Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An American Crucible

I am grateful for Don Imus enduring the ire of a nation hellbent on finding people to blame for their own shortcomings and fears. In the throes of career-saving agony, Don referred to accepted American values as a basis for righteousness in his comical banter that led to him being released from his long-helmed post.

It got me thinking.

32 people died in a shooting instigated by a troubled person looking for his own sense of twisted justice against those that he felt wronged him. It was a horrible incident. Yet, media coverage has taken the built-in sensationalism to a new peak by extrapolating many different sides to the story and making them their own issues. Gun control and mental health judgment has been added to the smelter. I would even venture to say nationalism has been thrown in very quietly simply by harping on the birth of origin of the shooter to be South Korean, although he was fashioned, molded, and half-way integrated in American culture much like I was. It's as if I am no longer American because I was born in Puerto Rico and moved here when I was 4 the second I break the law. Am I being told by the media that things like violence isn't "American bred"?

The hip-hop side of the music industry, which has long been a place to bring everyday thoughts, attitudes, and experiences to light, has been put back into the crucible of American criticism. Russel Simmons, who personally has benefited and helped bring the culture to mainstream, has begun to renounce the parts of the movement that made it was it is. The artists have struck back in a vain attempt to justify themselves in a septic environment willing to only listen to the hollering of those who wish to impose their own will upon all, e.g., the Oprahs, Jessie Jacksons, and Al Sharptons of the world, not to help understand why people are truly outraged, but rather perpetuate an idea that originally was false as well as spawn new fallacies while attempting to retain a sense of a hypocritical "holier than thou" appearance (Jackson's "Hymie Town" incident during his 1984 Presidential bid, Sharpton's interesting "verbination" of the word Jew to denote characterize shady/unethical dealings, and Oprah's constant usage of race discussions in her show where she "represents" minorities).

We must all learn to live with our actions, responsibilities, and consequences. The second we look at ourselves and understand why we are truly reacting to the events of our collective lives, the more we will see that we have no one to blame for these situations but ourselves.

Currently listening :
By Audioslave
Release date: 05 September, 2006

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