What happens when one United States Ambassador and a diplomat are killed in Benghazi – a two-year probe and continuous headline news stores
What happens when a wealthy professional sports team owner says racial slurs off the record – banned from his team and league for life
What happens when 200 Nigerian school girls are kidnapped and reportedly sold as brides to Islamic Boko Haram militants – two weeks of social media protests before the story starts to make headline news
There may be little that the United States government can do in this situation, however, we have to take a close look at the focus of our media. Media is driven by ratings. Similarly, my blog is driven by statistics. Although there are issues that I want to write about, and sometimes do, I am learning to pay attention to the stats and give my readers what they want to read. (Oddly, the top topics for you all seem to be sex, relationships, dating and communication but that’s another blog)
Our media focuses on what’s going to generate ratings. Even our government officials focus on the issues that poll well with voters. We wonder why all we hear about is celebrity drama… Well, that’s what people are tuning in to because they think world news is boring… Until (and let’s be honest) something like this Nigerian situation comes up and someone creates a cool hashtag that makes us feel like we are contributing to this great political cause. The truth is.. there are situations like this occurring around the globe every day. As Americans we have the luxury to pick and choose which events we will rally behind and spend the rest of our time debating whether Kenya or Porsha (from the Real Housewives of Atlanta) should be arrested for their ratchetness before mortgaging our first child for a pair of Beyonce and Jay Z tickets.
At what point will we wake up and become politically active – not just on social media – but really start to take an interest in world affairs, our government and the issues that our elected officials are focusing on? We have the right to not ask, but demand, that they make our interests their interests or else get voted out during the next election cycle. You may not care that Nigerian school girls are being sold for $12 each as brides to soldiers but if you do, step past posting cool pictures on your social media pages and contact your Senator or House Representative and demand that they make an official statement supporting your concerns. You may have another cause that’s dear to your heart, contact your elected official and let them know how you feel. Our democratic government is of the people, by the people and for the people (Abraham Lincoln). How much longer will we allow a politician to continue serving in their own self interests (and those of the lobbyist funding them) without holding them accountable to speaking out on the issues that concern us.
Want to contact your elected official? Visit http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to get their contact information
Want to start a petition to support your cause (no matter how big or small)? Visit http://moveon.org and get the people you know involved