Archive for March, 2012
It’s hard to write MJR blogs when I also have papers to write, production to…um…produce for the show, and Citiville buildings to construct. Still, I knew that I would be blogging about this whole Treyvon Martin case that has gotten a lot of the MJR Nation heated. It started with a discussion on last Thursdays show where I was asking about the hoodie movement and where all of this outrage was coming from.
One thing I’ve always maintained is that we should never make up our minds about an issue until we hear all of the facts. Our on-air discussion about Treyvon Martin and George Zimmerman may have left us all with more questions than answers, but it also spawned a heated follow-up discussion on Facebook. You can read all about it here.
There has been a lot of discussion about whether Zimmerman acted in self-defense or whether he wrongly attacked Martin because he was black, or wearing a hoodie. Is it wrong to cast judgement on someone for how they dress? Should the police have arrested Zimmerman? Are they covering it up? Was the killing justified? What IS justice for Treyvon Martin? A lot of questions with a lot of different opinions on what the answers are.
This is not what this blog entry is going to be about though. My concern is more with you, MyndJack Nation, and what you expect from us, meaning the MyndJack Radio Hosts, and the Nation as a whole.
Back when we were “prepping” for the show on Thursday, we tossed around what the hot topics of the day were and the Treyvon Martin shooting came up. I hadn’t heard all of the facts, but it was hard for me to even get an accurate account of exactly what happened because multiple media sources were contradicting each other. These were not editorials but supposed fact-based news sources. By airtime, I still had no idea what was going on, but I wasn’t about to get outraged over something before I heard enough of the facts to form an opinion.
The on-air discussion led to more discussion in the chatroom and then the subsequent responses in the MJR Nation Group. Freedom of expression is at the core of the MyndJack Nation’s purpose, and being respectful of each other’s opinions is expected. We have a strict “NO DOUCHE-CANOES” policy at club Myndjack and we all seem to enforce it pretty effectively.
What I began to notice in the Facebook discussions about this case caused me some concern. Several folks had already made up their minds before they admittedly heard all of the facts of the case and some rather skewed assumptions were being made about what a lot of us were saying. Sure, a lot can be lost in text; however, the debate started to take a hostile undertone with some folks. It was assumed that anyone who wasn’t outraged (hoodie or not) believed Zimmerman to be innocent. It was also assumed that what I said on the radio show Thursday night contradicted my comments on the Facebook thread. Thirdly, it was implied that I was scolding those who decided to change their profile pictures to that of them wearing hoodies. None of these assumptions were true at all.
What began to bother me was that I was now being looked at negatively for not agreeing with several well respected members of the MyndJack Radio Nation. I stated my personal opinion of why I was not ready to wear a hoodie myself and cited a few issues that I felt were more worthy of my outrage than the Martin shooting. I also admitted that I may be a bit more cynical about anything in the media during an election year. The reaction confused and surprised me. People I like and respect were now upset with me for speaking my mind. I didn’t call them sluts for wanting birth control, or nappy headed hos on a basketball team, I simply disagreed with the outrage.
Part of me was offended that these friends of mine were letting themselves get far too emotionally invested in this while the other side of me, the MJR Host, didn’t want to offend listeners and valued members of our show community. I was thinking that maybe I should just drop it or submit to the opinion of everyone else in order to not risk losing them. What if my statements cause some of these friends to stop listening to our show and leave the MyndJack Radio Nation?
Then my confusion led to an epiphany. This is why media is so strongly biased in the first place. This is why Geraldo Rivera is wagging his horrible mustache on Fox News about how the hoodie is to blame for Treyvon’s death. This is the same man who got socked in the snooker by a chair-wielding KKK member on his wanna-be Jerry Springer show in the late 80’s. MSNBC posts several articles on how this is a case of a White man shooting a Black kid because he was racist. Multiple media sources were all posting about this tragedy, but with their own slant catering to their audience.
Should we do the same on MyndJack Radio? Should we compromise what we believe so that we don’t risk losing listeners? Should we give a rat’s ass about that?
I wanna hear from all of you. Please email me your thoughts at email@example.com and be sure to express if you wanna keep it private or if you are ok with me reading your thoughts on the air. I will decline to name you on the air if you wish, but I think this is an important issue. We want the MyndJack Radio Nation to be a place of free ideas and expression, a fortress of togetherness away from all the crap we have to deal with in our crazy lives. If this is compromised, let me know.
Before I end this, I wanna leave you with a quote from Chris Rock, the same one I posted on the Facebook thread.
“Anyone who makes up their mind before they hear the issue is a fucking fool. Be a fucking person. Listen. Let it swirl around your head. Then form your opinion.” – Chris Rock
Did we jump the bandwagon before getting all of the facts? Are we emotionally invested in our opinion or did we calmly collect enough facts to form an opinion that we can support with evidence? Is it our opinion or one somebody else gave us? If someone disagrees with us, does it make them wrong? Are they attacking our opinion when they disagree? Does being respectful of opinions go only one way? Should we be mad at those who disagree with us? Were they even disagreeing with us in the first place, or did we read into something that may not have been there?
And most importantly……..if we disagree, will there still be LURD?!
(Our discussion on this topic begins around the 23 minute mark on this past Thursday’s show.)