Just Say NO! to IT
When I started this post, it was going in one direction. I was going to address the issue of the Oregon shooter who was targeting Christians, and how the media has totally downplayed the hate crime aspect of this tragedy. But I decided to do some research first to get my facts straight. My search led me to another issue that turned my attention in a whole new direction.
I know I’m a few weeks behind the times, but I came across a controversy over an opinion post made in a college newspaper, where a student gave his opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement. This student, a 30-year-old white male war veteran who served two tours in Iraq, stated that he was disturbed by the way some of the BLM activists seemed to cheer the recent murders of American police officers. I am not here to give my own opinion on the BLM movement. That would take a whole other post. But I'm concerned about the way freedom of opinion is being stripped away in our society.
Before I go on, let me stop and say that black lives absolutely DO matter to me. As a believer in the one true God Who created the human race in His own image, I believe all human lives are sacred regardless of ethnicity or any other distinguishing characteristic. I have had some wonderful friends throughout my life who are black. I have students who are very dear to me who are black. Years ago when I was a youth in my second year of teaching, I taught at a predominately black school where all of my fourth graders were black. It did not take any of us in that classroom long to figure out that we were basically “color blind” and saw each other as human beings, not black or white. It pains me to think there are people out there who will look at me and, because of the color of my skin, assume that I hate them because they look different from me.
If anyone were to accuse me of being prejudiced, however, they would be right if they accused me of being an “attitudist”. I am unrepentantly intolerant of a negative attitude regardless of what the person holding it looks like or believes. And that applies to people on either the right or left who think their opinion is the only one that counts, and they militantly bully anyone who thinks differently. Which brings me back to the point I’d like to make with this post. The gentleman who wrote his opinion in the Wesleyan Argus was apparently criticized, labeled a racist and hater and even “thrown under the bus” (his words) by the two young editors of the Argus who later issued a politically correct apology for the article. I was curious, so I read the article that was so controversial. I actually don’t know how he could have stated his honest opinion in a more neutral way. But again, that is beside the point. In a country that constitutionally allows freedom of the press (although the first amendment was actually intended to address the freedom to publish opinions contrary to governmental issues, not necessarily cultural issues) I find it disturbing that freedom of speech and the press, and even religion, is reserved only for those who embrace what the news media and Hollywood tell us is acceptable. We aren’t allowed to think for ourselves, and we are even less allowed to publicly declare our thoughts when we do think for ourselves. Granted, it is not the government (yet) that is censoring these things. The government doesn’t have to. We the people are doing it to ourselves. I guess that’s what bothers me the most.
It reminds me of a scene from the book A Wrinkle In Time. The main characters are transported to a planet that has been taken over by an evil brain the people call simply IT. Everyone is the same. The children of the planet are being conditioned by bouncing balls against a wall, all in unison…except for this one poor soul who can’t seem to get it right because he’s bouncing to his own rhythm…and being painfully punished for it.
In my opinion, true tolerance is to agree to disagree and not bully those who think differently. With so much talk about embracing diversity, you’d think our society would be open to such when it comes to people’s opinions.
But I guess that's too much to ask in a society controlled by the IT media.