Racism, Social Media, and Barney The Dinosaur
This whole election period combined with all of the crazy shit and violence happening on a daily basis all over the world has sparked a lot of debate and conversation on race, culture, religion, and politics. I find myself engaging and being part of these conversations with friends, strangers, and acquaintances more than ever before. In a way, it’s great because awareness is the first step towards change. But at the same time, it makes me depressed that we even have to still talk so much about these issues in this “modern society”.
I feel like every word that comes out of my mouth is going to be judged and attacked these days. It’s so hard to speak my truth about anything, and often i question my own beliefs and truths because of how strongly opinionated other people are. People take issues like gun control, racism, and politics so personally that it’s like you’re attacking their mother if you don’t hold the exact same position as them. Social media has become this monster that has created a platform for people to attack each other and debate about every single thing to their atomic level. It’s great that we can spread awareness and have conversations, but at the same time, all this debate only creates more divisiveness and separateness. There are feminists. Then there are feminists who think that other feminists are actually backwards, and therefore anti-feminists. There are “liberals” who think they are tolerant and progressive, but they actually hold inherent racist biases and views they don’t even know they have. Myself included. How did we come to this place where we all are so disconnected from each other? Why are we all so ANGRY? Why is a Christian so completely (in his or her mind) different from a Muslim, why is a Hindu (in his or her mind) so different than a Catholic. As much as people think they are liberal and want the best for everyone, they attack conservatives and moderates just as much as the other way around, so they are still creating the same kind of separateness. They still they think are better and superior. Why do we have so many labels and identities? It’s driving me insane. Religions are STUPID. How have we throughout our history not evolved at all yet into these all-knowing, connected, blissful beings that know no “other”. Why do we keep making ourselves different from our neighbor? If two girls can’t even live together in the same apartment because they can’t get along, how are entire nations supposed to get along? We need to stop feeling so separate from each other and come back to our inherent and most fundamental essence of oneness and love. Even if one doesn’t believe in God, why can’t we just believe in EACH OTHER? We are all human, and we all want to survive and thrive and feel love. We want to be free to make our own choices and we want to feel respected. Every single person in this world has the most basic need to feel connected and to feel like our lives mean something. When we completely lose that hope is when we do horrible things to ourselves and others.
Social media has connected us in ways that we never imagined, yet it has divided us and made us disconnected from our immediate surroundings and the present moment. If we can use social media to stay connected and have loving and thoughtful conversations without losing our connection to the real world and to our selves, then we have truly created something wonderful that aligns with our purpose of oneness and connection. Is it possible? Are we on our way to fulfilling our true collective inner purpose, or are we on our way to our own collective destruction? Both social media and the internet have given opportunity to people full of fear and anger to “troll” and hide behind their technology devices to spread their poison into the world. If the person they were trolling were standing right in front of them, would they still say the same hateful and disgusting things? Or has technology completely rid us of our humanity and sense of belonging to this world and society? And as much as we (”non-trolls”) like to hate on trolls, even we “civilized” people send nasty and angry text messages, and we comment on people’s posts with things that we are too weak to say to a person’s face. WE ALL DO IT. It’s much easier to hurt someone while hiding behind a computer screen or phone screen than making ourselves vulnerable and doing the same thing to someone’s face. Technology makes us feel invincible. It gives a false sense of protection, though our actions still always have consequences which we may not have to suffer until later.
We Americans have the great fortune of being in a place where our neighbor to our left can be from China, our neighbor to our right from Afghanistan, in front of us from Ukraine and behind us from Japan, or Indonesia, or Lebanon. We are a melting pot. We have the opportunity to learn from each other, to engage in discussions about culture and to share our cultures. Yet so many of us pretend to be so open and “cultured”, but are still so steadfast and stuck to our ways and own beliefs, which we inherently feel are superior to any one else’s. No matter how similar we all are, we make ourselves different by believing we are right and doing everything possible to make others wrong.
It’s time to love. It’s time to come together and stop feeling so separate from each other. Barney the dinosaur tried to tell us when we were kids, but we forgot his song. Time to start singing again! I love you....you love me....