In Light of Recent Events…

In Light of Recent Events…

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Dialogue.

I, too, have been following the Zimmerman case since it began, and it has become pretty standard that our household TV would be set to the news to stay updated on the latest happenings in the trial. Well, the verdict has been reached. The cases have been made, the jury has deliberated, and the responses continue on social media, the TV, newspaper, and in dinner conversations. And that’s not even it!

‘The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.’ – Malcolm X

…Please use media responsibly.

Right now, I wish I was in a classroom and my professor would tell me that my assignment would be to study the media and its role and influence in the Zimmerman case. I would also like to write a paper on the inappropriate, incorrect names that were provided to the TV station regarding the Asiana plane crash as well as the slew of racial jokes, slurs, and comments that followed that tragedy. AND conduct research as to why those comments are so easily embraced and retweeted among individual members of society. That would only be the beginning! At the same time, I also want to do research on the increase of cyber-sex trafficking that is on the rise in Southeast Asia, as internet cafes continue to pop up like mushrooms, with young boys increasingly becoming victims as much as young women.

Ugh!

No, I am not in a classroom (yet!), but my background in media criticism (at least as vouched through USD), desires to investigate these stories more closely, and start uncovering more bits of truth as to what’s really going on here. What’s happening underneath it all?

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Perhaps, in a way, this would be more of a personal search to find truth in these events, and start organizing concrete solutions, create action steps, and get movin’ on making societal change. Dialogue is so good, but only when it happens. Listening. Speaking. Listening more.

I was happy to find two responses to the Zimmerman case from:

  • NETWORK Lobby (a Catholic leader in the global movement for justice and peace—educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation) and the
  • Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy (an international community of Roman Catholic women whose mission is emphasized through the Spiritual and Corporal Acts of Mercy)

…but have yet to find other notable responses from other Catholic women religious congregations. Or other notable Catholic religious congregations who I assume pray for peace and justice in our world on a daily basis. What is their response? Not a criticism, but just an observation.

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The other day during our morning rosary at Church, the group stated their prayer intentions. Everyone went around, prayed for their families, illnesses, good health – all really important things. I prayed for the Zimmerman case and for the families, and all communities that have and will be affected by this case. I mean, let’s face it – the verdict happened that evening prior. It was pretty fresh. As I spoke, the group nodded and I heard people say, “oh yeah…” Afterwards, someone said to me, “oh! I was surprised that you brought that up!”

Why? ‘Cause it’s controversial?

It was in that moment that I thought to myself – we go to church, join in community, sing songs, pray, spend time with Jesus, but then, as we sit down in the pews, do we forget what’s going on around us and go with our tunnel vision? We can’t afford to do that. There’s too much work to be done.

I feel like the headlines give great testament (depends which station and paper!) to important current events that truly need our immediate attention, prayer, thoughts, and action. Yes, we need to build up ourselves so that we can better serve others, and speak, and collaborate and empower, but let’s not get stuck in that. Mother Cabrini prayed with one hand on the Bible and one hand on the newspaper. She had it right. And the sisters continue that practice! Perhaps we can also start incorporating that into our routine?

…ok, that was a sidenote. 🙂

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In light of what has been happening locally and internationally, there is still goodness, and I believe, a whole lot of hope. Otherwise, why or how could we keep going? How would the dialogue continue? Movements are happening.

I am happy for the convictions that have appeared on my Facebook newsfeed, regardless of individual opinions with regards to the latest news happenings. Yes, I have chosen to dismiss many comments and later resorted to “deleting” friends because of my low patience for misinformed and ongoing rants, but others, I applaud for their well-thought out statements and examining of the issues (to whatever extent they are capable of). At least there are people paying attention!

A vast majority of us have smartphones, or phones with access to social media sites, and unknowingly, have power with the messages we choose to share, articles we choose to circulate, and ideas we desire to spread. I hope we all take that seriously and start taking responsibility for our actions and influence in society.

Please use media responsibly.

 

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