Strange Times

What are we doing today as a society that we will look back on in 20-100 years and say, wow, that was crazy or barbaric? What is something we will look back on and not understand why it is even happening or happened, because it is so incorrect. It’s common to say "learn from your mistakes" to avoid them in the future. It’s also common for people to miss the mistakes they are even making in the first place, which if they were to correct, their life would be ten times better than it already is.

Think about it, 50 years ago we still had major civil rights issues in this country, and some would argue that we still do. 100 and some change years ago people still owned slaves in this country. 50-100 years is not that long ago if you consider it. It was only 3 generations in your family ago.

Whites being smarter/better than blacks, or civil rights being nonexistent are not beliefs that have been gone very long in our society, but most educated people look back at these thoughts and ways of living as barbaric, inhumane, and plain wrong. In a short span of 50 years, black people and other minorities are accomplishing more great feats than they ever have before due to expulsion of these incorrect beliefs.

I bring all this up to say that we as people have come along way and we are always improving at a very fast rate. While this continues, I think it’s important we ask ourselves, what is it that I do today that we will see as barbaric or immature, or flat out negative in ten or more years? With civil rights issues for example, people were on teams. It was very tribal.

I believe the main thing we do nowadays which causes most of our strange times, is impulsively post thoughts and feelings as they come and go to the internet and social media without deeper analytical thought. The large number of impulsive tweets, and long Facebook posts that stem from no deep thought has caused me to sit down and write this article because not only do they annoy me, but they also cause dissention among the people of our country.

People choose not to see all sides of situations due to how quickly they are posting their thoughts and feelings. This leads to harsh replies degrading or denouncing the poster, which turns into a twitter beef, which turns into a real-life hate for that company or person that tweeted it out.

With strong minded celebrities like Kanye or Donald Trump leading the charge of this posting frenzy, it’s easy to think this is commonplace, or normal. But, I’m here to argue it shouldn’t be.

Social media has become a very tribal place. It’s a place where trends land as quickly as they go, and either your team trendy or you’re not. It’s also a place where there are tons of people constantly hating on others for being themselves, for reasons no one may know. Maybe their life isn’t going very well, and they are jealous because they see someone else’s is?

There are two very common trends that I see people tending to follow, and it’s that people hate what isn’t them or apart of their team’s culture, and they also act as though they know it all based on their own individual world experience. These two very detrimental thoughts lead to most dissention I speak of.

Historically, racist white people thought they knew more than all blacks. This wasn’t true, but they thought they knew that based on their own interactions with black people. Instead of realizing that the oppression they were causing was leading to not as many successful black people, they chalked it up to them naturally being that way. They continued to see them as the other even though on a human level they weren’t.

Nowadays, people tweet about, for example, Donald Trump and you’re either team Trump, or you’re against him. My first thought is, why can’t we be both supporters of some Trump policies, such as ending a seven decade long Korean Hostility towards each other, and not be fans of other things he does or says such as “grab em by the pussy”?

On social media, from half of the country you will get crucified if you like Trump and root for him, and by the other half you will get crucified if you don’t love Trump. Maybe it’s always been this way politically, but now there is a bright light shining on it and its very worrisome for me personally. Not only because we seem to be a fractured nation, but because as a country we should have solidarity and believe our leader can bring us peace and help us prosper.

Kanye West, is another example of someone who you’re either with or against as of late. Kanye is the perfect example of someone who posts impulsively, whatever he wants without thinking of the impact or the result he has on other people. Kanye West is a music icon, that is undeniable. But, as of late in his life, he has been tweeting very cryptic tweets, that seem philosophical to the unenlightened mind but overall are nothing but copy and pasted quotes.

He calls himself a free thinker, and even likens himself to God. Supreme confidence from a not so supreme individual. And I know, I may sound like a guy who’s just hating on someone for being themselves. This in fact is not true though. I am a guy who 5 years ago was one of the biggest Kanye West fans ever. He made great music that explained his struggles and triumphs as a black man in America, and how he overcame oppression from the clothing and music industry to become the success he is.

But now, he tweets crazy things and has even gone on to say that slavery lasted 400 years because it was black peoples ‘choice’ to stay there. It is statements such as this or his statements on freedom or Trump that disappoint me.

It seems as though Kanye has thoughts that are still developing, and he spews them about his personal Twitter and then wonders why people question his intellect. Let me preface this ending by saying Kanye owes me or anyone else who follows him nothing. But if his goal is to influence a generation as he has stated many times over in his music and interviews, he should think clearly about what he says before saying it, just as I say everyone should.

Leaders of certain parts of our society have the highest responsibility to rid of this thinking, because although we can root for certain people or teams, we need to realize what’s more important. That we are all the same, we are all human and deserve the simple rights and respect that come with that status. Just because you go to my rival school doesn’t mean I have to hate you past gameday.

I want people to understand is that if we continue as we are, we will look back in 20 years and see that we were playing too much of us vs. them, me vs. the other and we will be disgusted just as we have been with civil rights discrimination. Although it’s hard to step out of our own bodies and see the common mistakes we are making, I believe this is one that we can all see and all work on, so that we limit dissention, and we limit the negative comments and hate online.

We must think thing through and consider all sides of a coin before we tweet them, because it stays with you forever. In job interviews, in community, everywhere. We must see each other as equal and respect all people. If we practice doing more of this, then I believe we will be in a better place as a society, and we’ll leave the strange times we currently find ourselves entrenched in and enter, what I like to call better times.

Where everyone’s equal and we respect what others say because we know it comes from a place of deep thought, consideration and is stated with a respect, not a tone arrogance. Strange times can be overcome, it just takes some thought before we act.


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