I rarely engage in the media these days. I don't own a television. I don't read the newspaper. I am almost entirely disconnected from the mass hype, sensationalism, brainwashing, (insert your own word here) that many people receive daily.
I do get the news, though. I just listen to what the people around me are talking about. I know who is running for president. I hear about earthquakes & tsunamis. I know what Brittney Spears is up to. It's amazing how much news you get without watching the news.
Anyway, this morning I decided to turn on NPR to see what was on, which I rarely do any more (just more hype). On Talk of the Nation they were discussing how Barak Obama's race will affect the election. One man was on who interviewed people in Ohio, West Virginia, & the surrounding areas, where he says racism abounds, even though people don't want to admit it. Another man, presumably a psychologist of some sort, was on saying that we all have racial prejudices, even if we're not aware of them.
I listened for about 20 minutes.
My take on Barak Obama is this: Yes, his race is important in that he is making history, even if he doesn't become president. But what's more important to me is whether or not he is capable of running this country.
The program on NPR didn't mention anything about whether or not Obama is capable of holding the presidential office, or whether or not the people in Ohio, West Virginia, & surrounding areas think that he is. They spent the whole time talking about race & how prejudiced people are. After listening for just a few minutes, I caught myself wondering if I too am affected by race. The man on the radio said that I am, even if I don't know it.
After I turned the radio off, I realized that that's not what's really important. I was caught up in a discussion that has no bearing on whether or not Barak Obama can run this country.
So my question now is this: Is race really that important? Or does the media make it important? That is to say, does the media spend too much time talking about how racist we all are, in effect making race a prominent issue in our society? Does life imitate art?
Not to say that we should ignore racism, because it surely exists. But what would happen if the media focused on the political experience of the candidates instead of arbitrary attributes like the color of their skin? Would we all then make intelligent choices at the polls?