Fall is here. School is back in session. The holiday season is upon us.
To me, fall is the season of change. However, there are a lot of events that have occurred that omit the old, trite smell of stagnation. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Here are the events that give me a tragically familiar sense of dread:
1) Darren Wilson, the killer of Mike Brown, is still free. In fact no one knows his whereabouts. We are focused on demonizing an unarmed teenager than the person who shot them. My this sounds familiar.
2) Public figure (Ray Rice) gets exposed for the sick, deranged, and abusive figure he is due to a scandalous leak. Institutions (the NFL, the legal system) scramble to do what they should've done initiallly, then scramble to cover their asses as there is substantial evidence that said institutions engaged in massive apathetic oversight at best, or massive malicious cover up at worst.
3) University Football Program (Penn State) who covered up child rape and molestation is now let off the hook by NCAA, via a calculated news released timed perfectly after the Ray Rice controversy. Said university punishment is equivalent, if not more lenient than the punishment of USC when Reggie Bush allegedly received impermissible benefits, which ironically he may be entitled to now with the OBannon ruling. During PSU's "punishment", the university became a beacon of hope and positivity, as the program was promoted as a team "fighting adversity" through sanctions. Yet, there was no coverage or spotlight on the children Jerry Sandusky molested as fighting adversity in the midst of their lives being violated and ruined while the person responsible went on to be admired. While the students of PSU had nothing to do with the sickening apathy of their leaders and the acts of Sandusky, they had every opportunity to transfer to another school without punishment, and if the NCAA had the courage to institute the death penalty line they should've, the NCAA could've done everything in their power to ensure PSU's student athletes had a soft landing at another school. But alas, this is America, where we don't care about victims of sexual assault.
The more things change, the more things stay the same. The needs of the oppressed (PoC, Women, Surivors of sexual assault, rape, and molestation) are always discounted, the lives of the oppressed are always disregarded. People flock in waves just to defend the status quo, and that defense of the "same ol' same ol'" is an endorsement of oppression and abuse. While we make progress (Black president, more visibility for activists via internet and social media, more tolerance for people of different backgrounds), it seems a dark force in our global culture, similar to fear, the Koch brothers, and Fox News, keeps influencing people to hold on to the prejudiced worldview that has been consistently dominant, and for people to tighten that hold when cases of positive progress threaten the standard operating procedure and social hierarchy of the world.
My solution to this is basic: keep speaking out. Keep fighting. Keep learning about what's going on in the world. Admit mistakes, and learn to work together to get shit done. Don't be afraid to do something or support a cause. Hell, the visibility on social media alone helped to bring Mike Brown's murder to light, and put pressure on the NFL to change their DV suspension and discipline policy. Support one another, and keep up the fight, because I know you're tired of the same shit happening everyday too.