I love this news story this morning…..
Why do I love a simple news article in an era of what I see as overzealous, highly inflammatory, misleading, attention-seeking, media-induced ignorance? Well, I thought you’d never ask. Let me tell you.
I love it for all its refreshingly simple, genuine, and honest parts. I love it because it is a tempered response to a concern of the people….without photos of bloody, military-style police actions against children to get my attention.
The media is informing us that our concerns about the government handling of its policing role are being taken somewhat seriously. In Kenya anyway, that never happened. The people have learned, in fact, to be quiet and keep the peace when the traffic police stop you on the road and extract money from you to keep you out of the court. You know from experience that if you take it to court, you will lose. You pay the money. Nothing more is ever discussed. Laws are passed, people scream briefly about the injustice, but the status quo returns.
You wanna know why people on the other side of this big marble want to live here? I will tell you first hand that is is emphatically NOT because of the wealth, though we do have what appears to be wealth to them (mostly debt-induced acquisitions, really).
It is because the American people have compassion and individually give of themselves and their wealth, and the stereotype in East Africa is that Americans are good and caring people…individually. They help feed hungry mouths, they help clothe cold and naked bodies. Forget “government” for a minute. I am talking the individual people, like the grandma down the street or the missionary family across town or the grade school friend on Facebook. On the eastern coast of the African continent, the mere color of your skin, a white “mzungu”, puts you into the general category of “kind and benevolent.” But if you are American, your status elevates to one who cares and is very giving. One whose country cares for its people. That view comes into direct conflict, of course, with the thought that all Americans live lives consistent with the movie industry’s presentations. Nonetheless, they know that if they are dying on a street and a “mzungu” approaches, God has spared them, and if an American, then all the more grace has been given them. The touch of your hand upon the crown of their baby brings a lifetime of blessing to that child. It is the ultimate gift in some of the outlying tribes really.
So, Cynthia, why does all of this matter with regard to that headline about militarization?
Well, dear reader, because….because this media headline is not screaming inflammatory social injustice. It screams not one iota about “all” police everywhere extending their authority to hurt minorities.
What is says is this: American people, your protest has caused them to at least believe there is an issue and look at it.
And you know what? THAT headline is not in any American news outlet, at least not yet, and that is what makes it so beautiful to me. CNN’s headline this morning: “REPORT: MH17 hit by high-energy objects”. Fox News headline: US, European intelligence agencies race to track western ISIS fighters.” See, in an American outlet, you could make the valid argument that it was being used to sway the American mindset to keep our own status quo.
Where by many mid-west American accounts I’ve seen and heard around town and on Facebook anyway, the LAST thing they would want to do is try to keep the Americans believing in themselves and their government…yet there it sits, headlining the news this September 9th, 2014. Inflammatory on my part, I know. 🙂