Recently I performed at three events where people called our current time, “the dark age.” I am just going to say one thing before you go and switch to the next post, I hope the rise of fake news, the radicalization of your Facebook feed, the terror in TV news and the general human dread that seems to be floating like a collective consciousness cloud has not entered your brain. I disagree with this demoralization of our current state as a society for a few different reasons.
In a time like this, people use social media to echo about the disgust of the nation, the ugliness of it all, the horror, which I do agree is evident and omnipresent. In truth, social media fails to mention there are movements of darkness, but in a whole truth there has never been a bright period in humanity’s history for all people. People who beam about how great America used to be forget to remember for who and how. People who are nostalgic and glorify periods exclude the narratives for the folks that didn’t have such a bright time then.
Now, the difference between today and a few months ago is that people in power grow louder through easy to digest media that skews reality to make existing seem like a constant fight between good and evil when it is quite far from that. Even while Obama was president the world wasn’t the apple pie peace treaty social media keeps glorifying it as and to name a few reasons: bombs were being dropped on 130 countries murdering innocent civilians by the US, people of color were being shot by police offers, the pay gap was for the most part deeply unaddressed.
The world has never been brutally beautiful and now it stings true that there are thousands of war crimes, hate crimes, acts of systemic racism, acts of systemic misogyny being introduced into naive eyes and it is easy to get caught up in being angry, upset and drowning in fear. With more opportunity to be truly informed, there lies the opportunity that comes with it, to grow bolder as the presence of destruction grows louder.
It pains me to see people arguing over simple issues, the left hating the left without remorse, creating more “us” and “them” rhetoric between people that see the world as similarly to them as possible. This is not a time to be fighting with people who have marginally different opinions than you, or knowledge deficits, this is a time to unite, to educate, to be bold, to listen to trust-worthy sources of media and to make a change. This is a time for meaningful dialogue, to assert the stance of freedom and democracy over the loud voices demanding power and a tradition of hate.