Be the Change You Want to See: Ferguson and Hypocrisy

Isn’t it sad that I’m scared to speak about my opinion on Ferguson?

Because I’m white, if I say that Wilson’s act wasn’t a hate crime–not just because that’s my opinion but because the evidence (a.k.a. the truth) showed it–I’ll be called a racist. People who don’t even know me will crucify me, calling me hurtful, pathetic, and shameful names that no one ever deserves to be called.

That is wrong on so many levels.

One: I am an American and therefore have a right to share what I think. We all do. I haven’t yelled at anyone for saying what they think, so why should I get yelled at for saying what I want to? It would be different if I was rude, malicious, hurtful, or hateful with my words, but I am not, cannot, and will not ever be. So why do I deserve cruelty for exercising my first amendment rights?

Oh, right. Sorry. I forgot. In this country, only those with the majority opinion have rights.

Sorry. My bad. I forgot.

Two: Saying that I believe a certain way only because I am white–isn’t that racist as well?

News flash: IT IS.

That’s the equivalent of saying that that guy stole that thing solely because he is black or Asian or Indian or Inuit or whatever the heck other race you want to insert here.

I’m not racist. I’ve never ever even considered race as a thing (for lack of a better word). When I look at a person, I see a person, NOT skin color. It’s freaking 2014. I couldn’t give any fewer craps about the color of anyone’s skin! We are all people, all created by the same God–and if you don’t believe in God, then I guess we’re all people from the same monkey or atom or whatever the heck it is in your theory.

But by saying there’s a huge problem with racism and the persecution of minorities in this country and then turning around and saying that my opinion on the situation is invalid because I am white, you’re being racist yourself.

*cough* *cough* HYPOCRITE *cough* *cough*

Life is a two way street. Not to be cliche, but you have to treat others how you want to be treated; you have to be the change you want to see. If you want respect, give it. If you think there’s a race issue and want it to stop, don’t be racist by saying I don’t matter because I’m white.

Look at it this way: How would you feel if I said I love all people and then went outside and beat someone for being gay or black or ugly or old or challenged, saying that they don’t deserve to exist because of said factor? I would seem very invalid, wouldn’t I? You would no longer want to hear what I have to say, would you?

It’s hard to believe the other side of the story when hypocrites are the ones telling it. Where’s the credibility in that?

You see, the problem with this country isn’t racist whites. It’s idiots of all races who still choose to see the world by skin color.

Do you want racism to stop? Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’ll never be fully gone; there will always be at least one racist idiot kicking somewhere in this world (at least until everyone who lived while race was still considered a thing dies off). HOWEVER, if all of us would just take a second to stop, look around, and see the world for what it really is (a beautiful place full of wonderful people of all walks of life, not a place full of blacks and whites and Latinos and Asians and every other individual race), then maybe we could get 99.9% of the “racism” in this country to go away. For racism, just like with many other things in life, is merely in the eyes of the beholder. If you start thinking it’s about race, it’ll turn into racism. Just like if I start telling myself my wage is lower because I’m a woman, it’ll suddenly become sexism when in fact it could just be because I suck at my job.

Because our country chooses to see our issues as being about race–and because our country gets so heated about racism (as it should considering its history)–it will always become racism.

But, another news flash: It’s time to get over it!

Wasn’t the point of the Civil Rights Movement to make the only answer to race on a standardized test “human?”

That’s right! MLKJ didn’t get assassinated for simple desegregation, friends! He and all of his followers recognized that the past was the past and that the future held the key, that we needed to forget about segregation and the way we used to think of race and start believing in the beauty of the future, the beauty of a world where the only race is human.

Now, I don’t know if you know this, but I wasn’t the one avidly segregating and discriminating in the 1960’s and before. I’m only 18! How could I??

The past is the past, people! Don’t blame me for what those before me of my same color did!

