Monday, September 28, 2015

Diversity – Beyond opening minds

Tracy Brewer

Diversification is the foundation of what our country was supposed be based. “The melting pot” was never meant to be one ingredient.
"The Golden Rule" by Norman Rockwell
We are not based on just one of anything. Yet we’re here in 2015 desperately trying to “fix” the one side view of our media, our news and our views.


I was not privileged to grown up in a very diverse location. The media I was subjected to was very traditional as well. Entertainment, news, newspapers. It was not racially diverse in any way, shape or form. But in spite of my social setbacks in terms of environment, I am part of an entire generation (Generation X, next largest to Baby Boomers) that embraces diversity

 We are accustomed to accepting many diverse situations with open arms. The influence we have over accepting a more diverse society will ideally lead to decisions for a more diverse media. But, does acceptance of diversity make for sensational news? How many generations will it take to finally get it right? Will the Millennial? Will the Gen Y’s? We are taught that everyone is supposed to have an equal right, an equal chance and the same opportunities. But have we gone over and above expectations to create an overly-sensitive society when things don’t turn out our way?

Race, Sex, Religion, Ethnicity

As I mentioned earlier, although I did not grow up with a diverse environment, I never had a biased view of the world around me. I have always been open to learning about other people, cultures and beliefs. I have friends from so many backgrounds and cultures, I feel blessed to have had chances to meet every one of them. As the media embraces our shrinking world, they are forced to acknowledge important news from other parts of the world. World news was not of interest to the local outlets and in many places, that is still the case. Our racially charged incidents that become world news in other locations seem almost incomparable to the atrocities that happen to huge segments of people throughout the world. The media outlets make choices every day, as to what is “newsworthy” and decide what to share on the network programs. Little by little, bloggers and independent Internet outlets are encroaching onto that territory.

The Selfie Media

The tide of influence is changing. Everyone has a camera on hand and it is keeping the media accountable. On the flip side it is also creating celebrities out of some of the most dramatic participants. The Internet is a lot like a wild west. Very few rules and everyone is seeking a way to survive and be noticed. A big example is George Zimmerman.

From George Zimmerman's Twitter Account

He was part of one of the largest ethnically-charged stories in our media. One would believe that he would want to find some obscurity after the media coverage he received. Yet he continues to taunt and emotionally charge the public with posts on social media. The media continues to feed on these narcissistic tendencies as well. Is it ethical to continue to showcase his actions? Do we really have any control when the Internet is the chosen medium?

A Diverse Future
The lessons this generation is learning about communication with available technology and responsibility is unlike any we have dealt with as humans. The sheer speed that messages can be relayed is extraordinary. The need to self-monitor is a necessity in this day and age. We need to learn how to slow down the sharing process to verify the truth. Diversification over race, sex, religion, sexual preference, ethnicity, culturally, financially and more needs to be taught as a NORM, not a tolerance. We still have a long way to go, but we are going.

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