Social Commentary – Common Reasoning
In the span of a week we’ve seen hot-button social issues jump-off like popcorn. The responses took center stage in this modern age of social media. With the new NFL ‘kneeling policy’ and ABC canceling of Roseanne we see how the culture war impacts American History and dramatizes the American story.
First, NFL commissioner Goodell announced a new policy that would penalize players who didn’t stand during the national anthem. The Player’s union wasn’t happy to learn about it the same time the rest of us did. Now players will have to protest by remaining in the locker room or suffer the consequences of a fine.
Then there’s ABC’s response to Roseanne Barr’s tweet of a racist remark about Valerie Jarrett who was an official with the Obama administration. The show’s cancellation has caused Barr to suffer the consequences of ‘what was she thinking!’ ABC is saying it’s more than just about branding TV shows.
These days we find there’s a battle for ratings that might get tied-in to the cultural wars of our time. So how did we get here? Some think it’s an aspect of the social backlash coming from some ‘identity’ groups that have been feeling left-out or unheard. But that’s how others have told their story before.
When you flash back over the last 100-year history, you find certain events that might explain the ‘what when and how’ in modern life. Going as far back as pre World Wars there was the period governed by isolationist views of ‘not our problem’. This eventually led to some global clashes we read about in history.
Then there was a period governed by segregationist views of ‘separate and unequal’ in American life. This led to the period of civil rights clashes culminating in the 50s and 60s. More recently it seems nativist views have taken root in a weird sense of patriotist, anti-elitism or even anti-intellectualism.
The recent decisions by the NFL and ABC Entertainment helped remind us that we’re having ongoing culture wars. In a sense there’s the idea that the First Amendment is in flux. But a more important aspect in the culture wars is seeing how it impacts American history and dramatizes the American story.
Imagine how the protest of NFL players has been turned into a culture war around the anthem or the flag. The real story behind the protest is about civic injustice. Think about how the cancellation of Roseanne might get turned into a culture war of ‘what-about-ism.’ In other words ‘what about this guy or that time.’
It’s like dating over a period of weeks and months. You get to learn bits and pieces of a person’s history. Some of this includes where they were born or where they went to school. You’ll find out more about whether they have siblings. After a while you get to know the essence of a person based on their story.
We appreciate American history by seeing through the plot of the American story. This can help us move past the culture wars. People use patriotism to reflect a sense for the ‘what when how’ in American history. But being in touch with the ‘why’ gives meaning and essence to the American story.
Tracks: Rudimental – Toast to Our Differences – https://youtu.be/o_zg-JLjs5I
Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life – https://youtu.be/BspHjvU11y4