Note how I didn’t say “ancestors.” That’s because even they weren’t racist! Yes, my family was in this country well before slavery ended, but they never had slaves and/or hated blacks/other races. You know how I know that? A.) They were good Christian people, and good Christian people recognize that everyone is equal under God. And B.) They were Eastern Europeans with low-paying, blue collar jobs. They were discriminated against themselves, both in this country and their native one. So why on earth would they hate others for race when they were too busy getting hated on because of their own?

Now can you see that, just because I’m white, it doesn’t mean I’m racist?

Something I’m dying to know: When did it become bad to call out “minorities” (who are really, in fact, not minorities at all when you think about it on a global scale) and okay to hate on “whites” (who, by the way, are beige).

There’s no one to blame but ourselves and the media for this. We respond so fervently to racism because of its heinous-ness (as we should). We see both race and racism even though it could be irrelevant if we just stopped. But we can’t stop because of the media, which turns every meeting up of two different races into racism. We either step forward or backwards in the fight for equality, but either way, according to them, it’s still about race, and the problem has still yet to be solved.

But does that problem even exist?

I personally don’t think so. Literally everyone I know–regardless of their skin–feels that race is trivial and insignificant, that social class is a bigger hindrance now. And while, yes, I do recognize that that is only the opinion of myself and those I know and that you can absolutely beg to differ (in a kindly discourse, preferably), I still can’t help but be sickened by the media trying to latch on to every event of opposite races and spin them in order to fit their agendas of having racism still exist.

I’m sorry, dear media companies, but for many people, that’s washed up old news. We’re jaded. You keep on crying wolf, and we keep on getting enraged and horrified and concerned when we first hear of it and then completely and utterly ticked off (for lack of a kinder phrase) when we look into the situation a little deeper and realize that, once again, you’ve lied to us by showing only bits and pieces of what’s really happened.

Why do you do this???

You know, I actually don’t give a crap about your reasons. The bottom line is that it’s wrong, and when a real racism case comes about, I’m probably not going to believe it. Sure, right now I’m still following such cases in great depth, looking at all evidence and reports as they arrive in order to see all the facts and determine what had really happened for myself.

Which, might I take a moment to add, is exactly what I shouldn’t have to do. Media should be presenting all facts in every piece for me that way I don’t have to hunt around for the truth myself.

So thanks for doubly sucking at your job.

Enough with that tangent, though. Like I said, right now, I still follow incidents of racism in the media. But who knows? I could get so sick of race coverage and all of the lies that are typically found within that I just stop following such things altogether, assuming they’re all crap stories because I’ve been given no evidence to relieve my disgust, regain my trust, and make me believe otherwise.

Literally, the news is going to make me stop caring about what’s happening in this country and thus make me turn into an ignorant citizen–which says something considering the fact that I’m a journalism major.

You know, sometimes I get really genuinely angry at Americans for not realizing that our media is the way it is, but I shouldn’t. When you’re trained to believe the news–when you’re told every day that it tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth–why would you even consider the possibility of it ever not?

It’s not the average citizen’s fault, which is why I shouldn’t get mad and lay blame there; it’s entirely the media’s for taking advantage of them.

I say that they’re taken advantage of because, as I’ve found out in my studies, only those who are or who will be participating in media are informed of such abuses (a.k.a. media literacy). Everyone else is just expected to somehow figure it out on their own. And there’s a reason for that. The media want to keep taking advantage of the people, using them to become even more powerful and create their own kind of society that they can use for their own purposes.

In the true American fashion, they want to keep average people down so they can rise.

Note the sarcasm. It’s not the true American fashion at all.

But that’s why our founding fathers made this country to be completely at the hands of its people. When average citizens realize they are being wronged, they can (and do) easily change it. They have the power to stop and reverse anything they don’t like.

They were given the ability to become the change they want to see.

So, like I said in the beginning, if we all agree on race being such a huge issue, then why can’t we apply said concept there and fix it?

