Identity Politics: The great distraction, must fix wounded country

Identity Politics: The great distraction, must fix wounded country

Identity Politics: The great distraction, must fix wounded country

Reece Napierski

A democracy in name alone. The United States has long been the poster child for democracy. We’re the land of the free, after all. Yet, according to a 2014 study by the University of Cambridge, it is nothing more than a facade, a ruse. It is something that is touted to keep the masses complacent with the continual erosion of rights and freedoms we’ve seen since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. In everything but name, the United States has transitioned to an oligarchy, a government for and by the mega wealthy, the one percent, the multinational conglomerates. 

Yet, the average American wouldn’t believe this if you were to tell him or her. In fact, many would grow agitated by this assertion. The very notion that our country is not slipping away but already gone is a grim fact to rationalize for many, myself included. This is primarily due to the mass media that continue to churn out a never-ending stream of vicious fear mongering, persistently pitting Americans against one another through race, religion and gender to distract us while our country is gutted right before our very eyes. 

Even as I type this article, the media is fixated on whether a gaggle of overpaid athletes should sit, stand, kneel, headstand or grovel on all fours during the national anthem. To anyone with critical thinking skills, this is not an issue. First, who cares what they do? They play a game for money. In the scheme of things their opinions matter very little. Secondly, this issue was settled 226 years ago with the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Their freedom of expression is already guaranteed. If you legitimately think arguing about what an athlete does during the national anthem is worthy of a nationwide discussion, you are playing into the mass media’s game. 

So, if this controversy isn’t worth talking about, why is it everywhere? Why is this waste of time seeping into every aspect of our lives? The answer is that it is nothing more than an elaborate distraction perpetuated by the cruel, despotic media conglomerates. It is a cheap trick to keep our eyes and ears away from the actual life and death struggle that is currently unfolding. This controversy, which died months ago, was seemingly revived only because our current president and the Republican party are beginning their third push to pass their already twice failed healthcare bill. This bill is malicious at its very core, millions will lose access to healthcare yet no one is talking about it. The only member of the media who has addressed this issue to a substantial degree is Jimmy Kimmel, of all people. Why the burden of such a complex and critical issue has fallen on the shoulders of a late-night entertainer is beyond me. It is clearly symptomatic of the incessant, dishonest, plague that has ravaged our media. At the same time, Puerto Rico, a territory of the U.S. populated by citizens of the U.S., is without power, food, and clean water. The island is quickly descending into a Haiti-style catastrophe, and yet we’re more concerned with the latest gaff to come out of the oval office. 

The populous is too fixated on the national anthem, or a war with North Korea that will never occur, or the myriad of divide and conquer techniques the media has employed trying to make us identify not with our common nationality but instead with our race, gender or political affiliation. This nation is drunk on disdain for one another. The miasma of media fearmongering has damaged the societal fabric of this country nearly beyond repair. All while the federal government continues to erode our rights and strangle what little democracy we have left with backhanded tactics like gerrymandering and the Patriot act. 

This does not boil down to a Republican vs. Democrat, a black vs. white, a straight vs gay, or a rich vs. poor issue. This is an issue of the American people vs the cronies and soulless hacks that wish to deprive us of our freedoms, our rights and our country. America is not yet totally lost, but she is mortally wounded and unless we do something soon she will be gone forever, buried underneath decades of corruption, red tape and federal overreach.