SHAME

I can’t wait to get on the PCT. Everyday I think of the work I do as a mountain I will be climbing.
I keep thinking about the Black Lives Matter protests. I am left speechless at the end of all my thoughts. After being out in protests, after caring so much and seeing so little come from my efforts…I find it difficult to participate in activist circles. I can use social media to say: SHAME. But that doesn’t change the people who won’t understand, can’t understand, don’t desire to understand. The problem I see constantly is media and sensationalism. We need to take back mainstream media and make the truth clearer. I am sick of seeing these almost pornographic articles about white on black violence without any clarifying words or ongoing discussion to justify this disciplinary action of displaying violent images that reinforce racism. Fear begets fear. I’m not saying ignore the violence, but let’s change this framework so everyone is standing on equal ground. There needs to be a model to climb out of the way we are thinking about inequality. The violence is wrong, racism is real, innocent people are dying…
Why is it that the media only focuses on the negative? Why are protests shown in the light of being riots when THEY ARE NOT. Where is the positive to counter balance the negative? Where are the amazingly strong symbols of power to reinforce that black lives are worth more than abuse?
Positive representation is just as important as truthful photography. I am thinking of the Vietnam war and media: make the photos so violent that people get sick. I am thinking of the Black Panthers: take a stand and look strong. I am thinking of the white people in the south who might enjoy seeing shootings in the paper. I am thinking of what would bother them most. Black Lives Matter.
Why do I walk? I’m pissed about this feeling of helplessness. I can do something. I can do a lot. Walking is a coping mechanism for a lot of people. I’m not running away from society; I am rethinking it. I am reprogramming my mind to be a little more concerned with what matters in life. I am working towards empowerment and knowing what actions will help the community around me. I recognize my privilege, now how can I use it to empower people around me without being some sort of ignorant philanthropist?
I’ve walked 2,189 miles. I’ve got a lot more to go.
Walking thoughts:
In general I think the best approach is to repopulate rural areas. If rich, predominantly white, tech industry workers want to displace communities and do so through an army of police officers, then why not go where the cancer isn’t? I’d like to find myself helping people who won’t be readily able to attain land, get land and learn sustainable, self-reliant practices. This isn’t a back to the land idealist post, but a post about the realities of freedom in America: small communities and land trusts in places where only a few people will notice. I am fully aware of the extreme racism of rural America, but this too must change. The cities aren’t safe either and they really aren’t worth fighting over.
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