POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES are ever with us. Gain perspective by reading what Rodric has to say about it.
All things social have a source from which they draw information, ideas, customs, mores, rules, traditions, etc. Naturally, those roots affect the way people interact in a given situation—from an organized group to an aggregate of people.
In the US, we have a variety of value systems constantly connecting and adapting to provide perspective for each participant in the social dance to move in step. All interpersonal interactions rely on information whether the info is true or false.
The misnomer misinformation should not exist since subjectivity shrouds the word. Information is information. Whether humanity considers it good or bad depends on who receives it!
Code in the Culture
Cultural Versus Actual Truth
If information that is false permeates society, for exmpale the Earth being flat, the number of people who believe and promulgate the information determines if it becomes a cultural truth.
Cultural truths are ideas and processes that have lived in the hearts and minds of people so long that no one challenges them. As mentioned before, the European Dark Ages provides the example of a flat world where people could fall off the edge. Millions believed it and touted it as truth including many of the esteemed institutions of that society.
The actual truth, information based in fact, and cultural truth are constantly fighting for dominance. The war started when the first person started listening to an unworthy source of information, believing that source and promulgating it.
That leads me to the value system that I learned as a youth. It was discouraged for one person to harm another person unless in self-defense. Culturally, ethically and actually there is truth to that tenet. That is generally an accepted American and world tenet.
Moral code under certain circumstances change. Cultural truths tend to twist the ethics of that general tenet with the introduction of dominant and minority status in every social construct. Within my racial and ethnic construct as a Black kid in a group of Black kids, the harm-factor varied depending on a person's association to our social norms and ethnicity. We determined that if a person who rivaled our norms confronted us it was agreeable to harm him/her.
We agreed that if a person disrespected our customs and behavior we could harm that person. We took it further, at least mentally, stating other races required less respect and regard. We decided that it was agreeable to harm White kids because they were different and their ancestors possibly owned slaves (Which possibility did exist being that I resided in the South!)
Understanding why my peer group behaved in such a manner does not justify the mores that governed our youthful ideas, which changed as we matured to be more reasonable--especially since I joined a multi-racial church as a youth.
I bring this to light because all of our behaviors regarding prejudice or why we may have racist tendencies (to one degree or another) depend on tidbits of information programmed into our cultural experience personalized to fit our perception of society.
Information or knowledge is power. The more of it that one has, the more decisions are influenced by the user to acceptable norms or the opposite. Remember, information is data relayed only. It cannot be evil or good in and of itself.
One particular purveyor of prejudice comes from the media. The media (newspapers, books, plays, etc.) has always driven culture. Now, media controls the culture of all those who allow it free reign in their homes, which is quite a few of us.
- The Atomic Bomb of Television
It took a hundred years to change things before TV and Radio--at least a hundred years! People do not have to wait for a cultural experience anymore. All we need do is turn on the flat-screen and absorb the information and misinformation.
Cultural Bomb of Television
Television introduced the truth about society to the US when the march for equal protection under the law known as the US Civil Rights Movement became news tubed into the average American's home. That medium spread information that may have otherwise remained hidden about homosexuality, harsh racism, sex, freedom, and justice.
Products of the television bomb going off in our homes, many of us are the benefactors of the Television age, which is now only surpassed by the Information Age of the Internet.
Unlike television, family problems take more than one 30-minute episode to fix. The internet shows it all so that no one can deny the existence of things without outright refusing to investigate. Nothing is hidden culturally anymore regarding race, religion, sexuality, or any -ism imaginable.
The upcoming generation has an added benefit of personalized media perception blinders if they so chose. Nothing is morally static currently and media reflects it. Tolerance for things once considered taboo has skyrocketed, but that tolerance does not extend to traditional morals and customs.
When television became normalized in the 1950s, it blew the walls or regional separation off the local maps in the United States that eventually blew them around the globe. Once the barriers went away, the internet slowly crept and creeps in to spoil any sense of isolation on the planet though pockets of resistance exist.
The new thing to discover after the atomic bomb of television is if the information on the web is real or fake.
Experience is what has occurred to individuals first-hand and through entertainment media. Media, such as Shakespeare's plays and Tupac's music leaves indelible impressions upon the psychological landscape of the minds of people to become apart of how we identify ourselves. In order to conceptualize the proper role of media regarding the perception of others is the investment of education, individually sought for and purposely applied daily. Without the purposeful application of education, we descend into the fallacy of the imaginations of the media that reflects the ideas that support whatever prejudice contrived in our small spheres of operation in life.
Therefore, social media is a bastard child of the internet's multiple server relationships but is full of potential troves of truth regardless of how limited its parents began. Ultimately, social media has taken over the internet and drives Western culture making every user of a mobile device a potential historian putting a perspective on the same event in clips with only a few showing a recording of the entire event. May God have mercy on Western society and bless those who manifest impartiality to record and report more frequently. ...that their records remain to inform the future of this post-modern, post-racial, post-etc... period.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Rodric Anthony
Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on April 15, 2012:
Thanks for reading WD Curry (and you to Dusty) I urnestly believe that only thing that can save this nation is to return to our spiritual roots. The best would be to turn to Christ. We need to learn to forgive and forget. Living in the past is hard work.
Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on April 15, 2012:
50 Caliber (Dusty), you make me blush--not that you could easily tell with my pigment! I an honored and flatter by your kind words.
I generally stay away from television. We cut the cable monster out and only allow Youtube, Hulu and Netflix in the house--not even broadcast tv. We want to control what we see. If we don't like it, we can shut if off.
Your profile image and your description of your past time reminds me of Johns the Baptist.
WD Curry 111 from Space Coast on April 15, 2012:
You know? It is not always easy to distinguish between what is real and what we perceive askew. In that bible that you mentioned, there is something about discernment being a spiritual gift. I am afraid there is only one way out of this maze.
Be a lamp unto my feet.
50 Caliber from Arizona on April 15, 2012:
Rodric, this is the very best hub or Message I have read while reading and commenting 2,500 times over 3 years plus on this site. We are tainted by media.
I commented on a hub by feenix I think that the 60's ushered war and racism into the USA via television at supper time for any who had a TV, and learned they could bend American minds by what they broadcast, I no longer watch the telly for now on a couple decades, I'm entertained by my God Yahweh, in the expanse of the Arizona out back, a magnificent area to live.
you are a wise man, and humble me,