We have become a nation of “followers.” We follow each other on Twitter and FaceBook. We follow our “mandates” from our schools, our districts, our state, and our government. We follow what our favorite non-profits are expounding. We follow what our unions tell us is right and important. We follow our political affiliations and we follow what our real-life friends follow sometimes without even checking out what they are following. My question today to me and to you, my gentle reader is – who, what, and why are we following and should we stop following and start leading – again?
I watched an horrific news show today on Fox News about the slaughter of innocent Nigerians in the town of Doro Baga by the Islamic radical group Boko Haram. I have been hearing rumors of this slaughter since January 7th, coincidentally the same date as the murder of Charlie Hebdo and his staff in Paris. I have been looking at the news, at FaceBook posts, Twitter posts and blog posts for news about the Nigerian catastrophe. There was very little out there and some of the initial postings were later removed. It made me think the story was a hoax. But now there is what looks like photographic evidence that truly this loss of perhaps 2,000 innocent lives did happen after all. Why do I have to wait a week and a day and hear the report from Fox News? And why is there not a huge outcry from all those I “follow” against this atrocity? Are we all sitting back and waiting for our favorite FaceBook group to denounce the act, or a preferred politician to make a statement, or our chosen non-profits to issue a statement, or a twitter storm we can join to protest this event? Why are we not individually speaking out? What are we all waiting for? Why are we not leading the charge to right this terrible evil in some way? Where is the justice? There is no poetry here.
So, I ask all of you to examine just what you are following and what you are waiting for before you will take a step up and speak out against the wrongs all around us? We may not be able to stop the evil forces bent on overtaking a nation, but we can stop the forces bent on taking a free and excellent public education system away from our children and perverting it into a for-profit money making machine for the Education Monsters.
I believe we have to confront the lie that says the organizations we are following are in control of the narrative and in control of the war against the education reformers. I believe we all need to go rogue and speak out for what we believe is right. This is the kind of “mandate from our hearts” that I was speaking about in my last blog post. The huge lie is that organizations will help the children – unions – non-profits – Facebook groups – it is all a lie because organizations get corrupted by power and money and ego issues. We have to be rogues and relentless and remain unbought. This is our hardest endeavor. We need to become leaders once again and not just followers.
Hi! Pardon my confusion, but are you “Poetic Justice”? Or is that a group you blog on? Rich said you called today. This is my callback! The above is GOOD. Love, Nan
Sent from my iPad
I love your spirit but I have many problems with your piece, mostly because it is an oversimplification of the situation. First, there is a tremendous diversity in opinions re what should be done to save our society. Second, in my mind, the complexity of the problems feeds the diversity of opinions which leads to actions not well-thought out enough which makes things more complex. Simplistic (inadequately thought-out positions), being easy to pick apart, are most often attacked in simplistic terms, which is what gave rise in the first (maybe second place) to the rise of the social media. Twitter does what twitter does best and that is provide a setting for people to throw rotten pla-to-mato-tudes at each other’s ill formed ideas or their support of their favorite intellectual leaders in this land of anti-intellectualism. Of course, Twitter and FB, which barely allows much more in-depth discussion, follow the example provided by our governments with their limited committee-discussion groups and even more limited floor-based arguments. So, Congress has its vulnerability to all the hidden-agendas, with their lobbyist supporters, and we have our Trolls and uninformed commenters with their low-cost internet platforms. Add in the fact that we have very weak safeguards
against corruption and graft, the twin Vultures that feed on disagreement, over-zealous self-interest and general mistrust and we have a modern day Tower of Babble. Grassroots my ass; give me open intellectual discussions and an end to Fox News any day. Funny (no, pathetic) that we can afford to piss away billions on arming and deploying military forces and barely enough to fund a few debates during election season.
Absurd: I find myself arguing with Libertarians about the differences in meanings between words like ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ while I just get to shake my head at pictures of be-headings from Iraq and Afghanistan and Africa that magically appear on my computer screen hours after they happen thousands of miles away.
Of course, we have to all agree to calmly discuss our disagreements before we will ever be able to ‘right the course’ of our societal ships of hope that are currently taking in water faster than we can bail out.
Yes! The key I think is to give people a platform to speak their minds in unision, otherwise the voices are not heard, sadly. That’s why people give up…