Posted by askariali
As the media cycle continues to drag out the non-scandal/story of Beyonce’s vocals being pre-recorded for President Obama’s inauguration and the faked death of football player Manti Te’0′s imaginary girlfriend, there is heated, political theater going on around gun control in our country and daily, U.S.-ordered drone strikes killing innocent people in other countries. As usual, the media cycle barely reports on these stories in any meaningful way that will allow the public to contribute an informed opinion on things that directly affect our safety. Of course, media is just fulfilling its role as a government/corporate tool used to control the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of citizens so they remain compliant, misinformed and distracted from the real issues.
I bring this up because now, more than ever, we can break the hold of media manipulation as it has become much easier to see through but only if we cease believing and going along with things that we know are not true. I call this phenomenon “the hypnosis of pretty words.” For example, citizens believe that “every vote counts” even though there is an electoral college system in place that is not beholden to reflect the popular vote. We saw this play out in the 2000 election that declared George W. Bush, Jr. as the winner even though the popular vote was in Al Gore’s favor. Yet, for all the outrage voiced by voters across the country, we did absolutely nothing to change this antiquated system even though we saw its ramifications. How can we say we live in a democracy when we know that the electoral process can and has been used to usurp the majority’s will?
More recently, as we commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and legacy, which many believe is the election and re-election of President Obama, I once again listened to the late Dr. King’s Beyond Vietnam speech and lamented the fact that so much of what he said about America being “the greatest purveyor of violence” remains true. Even as President Obama waxed poetically about “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war, ” he ordered drones strikes in Yemen the previous day that killed several people who allegedly were “suspected” in being linked to Al Qaeda. The President has also been responsible for drone attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia that have killed hundreds of civilians, 200 of which were children. This is the hypnosis of pretty words combined with a charismatic orator and a corporate/government controlled media.
As Obama’s supporter gathered to fill the capitol and celebrate his second term in office believing the hype that “their voices were heard,” I must ask why those same voices have remained deafeningly silent about their President’s actions such as extending the Patriot and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Acts that allow people to be wiretapped without warrant, incarcerated and tortured in any number of “black sites” across the world indefinitely without formal charges filed, and no right to legal representation? Is that what so many of my friends who proclaim their love and admiration for President Obama in their Facebook posts support? I wonder if Michelle Obama has questioned her husband’s decision to place the former VP of notorious pesticide/GMO manufacturer Monsanto into the top FDA Commissioner advisory position though she has been a staunch advocate of eating healthy even planting an organic vegetable garden at the White House. Has she fallen under the spell of pretty words, too?
I will give credit to President Obama for sounding the call for his supporters to spring into action in both his inaugural addresses. The problem is that very few of his supporters have done anything other than vote every two to four years and we all know how effective that has been. How are our voices being heard if our elected officials are not asking us what are our concerns and issues in our communities? They certainly can’t find out when the majority of their time is spent in Washington. The truth of the matter is that politicians in either party don’t give a damn about representing the interests of average citizens who pay their salaries, benefits, and retirement plans (that are far superior than our own) because they receive far greater compensation from corporate and other special interests in the form of legalized bribes known as lobbying and campaign contributions. Think about it. Our government has not pressed charges against the institutions and individuals (other than Bernie Madoff) for their reckless and fraudulent behavior that caused the 2008 global financial crisis. Nor have they prosecuted any of the banks that have laundered money for terrorists and drug cartels (Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, HSBC). Instead, our government loaned them TRILLIONS of dollars at zer0-percent interest! Thanks to the media, the part of the story of how those same institutions made out like bandits by placing bets against the unqualified consumer borrowers, who they knew would default on their loans, was never told.
Something that greatly concerns me is that so many of us continue to believe that our military is fighting for freedom and democracy when the truth is staring us right in the face. Our government invaded Iraq and Afghanistan to steal the natural resources of those countries on behalf of the oil companies and defense contractors who made campaign and lobbying contributions. Yet, we do little stop the killing of the innocent people in those countries because we accept them being labeled as terrorists even though our country is doing the terrorizing. How easily we forget this “great nation” was actually founded upon murder of indigenous people, slavery and discrimination. What makes this country truly great is the strength and sacrifice of the oppressed people who fought back against these government-sponsored atrocities to make life better in the hopes of helping the nation realize the ideals we find in the Constitution.
Perhaps it is because things are comparatively better in this country than it once was and that oppression is now more subtle are reasons there is little protest or resistance. Why aren’t we saying anything about the pharmaceuticals with serious, life-threatening side effects being advertised on TV? Why aren’t we drafting legislation to reverse the silly notion that corporations are people and that their money is considered free speech to unduly influence elections and office holders? Maybe we feel overwhelmed by the enormity and complexity of our social problems or insecure about our ability to solve them. Or are we so swayed by pretty words and media manipulation that we don’t feel there’s anything pressing enough for us act upon. However, after having quite a few conversations with people in both the physical and cyber worlds, I am greatly encouraged that there are lots of people who have not been hypnotized. So, it is with the hope and faith that sharing my knowledge and insights with others in this blog will provoke more people to exercise the consciousness and independent thinking necessary to free themselves of the societal conditioning that keeps them oppressed in ways not even realized.
Each week, Call 2 Consciousness will feature unique perspectives that challenge the pop culture narrative of the events and issues that matter most.
Changing the world is as easy as changing your mind.
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