Screams of agony pour across the crowded street as pepper spray engulfs a young child’s eyes; a few meters away a civilian posts the video online, capturing the moment, while journalists run with the rush of a good story.
“A child pepper sprayed, a woman’s eye severely injured. Protesters condemn Seattle police’s tactics” A popular news source would soon publish updating readers; they would explain that this form of police brutality had been court ordered by a federal judge to stop the use of chemical irritants. Prior to judgement, the media had depicted this incident as a peaceful Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, for days, weeks even on end. The mainstream media, journalists, and commentators incited further hatred and anger towards officers, demanding justice.
By the close of this news story’s day, the demonstration had grown to nearly 10,000 individuals. Sunday, following the protest, hundreds of businesses and buildings were found damaged, vehicles and cars burned, 57 arrests had been issued for various charges including assault and burglary, and six officers were injured. The opposition media detailed the protest as violent, asking why responsible parents would bring a child to a violent protest (implying the parents were at fault, not the officers). And again, hatred and anger ignited and fueled by mainstream media, journalists, and commentators.
Twitter: @ jennengle12
Bridging off of the mainstream media, users participate globally in social-media and encrypted messaging apps, discussing viral events such as this one. Neo-Nazis, ANTIFA, Groypers, BLM, XR, and other extreme chat groups sharing media, memes, videos, gifs, further propelling their agenda, violence, hatred towards the opposition, and organizing means of “retribution”.
And the next day, another news article will be printed. Another story will be told. Another death documented. Another “senseless” act of violence committed. Another viral video to circulate. Another meme to be made. Another riot. Another protest. Another gif. Another argument on telegram. Another report made on Twitter. Another shooting. Another looting. Another home lost. Another business lost. Another.. and another.. and another…
Neo-Nazis, ANTIFA, Groypers, BLM, XR, and other extreme chat groups sharing media, memes, videos, gifs, further propelling their agenda, violence, hatred towards the opposition, and organizing means of “retribution”.
To what end? Where do we go from here?
Does it leave us in a continuous cycle of consuming without ever understanding what our actions propel? Does it lead to a complete state of anarchy? Lawlessness? What does history show now that it has been torn down and the pages burned? Or is it the perfect storm for complete government control? Have these acts of disarray actually been carefully articulated to implement lawful measures?
It is time we face these questions.