“Schools have classes called “women’s studies,” and “African-American literature” because the standard for existence set by white men has yet to be rescinded in this age. “Normal” history is the history of a certain class of white people, from the perspective of men. All the other histories are precisely that: other.”—THINK ABOUT IT.
Having seen the surge of reposts on my facebook newsfeed bearing the name ‘KONY2012’, I found myself talking with my housemate about the habitual nature of our generation to join bandwagons, repost, reuse and re-reference only to find ourselves a few weeks later not even casting a obligatory glance at what we had claimed such a deep passion for. I found myself agreeing with my roomie to a certain extent; his argument was that the over emotive video being reposted across our screens was nothing more then a ‘pull on the heart strings’ fact lacking attempt at having one of hundreds of horrible issues confronted. He continued to state that although it was a horrendous thing ‘shit happens’. In that moment I found myself agreeing with him that this issue did appear to have ‘fad’ esque connotations. My most facebook illiterate friends had even managed to find the repost button to become one of the many sharing the video. Indeed, I added that if I was not living and breathing an issue that had numerous complex layers, it would be uncommon for me to share a video on it. I stand by the point that the KONY2012 video lacks certain factual depth, which may have actually made the cause even more compelling. However, I find myself reconsidering the off hand conversation that took place under my roof. In a way I am using this post to confess my guilt at being led astray by the comfort of inaction. The fear of judgment that is attached with standing up and saying I believe in something that others can disagree with.
I have always found pockets of intense passion in my life. I have been known to follow the change this passion has introduced me to, to dangerous points. I have also been guilty of desperately seeking inclusion. Fearing judgment and simply becoming petrified of being viewed as ‘uncool’, ‘weird’ or ‘uneducated’. I am very aware that I will be all of those things to some at many points throughout my life. I am also aware that this ruling fear has held me back, has left me very vulnerable and flattened my passions rather then assisting in my selections of them.
I was mistaken in moments when I did not view even the smallest change for good as vital. Indeed, a stronger point is that the reposting of this video is evidence towards a changing landscape for protest and action and a new avenue for hope and enthusiasm to manifest in. The closing quote of KONY2012 states that because of social media platforms ‘the people of the world can see each other and can protect each other’ adding that ‘the global community is bigger then the USA’. These statements reemphasizes an article I once read which attempted to explain that the increasing connection of the world via the Internet is our human response to the rapid changes occurring alongside globalisation. It seems in a certain way us ‘laymen’ are creating a support network to help us combat the unreachable changes brought about by money, power and technologies. Whilst I wont stop to explore that idea in full here, I think it is food for thought.
Putting the issues of the video aside, what I am interested in here is two fold. Firstly, what is it that makes us so inclined to repost and equally able to trash can. Secondly, how does the changing global landscape need to be looked at if the world is to be improved? I think it would be safe to say that the resources available to a large part of the global society mean the time between problem and solution can rapidly diminish. Yet, there is most certainly an attitude that causes a roadblock. It is all to common to be turned off by a request for money, a pledge of allegiance, an offering of ones time, a sacrifice of ones street credibility due to the vulnerability attached to action. What I hope to find out by the exploration of my own fears and shortcomings is a new way to program the subconscious of many towards breaking away from an inactive attitude and making moves towards change. This is not to say that those already making moves towards creating positive change are free from questioning. Indeed, perhaps it is these approaches that fuel inactivity and need to be addressed in equal measure.