Tag Archives: Hitler

4 Things I’ve Learned from My Media Fast

I wouldn't get too wrapped up in that, kid...

I wouldn’t get too wrapped up in that, kid…

I needed a media fast. I posted it on my Facebook page:

Hey folks, for anyone who might happen to care, I’ve decided to go on a FULL media fast for about a month. As an author in the digital age, I’ve been told I must be “connected.” I’ve created a blog and this FB page, I even go on Twitter and Instagram every so often. Being so connected may be good for me as an author, but with all this exposure to media comes things that are not good for me…as a person.

Because I’m not a faceless name on the internet. After what happened to¬†those nine innocent people in Charleston, I’m exhausted. It was different because of how people reacted to our own history. No other event seems to have brought out so many unsympathetic people. The Chattanooga massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing, Sandy Hook, the Aurora theater shooting, etc…we all seem to grieve collectively for those. But somehow it was different for the AME Nine. And while the hype has died down, articles still crop up and I just flat out need a break.

I need a break from cynicism. I need a break from bullies. I need a break from people who don’t think words matter. I need a break from people who passively censor the ugly parts of southern history, because they don’t want to FEEL. I need a break from selfishness.

Go ahead and respond to my post if you want. Whatever it is you want to say, whether for or against, I won’t respond till I’m ready. God bless.

So now it’s been a month. While I didn’t engage in media viewing or reading, it’s still difficult to wholly avoid. But some positives came from the experience. Sometimes you have have to step out of the forest so you can stop focusing on the trees. ūüôā

1. The Confederate Battle Flag still looks like a symbol of bigotry and oppression.

Especially when it’s a HUGE one flying down the road on the back of an over-sized pick-up. Preoccupied with size much? At least I got a month break from the people who shout “heritage, not hate” or “the Civil War was not about slavery.” They are the mindless drones who have never bothered to read Mississippi’s Declaration of Causes of Secession, among the other Southern States declarations of the time. Apparently, they prefer the fairy-tale version of history which omits¬†lynchings, beatings, and ripping people from families.

*Shakes head sadly*

2. Donald Trump still looks likes a narcissistic bully.

Seriously? Where does this guy stand on actual issues? As of this published post, the only position he talks about on his political website is immigration. So if he becomes president, then American government can completely decay, education can continue to plummet, and our budget can do whatever it wants. But that’s okay, because we’ve eliminated all the illegal immigrants…one way or another.

I know the election is over a year away, but it disturbs me to see how he still has such a strong following. I haven’t yet figured out why people can’t see through him. But I’ve never been able to quite see how the German people couldn’t see through Hitler either.

I wish more people would go on a media fast. Trump’s pot of water is slowly heating up and the frogs are oblivious to their predicament.

3. Hillary Clinton’s comment about how religion needs to change is still foreboding.

Why in the world would she say that? What happened to freedom of religion? Should I prepare to channel my ancestral heritage and plan a pilgrimage to a land where I won’t be told how I should believe in my God? She’s as bad as the news outlets who tell me what I need to think.

Which leads me to my last point…

4. It finally clicked in my head that PBS is likely where I should get my news.

Part of my struggle to see the forest for the trees was caused by the frustration of being told what to think. I hate that. I’m not stupid. I don’t like feeling like a drone. I can draw my own conclusions, thank you very much.

PBS is not glamorous or sensational, so I’m sorry to say I overlooked it in my struggle to draw my own conclusions from biased media. On a smaller scale, I think PBS will help me continue my media fast. No more CNN-or FOX-like hypnotism.


Okay, so the only positive is the thing with PBS. But to me, that’s a big positive. I liked my month of not being fed opinions. A big part of me really doesn’t want to even get back to Facebook, but now that I’ve had a break, I should be able to just skip the things I don’t want to see. That’s an even bigger positive. ūüėÄ

Have you ever had to go on a media fast? Does the tabloid-like setting of our society exhaust you? How do you deal with it? Are you a media drone? How do you deal with being a drone?
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

“I ain’t no Yankee!” – Dealing With Irrational Hatred

Yup, looks like what I did too. This was a line waiting for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Image attributed to Zack Sheppard from San Fransisco, CA via Wikimedia Commons.

In reading Kristen Lamb’s book We Are Not¬†Alone, I’ve learned (so far)¬†that I¬†must define my blog a bit better. Well, I already knew this, but her book has been showing me how. However, it’s difficult to pin point exactly what kind of writer I am because even my book ideas are wildly different. Up to now, I’ve got romance, historical/fantasy, historical/adventure, dystopia, historical/sci-fi, and mystery. Yeah. So I can’t just say, “Shea McIntosh Ford – Regency Romance Novelist.”

But a common theme in¬†all my ideas is learning to be open-minded. Hence this post’s title.

*sigh* I may be from the South, but I would never say¬†“I ain’t no Yankee”¬†in such a¬†manner unless you replaced the word “Yankee” with “hater.” (I’d probably fix the grammar too. ūüėČ ) Since we’re in the season of ending school, I thought I might post one of my experiences from teaching.

A bit of background: I taught High School English for one semester. When I decided to resign, I thought it was due to burn out. I was frustrated because I loved the job and wanted very much to make a difference. I had no idea at the time what gluten was doing to my body. Once our youngest starts kindergarten, I may give it another try.

Back to the topic.

While reading through the textbook, trying to decide on the next piece of literature to teach, I read two essays that I loved, especially the first which was a light-hearted and witty satire on the difference between Canadians and Americans. (I wish I could remember the name and author, but Google has failed me on this one.) I chuckled through the whole reading and thought, “We could have a lot of fun with this!”

Then my 4th period class gave this idealistic teacher the proverbial kick in the pants.

Being from Canada, the author called Americans, “Yankees.”¬†As a rookie teacher, I was so caught up with lessons plans, and trying to grade for accuracy, that I forgot how many Confederate flag mementos these kids were wearing. They took such offence to being called a Yankee, that all the humor in the essay completely missed them.

How sad!

They were so caught up in their own inherited hate, they couldn’t see something for what it was. The companion essay was worse. It was about¬†growing up¬†in Texas on the border of Mexico and the beauty of blending Mexican and American cultures in the author’s life. During discussion, a student made the statement, “We need to send ALL Mexicans back to Mexico.”

I will never forget the look of horror on his classmate’s face. She was Mexican-American.

Had I been a seasoned teacher, I may have been able to handle such things with more finesse. Perhaps I could have asked to¬†which country¬†that kid’s family should return, as it was obvious that he was not Native American.¬†As it was, being caught off guard, I pushed through the lessons hoping that I’d opened the minds of at least a few in my classes.

A few months later, after my resignation, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. I cried while reading it. Not so much because the plot moved me to tears. That indeed was part of it. But through the whole reading, I kept thinking, “What I wouldn’t give to be back in that classroom, armed with this book.”

To me, it read like an account of the Holocaust. Voldemort was Hitler and the Death Eaters were his Nazi soldiers. There was no mercy shown to anyone who did not have an approved heritage. Age, skill, intelligence did not matter. How sad to be filled with such hate!

The beauty of Harry Potter? Rowling illustrates the horror and evil of bigotry without “offending” anyone because it happens in the fictitious world she has created. This, in a nutshell,¬†is why I love the Harry Potter series.

If I do get back into teaching, I’ll certainly be assigning¬†certain essay topics from¬†Rowling’s series for extra credit points.

Have you ever suffered from hatred and bigotry? How did you handle it? How would you have handled my racist students?

9 Comments

Filed under Books I Love, Writing