Chronarchy (chronarchy) wrote,

On Flags and "Distraction"

So, lemme get this straight: you believe we're being "distracted" from "real stories" about "the government" and "corporations" by "the media" with "things that don't matter". . .

If that's true, I have news for you:

  1. If the media, whose biggest scoop is whistleblowing on the government and corporations; and corporations, who hate to be controlled by the government and can't stand journalists; and government, who hates "gotcha journalism" and breaks monopolies, are all in bed together. . . does it really matter what they're covering up? Your Facebook posts aren't going to dent that armor.

  2. Black lives matter.

Now, I haven't arragned these in any particular order. It just so happens that Point 1 provides a nice springboard for Point 2.

Let's start with Point 1. This isn't the first time I've seen this: apparently, we're distracted by a lot of things, according to a few of my friendly conspiracy nuts (I mean that in the nicest possible way; think of it as an endearment): the media distracts us from
BigGovermentThingX and/or BigCorporateThingY with InsignificantThingZ all the time. News of the Pluto exploration mission (New Horizons, launched nearly a decade ago) is designed to distract us from fracking. News of the divorce of some big celebrity provides a smoke screen for government surveillance. News of the Sony hack distracts us from CIA torture camps in Afghanistan.

And news about a little orange flag on the SC capitol grounds distracts us from the TPP, pyramids on Ceres that were built by aliens, or ISIS going on the offensive now. This brings us to Point 2.

I have to be honest, a lot of my friends (a lot of my white, privileged friends) have a lot to say about how this controversy over the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia is "just a distraction." It's not. The killing of black kids by police isn't a "distraction." The fact that this flag was brandished by a white kid before he killed nine black people in a church is not a "distraction."

It sounds like a distraction to you, because you feel it is unimportant. Let that sink in for a moment: you think that a person using the old "Stars and Bars" as a symbol of hate is isolated, "improper," and at the end of the day, unimportant. That's what you're saying when you call it a "distraction."

The worst form of this is the open-ended, "More about this silly flag. What else might they be distracting us from?" This line says to me: "I'm so uninformed, I cannot find a single thing that is worth caring about less than the way minorities feel about this flag."

I know, you didn't choose to see it as "unimportant." You think the issue is different, that there's something else going on than racism here. You might even think that it's "reverse racism" (note the quotes: that's because we're using a made-up phrase; sorry, but that's true). You might feel that the flag in question is "misrepresented," but your feelings are born of your ideas about the flag, and doesn't take into account anyone else's perceptions (which, of course, means you must be right).

Your "distractions," when your cute little conspiracy nut head gets ahold of them, are expressions of how you interact with institutional racism. And in your privilege, you say it doesn't matter.

But it does matter. To all of us. And you're in the wrong on this one.

Tags: activism, ancestors, black lives matter, friends, history, politics, racism, reflections, theories, writings

  • Clergy Oath Dream, 12/28/2016

    I do not often dream, but sometimes, the results are hilarious. This is what I'd classify as a "nightmare," but in the light of day,…

  • A Yule Rite for (All) the Ages

    Last night's Yule rite was pretty awesome. Despite chasing kids around, running a lot of video cameras, and generally being exhausted at the end…

  • Crafting Through Ritual: The Work of Our Grove

    On Friday, a couple of our Grove members had their baby very, very early (24 weeks). The girl is apparently doing quite well given the premature…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment