonplace, that unless it ends up happening to a furry member of your own family, you file it away in the back of your mind as a horrible thing and then forget all about it a few days later. We don't even have the will to overcome our apathy when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us.
Perhaps we deserve the society we have. We keep voting in the same garbage each election cycle, then complain how things aren't better. We get upset about the cost of living going up, while our pocketbooks are lighter and lighter each year, but we don't bother to support or become active in Unions to effect changes. Civil Liberties are used as a political football, voting rights are held hostage for political points, and elections are gerrymandered in broad daylight to take away your voice in government, yet none of you do anything to change it. It's easier to sit at home at watch Television or play your Facebook games then to get involved and put in the time, energy and effort to effect a change.
So welcome to the United States of Apathy. The nation you deserve!