Weaponizing Narratives and Identity Politics


Compare and contrast the headlines. 

I want to just take a break from the news. It would be easier for me at this point of my life to turn a blind eye, I probably could, but I won’t be a bystander. I do question the value of posting on social media*, but we live in a world where narratives can be weaponized and people dehumanized in a way that was not possible 15 years ago in a pre-9/11 world, before 24 hour cable networks, internet news, and now social media. I don’t doubt there are dark times ahead, but at least I’ll be able to look into the eyes of posterity and say that I at least tried to stand in the side of justice, even if I never live to see the kind of world I would have like to live in.

I have people in my life who I love who are Black and people I love who work in law enforcement (those categories are not mutually exclusive), it makes me sick to live in a world where I have to worry people making it home so much. I don’t talk about this as much as I maybe should, but I’m aware how much it is easier for me to slip through the world unbothered and unworried compared to so many people I know (to spell it out bluntly: I’m an upwardly mobile light-skinned Asian woman) and how worried I get about the people I do know who don’t have that luxury. It’s maddening, but we each make a choice to stand by or stand up (again to spell it out bluntly, that was a thinly veiled plea for those of us who could stand down not to).

I also hate to point out what should be an obvious logical fallacy, but you can be in support of reforming the justice system, which could actually amplify safety for both citizens and law enforcement in the long-term, and Black Lives Matter without being “anti-Police” or “anti-White” and being part of this “race war” narrative that will be the news item in the upcoming weeks. There was a huge opportunity lost, most notably I think by Bill de Blasio after the deaths of Officers Ramos and Liu, to take control of the narrative so supporting police didn’t become a vehicle for racists to attach themselves to, but this is the situation now.


 *I originally posted this on Facebook – just noting to account for some of the tone.  

Other media worth looking at today: