“Mostly peaceful protests.”
“These are peaceful protesters.”
“Police move in as mostly peaceful protests intensify.”
Am I the only one who thinks this all sound disturbingly familiar?
2001 seems like another lifetime, but for those of us who had already hit adulthood it is burned into our memories as a monumental moment in our lives. When the towers fell we had our illusion of safety ripped out from under us in the most infuriating and tragic of ways. For a couple of weeks afterward it seemed the entire nation was united in rage and grief. Even those who hated George Bush (remember when he wasn’t just the cute old man who paints portraits? The shifting sands of time are strange) were enraged that something like this could happen on our soil. It wasn’t all kumbaya, but it wasn’t as divisive as it would eventually become.
In a few breaths we went from national pride and unity to pointing fingers. The 9/11 hijackers had destroyed thousands of lives in the name of Islam, but suddenly we weren’t allowed to mention that. Islamic terrorists, emboldened by the attack, began launching satellite attacks around the globe. London, Paris, Germany and Ft.Hood, among other places. Some were highly coordinated with mass casualties, others were “lone wolf” attackers who used machetes or vehicles to kill and maim. In the aftermath of every single violent act the media and political narrative became rote. “Islam is the religion of peace” became a mantra, even as we were simultaneously watching innocent citizens lose their lives to those who loudly and proudly declared their violence to be prompted by their faith. In Paris, 12 people were brutally murdered for the “sin” of printing a cartoon about Muhammed, but the media worked overtime to bury that lede and the mantra became a drumbeat:
Religion of peace, religion of peace, religion of peace…wash, rinse, repeat.
We were being gaslighted at every turn. What we were watching with our very own eyes did not match up with the political narrative being shoved down our throats. You could not watch one report or press conference that did not begin or end with “Islam is the religion of peace” and it was confusing at best, infuriating at worst. Liberal media transformed the tragedies into a “left vs. right” battle instead of a “civilized vs. uncivilized” battle. The narrative would not be bent to the truth and to this day remains so.
Here we are in 2020 and what’s old is new again. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder (remember him? The corporate media sure doesn’t anymore) nearly all of America was united in outrage. Even those who don’t care for the police brutality narrative agreed that Floyd’s case was abhorrent and deserved justice. Like 9/11, the unity was short lived. Black Lives Matter merged with Antifa, riots and destruction broke out and suddenly we find ourselves right back at the beginning with that same old mantra slightly modified:
Peaceful protests, peaceful protests, peaceful protests…wash, rinse, repeat.
We are repeatedly chastised to not believe our “lying” eyes. The narrative has become so ridiculously partisan that even as buildings burn behind them, corporate media reporters fall over backwards to assure you that the “protests” are peaceful.
Mr.Baghdad Bob goes to America.
It’s becoming a cliche on the right at this point, but it’s not Trump or Congress or your annoying neighbor who is dividing us. It is the media. Being enraged by and opposed to the burning and destruction of small business that people have worked their entire lives to keep open shouldn’t be partisan. It isn’t partisan, and yet the media makes it partisan by telling us that to be opposed to anarchy and the violent destruction of public and private property means being pro-conservative and/or pro-Trump. It’s insanity and Americans are acting accordingly. Everyone is going crazy these days because nothing makes sense.
What happens to the traditional (and successful) bonds of a civilized society when our journalism sector constantly chastises people for believing their own eyes?
Chaos. That is what happens. Chaos, bitterness and division. When no one can speak honestly without fear, more and more people retreat to the fringes, leaving a huge gap in the middle. That gap is widening every day and it’s not because Trump can’t control himself on Twitter.
The fringes are becoming bloated because the corporate media will not allow for an honest discussion of facts accompanied with all the good and bad ideas that come along with normal, natural political discourse. They are literally driving people towards rage because few things are more infuriating than being told you’re too stupid to understand what you’re looking directly at.
What goes around comes around. Everything old is new again. There is nothing new under the sun.
Pick your cliche, the fatigue is still the same. We’re lost in a forest of absurdity and walking in circles.