By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader
Once again, the U.S. is trying to play a shell game with the people – especially Black folk. You know how the con artist hides a pea under one of three seashells, then shifts them rapidly right before your eyes before soliciting your bet at guessing the location of the pea?
There’s a reason most people guess wrong. It’s simple. The mind can be deceived with sleight of hand more easily than we are willing to confess. It’s the bane of those trying to figure illusionists from street corners to Las Vegas stages. A key part of their trickery is distraction.
The latter point is the essence of effectively creating a red herring, getting everyone to look to the left when something is coming from the right; getting people to become incensed over a person or issue inconsequential to their actual fate or well-being. Nobody is better at such cons than the media and politicians.
No politician has been better at the art of illusion than the President of the United States – the current occupier of the Oval Office. And the media plays into his hands for the sake of unprecedented ratings and advertising revenue for the most popular cable sites. In effect, it is blood money.
While the media focuses on trysts with porn stars and strippers, the toxic waters of Flint and other cities continue their toxic flow; while news cameras focus on whether his wife will hold his clammy little hand, 45 gets back in bed with the NRA at the mindless peril of spiraling victims of gun violence throughout our nation.
While Agent Orange threatens to fire virtually all of his hires, badly needed health insurance for American children is in jeopardy; while the press turns its attention to a flurry of morning Twitter messages from the White House, residents face spikes in the cost of public housing rent made worse by cuts in funds for education to escape poverty.
The latest rabbit pulled out of the diabolical media hat of this administration is the ridiculous antics of Kanye West. While the nation analyzed and responded to the ignorant outbursts of an uninformed rap star (with far too much exposure), Orange Man continued his assault on his predecessor by nixing the Iran nuclear ban accord.
The Iran decision alienates our allies and restores the threat of nuclear weapon warfare in the Middle East. The breaking of the existing accord undercuts U.S. credibility – just about the time leaders plan to go to make a deal with North Korea. Why should they trust it? Sadly, the change invariably may send gas prices rising through the roof.
In the curious case of Kanye, the media opened the mic and gave center stage to a man with no filters, whose mind is full of bitterness over his mother’s untimely demise and whose heart has become oblivious to those not in his tiny, select circle. When Kanye challenged the lack of resistance among enslaved Blacks in America, he irrevocably crossed the line.
Meanwhile, while you were sleeping, the administration continued its assault on everything that offers a modicum of civility or humanity to average Americans. Those in power continued their unapologetic embrace of the arrogance of wealth and privilege. Worst of all, the ravaging of the “have nots” flourishes, absent significant media indignation or the semblance of sustained challenges of administration incompetency.
The mild commentary and editorial objection to a few of the antics of Agent Orange pale in comparison to the pandering to his so-called leadership and the lack of accountability when it comes to indulging the deception of his minions.
Non-stop media hype contributes to the “normalization” of an administration without boundaries or respect for the republic. Rest assured, it will all be brought to an abrupt, just end. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said no lie can live forever.
When they write the history books – long after indictments, resignations, impeachment, confessions, and voter outrage resolve all of this — mainstream media will remain permanently saddled with the lingering shame of its complicity.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected]