I constantly think about how to create unity between everyone instead of using the typical tactics that create divides instead. And all I can think about is fall 2015, sitting in a 300+ lecture on how to approach inequality and bias and add more diversity to the conversation.
There is a huge lack of it. Context is the backstory, the information that doesn’t quite make it to the news reels and front pages because it’s already been said. But as journalists, it’s also our responsibility to keep reminding those who are watching what the big deal is.
So I’ve been thinking about why I feel differently about politics and social issues compared to some people I grew up with. I have friends (or know people) that hate Black Lives Matter and protests and anything that is different from their ilk while I fully support social change. But why? Then I think about how I grew up in a cultural standpoint. I spent elementary school to middle school in a predominantly black public school system. I was exposed to black history for half of my life before I transferred to an all white school in rural Missouri. There, there were no black people, little to none diversity, and most importantly, a lack of knowledge of history. Why is it that I grew up learning white AND black history in a black school but only learned about white history in a white school? And it literally wasn’t until I was a sophomore in college that I learned the native Americans were part of a massive genocide during colonization in early America. It kind of changes how you think a little. The more knowledge you learn, the clearer your perspective becomes. (And don’t forget: Opinions don’t count as knowledge. Facts do.)
So before you tell someone else to “get over it” think about what you’re telling them to get over. Hundreds of years of oppression? The right to love? Humanity over your cult righteousness? Being born in a generation that has been screwed over by ones before it? How about try to have an open mind and think about where they’re coming from. Context.