A wise man once said, “Mexico will pay for a wall,” and the people all cheered. When the wise man became leader of their country, the people waited for their southern neighbors to drag out the bricks and mortar and create the wall they had dreamed of. When this did not happen, the wise man held the government hostage and demanded that the opposition desist from nefarious activities that were preventing the Mexicans from fulfilling their destiny. And when this stratagem also felt short, the wise man declared a national emergency, allowing him to access taxpayers’ money in order to fund the $1 billion promise. But one last act awaits the cheering people of the country; they will all be issued Mexican passports before the end of the year. And that is because the wise man’s promise was that Mexico would pay for a wall; but since it is now the good citizens of the wise man’s country that are funding the project, this means that they will have to become Mexicans. After all, the wise man never lies, and his promises come true in mysterious ways. Here endeth the lesson.
The Price of Racism? $80 Million
True revolutionaries have one thing in common, and that is the act of personal sacrifice. When Colin Kaepernick kneeled, the country saw a man compromise a career and put himself under potentially career-ending public scrutiny in order to take a stand against brutality and racial discrimination. This was a man following in the footsteps of the revolutionary mindset that gave birth to the country in the first place. But when Colin Kaepernick accepted up to $80 million in damages from the NFL, he undid everything he – and so many of us – believed in: honest and honorable social activism. Revolutionary actions are designed to benefit society and society alone, and they certainly should not come with a golden handshake attached. By contrast, when Taylor Swift sued a DJ for sexual harassment in August 2017, she did so in order to make a point about rape culture in society in a time before the #MeToo movement even existed; the $1 she collected in damages shows just that. One thing is for certain: It will be very interesting to see where that $80 million ultimately ends up.
So, we all love New York’s Democrat firebrand Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, but she does have a habit of blurting out provocative statements that don’t fully stand-up to scrutiny. Do we admire he guile and attitude? Without question. But there’s also something very off-putting about the slide toward politics designed to be conveyed through social media; where we might otherwise have thoughtful campaigning, we now have leaders relying on the relationship between emotional comments and kneejerk sharing. It all began with Donald “Fast Food Nation” Trump and his early morning Twitter rants from the White House bathroom, but politics by social media has since become more than just a distraction while on the john. If anything, it is slowly becoming the norm. On the other hand, in the likes of Ocasio Cortez, we have some young leaders with incredible promise giving the establishment a much-needed shakedown, but we as a society need to provide the platform for them to properly do so. Let’s not encourage exaggerations to make short impacts that lead to cheap votes; let’s give Ocasio Cortez and her contemporaries room to breathe and make strategic steps forward without them having to worry they will lose our attention after 10 seconds.