Anna Get’s Real About Baltimore [PICS]
Wednesday morning as I prepped for our "Trending Topic of the Day" here on HOM, I realized I would have to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
As much as it pained me to admit, it quickly became clear that every media outlet was focused entirely on the riots happening in Baltimore. Typically my style is one of lighthearted humor, but at the same time I felt a responsibility to report this very hot topic.
While the riots are in and of themselves upsetting to many of us, what got to me was how they had overtaken the latest reports in Nepal of a mudslide that buried over 250 villages, bringing the death toll to over 5,000.
That's five thousand human lives lost, yet there was no mention of that in any of my media sources. Instead, there were pictures, videos and reports focused on the looting and rioting happening in Baltimore.
If you've been living under a rock (which by the way sounds totally awesome) and haven't heard of these riots, i'll just bring you up to speed. Freddie Gray died in police custody from an injury to his spinal cord, which sparked riots in Baltimore over racism and police brutality.
I find any form of injustice, whether it's because of race, religion, gender or orientation to be appalling. However, I cannot wrap my brain around the violence being perpetrated nor can I see how this could yield a positive outcome.
And then I have to ask myself; "is this the reality of the situation, or is this simply our perception based on the information being given?"
As a filmmaker I know all too well what "TV magic" can do, so I went digging for things the media wasn't highlighting. I found pictures of black youth bringing police officers water, citizens cleaning up the aftermath of the riots...
...and of course who can forget the Mom who kicked her son's butt all the way home after finding him at the riots with a rock in his hand.
The truth is we see what the media wants us to see, and what the media reports speaks volumes about where we are at as a nation.
There are countries that are war torn who experience this kind of violence on a daily basis, and there are countries like Nepal who are victims of Natural disasters that they have no control over. Yet here we take our "right to protest" and we choose to exercise that right in a violent manner.
Instead of reporting on the heroes (black and white) who are condemning this violence, and calling attention to ways we can help the victims in Nepal, we are focusing on the actions of a few making extreme choices with their liberties.
While I accept that this is news that should be reported (the elephant in the room), my heart sank to think that this news would overshadow the loss of 5,000 souls.
No matter where those souls lived, to me that makes the riots in Baltimore seem like a trivial, childish tantrum. As one twitter follower said, "Violence is the same as silence... aint nobody gonna hear that".
I can't help but think, there must be a better way.