A Million Ain’t Enough
The 20th anniversary of The Million Man March was just a few weeks ago. I was in attendance at the event, blessed to be in the first row of the audience. Watching it personally grow from ten strangers to over a million kin. What seemed to be such a wondrous and amazing event in person was dim lit in the halls of social and mainstream media. Mainstream media lacking coverage, even Black Entertainment Television wouldn’t cover the March.
I was forced to ask myself
What does it take for something to be caught and held in the eyes of the media, tweeps, and participators?
HASHTAGS RULE THE WORLD
#Justiceorelse , check got the hashtag. The hashtag was trending world wide for a week straight, but the event itself didn’t get as much coverage as the hashtag did. A weird and complex dichotomy that social media has perfected ..
– Being interested in only a certain specific part of something in order to appear supportive.
That is as “social” as social media gets lately.
Then there’s location, location, location .. Well the National Mall is the best location you can have. The best place to stage something as big as The Million Man March 20th anniversary. You would think like in ‘95 that it alone would be good enough to stir the masses, civilian and news corporation a like.
The fact that African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native American leaders all who spoke that day should bring news cameras from around the country, if not the world. No news cameras, lackluster coverage, zero correspondent presence the entire weekend.
The program that day reached millions of people in 400 cities around the world, but our own country wouldn’t showcase such an event in our national capitol.
A million peaceful people standing together in the most racially tense era since the 60s, but even that isn’t worthy of headlines. What does it take to make people care or pay attention? Is a Nation of Islam sex tape necessary, or a fight between Farrakhan and Al Sharpton online with “WorldStar!” being screamed in the background a few dozen times? Black women not scantly clad or twerking to Miley Cyrus & Juicy J. Black men dressed unlike the imagery of “thugs” we’re shown in the news everyday and even worse in suits & ties.
In a atmosphere were walls and banning entire populations is a reasonable or rational step in our country, can we even expect to be heard? When rhetoric of hatred and arguing provides you with 250 minutes of coverage on the top three news networks, peace just doesn’t sell.
With a year riddled in protest, uprisings, political contest, division, and tribalism. A million people standing together in any aspect is an accomplish even more vital than 20 years ago. Apartheid has come to America and no one is interested in derailing the process – just filming the whole thing.
What do you have to do so that you’re taken seriously?
Is there anything left? Or has the ADD/ADHD generation bought into the myth that we can’t concentrate on one thing for too long without losing our minds… has the revolution been lost? In the age of sharing information and conversation the word can spread about something, but the hope that word has of actually being held on to or given the chance to be appreciated before the next news story pushes it to the shoulder of the Internet is near zilch. Being 23 years old, I find myself brushing off matters of importance awaiting the next “thing” , but exactly how large does a “thing” have to be to win someone’s undivided attention? We can retweet and share violence, sex, & drugs all day, which I have a tendency to do a lot, myself. We can share memes, quotes, and inspirational videos all day, which again I do a lot myself. Even take time to tune in for an entire hour of Empire, which I have recorded on my DVR right now. We won’t take time though to speak to each other about news, thoughts, society unless it’s an argumentative stance.
“Peace has no place in the marketplace.” Protest and revolts are the headliners. Hatred and anger garner attention, not only the predominant attention, but all of it is dedicated only to the drama and spectacle of life in America. This is what is seen as the mentality of the country. This is the embodiment of why there are protest and why there are new organizations in the country. This is why protestors feel they have to interrupt presidential candidates to be heard. This is why economic protest are being so heavily preached, because the power of words is being ignored unless those words used are meant to be harmful. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is used as a pillar and light of guidance for our country because he used words instead of violence and his ideas were to include those people that we usually forget. Words are respected today, words aren’t acknowledged as life changing as they once were. Dr. King spoke on “redistribution of the pain” in regards to economic protest, because he knew that other tactics would be needed. He saw them what is so evident now – People choose more times than not to disregard than hear out.That’s why we didn’t see the gangs that made peace to came together and vow to change their neighborhoods. That’s why news wouldn’t show “Violence Interrupters” who were part of the “street gangs” in New York. BET didn’t show the faces that were displayed on the Jumbotrons of the nameless that have died by police hands or in police custody or in racially stemmed incidents around the country. There were no mainstream media cameras to speak to Rodney Mitchell’s mother. There were no angry words, or calls for killing police, or burning down a CVS … so there was no airtime for such an event.
It seems for America at large if it doesn’t come from mainstream media or outlets they own; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.. then we don’t have the time for it.
And for American Media in 2015, a million just ain’t enough.
All of this doesn’t mean to stop. Never stop thinking, trying, organizing, pushing, fighting, rising, and loving. After 500 years of being overlooked and dismissed the people at the March, those that watched and supported, and those that related to the sentiments expressed that day are used to being underground. We are use to raising up from the bottom and toppling the powers that reign high. Protests are growing more wide spread and more detailed in execution. The ground is opening up and Frankenstein is beginning to awake.
Jornalism- Brandon Alexander