Revolt is written into our Constitution
by Donald K. Sanders
I turned on the TV the other day, just in time to see the news report about the protestors in Oakland and Sacramento. I thought that they did an excellent job of reporting on everything except what is really important — the reasoning behind the protest. Beating around the bush is another way of ignoring the issues.
The average American citizen is angry. They want change in the financial and military world. “Occupy Wall Street” is a child of this anger. Being ignored by the press has pissed off some of the protestors, so now they went and got all of their friends. The increasing number of protestors fortunately goes hand in hand with the amount of attention they get from the press. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it’s bad. This time, I think it may be bad.
The mass media is owned and controlled by the high and mighty 1%. Five thousand protestors blocking streets, closing harbors and businesses has hit the high and mighty where it hurts: their wallets. Objective number one has been reached. We have their attention.
I don’t think that you can dispute the fact that there are people in high places who want to pull all the strings. They have most of the strings in their fists and the rest of the strings are just out of reach. The high and mighty (I’d call them assholes but they would probably send someone to kill me) have control of our government and mass media. This, I feel, is certainly true.
With the government and media in their control, it’s a surety that they hold the high ground. You can bet your buddy’s ass that the press will no longer ignore the protestors. We are about to see the mass media at its best, or worst, depending on which side you are on.
Misrepresentation and misinformation are the tools that they will use. The protest movement has only righteousness and truth. It is essential that the protest remain peaceful and centered on the truth. The protest must remain within the laws of the land. If this protest movement resorts to violence of any sort, it is no longer a protest. It is a violent revolt.
Not long ago, I made the statement that I thought there was violence just around the corner. I think this is highly probable, for the protest lacks leadership and the issues have not been clearly stated. A peaceful protest movement in this condition is sure to fail, resorting to violence in the end.
Those in power, the 1% as they are called, have become a formidable enemy. Today, the mass media is grounded in “money and power.” Its incredible influence can shape, distort and censor as they wish. As the protest gains momentum and those in power begin to feel threatened, we are sure to see the end of what we call “Free Press.” Any appearance of objectivity will be gone. Mass media will go into attack mode. Journalism becomes propaganda that is enmeshed in discursive tactics, bent on control and profit.
In attack mode, some topics are certain to be avoided, suppressed, under-reported, or omitted by mass media. Minimal coverage is always devoted to protest, activism, or civilian death tolls.
Let’s take a look at how we are controlled by the media. Ninety-nine percent of everything we know about the outside world comes from the media, most of which we assume is true. It encourages fear and patriotism. Mass media flourishes there.
Mass media has taken us from conflict to conflict, over and over, all of my life. The protestors of “Occupy Wall Street” will be dehumanized just as the Vietnamese were in the ‘60s and the Muslims after 9/11. Mass media will frequent terms that it once reserved for Blacks and Hispanics. i.e. Muslims are no longer Americans, they are, “home born Muslims, or “American born Muslims.” They are no longer called citizens. Moderate Muslim voices are routinely omitted from news coverage and terms like Islam and Muslim are only used in the context of conflict, violence and bloodshed.
We are told that they are a culture bent on the total destruction of non-Muslim life. Americans will be forced to choose a side. That “you are either with us or against us” mentality carries a lot of weight when you have a home and family that will influence your behavior. At some point in this struggle to get our government back, the high and mighty will invoke the anti-terrorist laws that were so quickly passed by our elected officials. “Terrorist” is the label that a violent protestor will wear.
The power of mass media can make the best of us voluntarily go to war and freely kill another human being that has been called “the enemy.” (Set aside the fact that they have done nothing to us that would qualify them as “enemy.”) We are then left to justify our actions to ourselves. I read a report on this very day that states that a veteran suicide occurs every 80 minutes in the United States.
Mass media has the power to make our enemies become less than human beings that must be destroyed in their “lairs” and they have to be baited, smoked out or trapped like animals. They stay in lairs or nests, not camps or bunkers.
If you’re thinking that you can get back our government by voting the goons out of Washington, think again. You can only vote for who they tell you to vote for, or who is on the ballot. The simple truth is that much of society has already succumbed to those in power. They’re like puppets on a string. Another simple truth is that no one knows who’s really pulling the strings in this nation or why they seek such power.
I do, however, admire those who think they can change things. I admire their thoughts and reasoning behind what the do. I’d really like to be more like them and help them do what they want to do, but they must know one very important thing: There are those among us, mostly people of color, who have never known the rights that we have so foolishly given away. Should we be fortunate enough to win this country back, it must be a different country altogether. Revolt is written into the Constitution but it must be a revolt by the majority. Success hinges upon the majority including the minority.