Even though that’s a rhetorical question, I think that those who call me racist for writing this along with those who are violently protesting the acquittal are answering it anyways.

The Things I love: October

Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains, I’ve never not been surrounded by trees. That’s meant lots of white tailed deer and turkeys and rabbits jumping from seemingly nowhere into the middle of the road and hitting your car (or getting hit by your car). That’s meant more than enough downed telephone poles and surprise power outages because of strong winds mixed with dead trunks. That’s meant ugly winters full of skinny, brown, pointy arms on grey sky. That’s meant deforestation that creeps onto your own private property, and by the time you catch it, it’s too late; both your trees and the company in charge of removing them are gone, and you’re left feeling violated in a very odd way. You’re also left with a heck of a lot of stumps to clean up, for heaven forbid the tree removal service ever takes care of that!

But, even though the mountains and their trees have always meant hassle, they’ve also always meant beauty. Sure, winters can get pretty ugly where I live, but every other season is mesmerizing. I think that’s the reason why I love nature so much. I’ve been exposed to its beauty, its magical, mysterious ways, for so long that I’ve been hypnotized by it. I’ve stared at the trees around me for so long that I’ve fallen in love with them, the way they look and the way they move. They’re just so incredible, so freeing. I probably sound completely off my rocker, but just take ten minutes out of your day to look at a tree, and you’ll begin to see what I mean.

While, yeah, there’s other nature than trees and all nature is beautiful, the most spectacular moments around here always involve the trees: in the spring when the blossoms sprout and the baby leaves begin to grow; in the summer when, finally, after months of half life, the leaves suddenly pop out, making the trees seem like deep yet bright green puffs; and in the fall when the weather drops, the sap stops rising, and the leaves slowly turn from bright green, to light green, to yellow-green, to yellow, to yellow-orange, to orange, to scarlet, then drop.

In my opinion, the most beautiful is the fall, more specifically October. The world becomes so full of vibrant color, which is odd because, in reality, everything is dying. But it’s by far the most beautiful death I’ve ever seen, a death that is more than worthy of the lives the leaves have lived, a death that celebrates their beauty better than anything else ever could.

I just love Octobers! I couldn’t imagine living somewhere that doesn’t have Octobers, and I’m very sorry for those of you who do; you’re missing out! So in honor of it (and it’s golden leaves) coming and finally passing, here are some images I’ve taken of what I find most beautiful about Octobers, a commemoration of sorts for your (hopeful) viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Love #1: Fall skies

Fall skies are beautiful. From looking up and seeing leaves fluttering about you to the beautiful colors formed at sunset, there are no other skies that compare.

Looking up and seeing the leaves falling all around you is just magical. It's like those awesome film moments with snowflakes, but better and more colorful.

Fall skies are by far the most beautiful.

Even though blurry, I think this gets the color point across. The light pinks and deep reds are never more apparent than in October.

Love #2: Leaves

Leaves are by far my favorite part of October. There’s literally millions of them that fall, creating a blanket of colorful snow across the ground, speckling the skies with pops of rare vibrancy. It’s spectacular.






Just a a few more for the leaves! They’re too beautiful for me to not get carried away!





Love #3: Fashion

Sure, maybe I’m sneaking this one in hear, BUT the reason why I love fall fashion is because of the colors you wear, such as brown and orange, navy and burgundy. They’re the colors of the world around me at this time, the shades of the leaves and skies I love so much, so I thought it was both fitting and appropriate to throw fashion in here (even if it is a bit of a stretch regarding the whole nature aspect of this post).

I will, however, refrain from turning this into a fall fashion post and only show you two of my three favorite staples this season: my orange utility jacket and brown combat boots. They make me feel like a walking tree, and I love it!

I will, however, refrain from turning this into a fall fashion post and only show you two of my three favorite staples this season: my orange utility jacket and brown combat boots. They make me feel like a walking tree, and I love it!