I've spent the last several days trying to ponder how I want to approach the latest happenings in Charlottesville. I knew when I began this page that I wanted to try and stay away from any political or wildly controversial topics because I have learned that as a general rule, people cannot control themselves when opinions aren't the same, and I don't want this site to be a platform for debate. Last night Shane and I were talking about how things have been escalating daily since the tragedy in Charlottesville. I expressed to him the need for me to say something, but neither of us could really speak about it without it being a display of raw emotion, and as I said, that isn't what I want to conjure in anyone. The media alone has done a far more superior job of evoking emotion, fear, sadness, anger, and violence than anyone and I don't need to add fuel to that fire. Then it hit me! I want to place blame where I feel like a large portion of it is due. The media. I think it's no surprise to anything that the media is a spoon in the cauldron of controversial topics in America. Whether it's racism, fascism, sexism, homophobia, the latest school shooting, or the sudden fear that Americans are just days away from searing their eyeballs right out of their heads, there lies the media stirring away and dying to tell you what to do or what to think. Don't get me wrong, people aren't always swayed by what they see and how it's portrayed, but for lots of people that are just waiting for something to cling to, or young adults that are still trying to find their way and form their opinions, this shining silver platter from which they serve their information is very tempting. I'm not suggesting that media reports aren't truthful per say, we know that in recent months, there have been several incidents of the mistreatment of people of color at the hand of those who are meant to protect us, and we also are aware that while gay marriage is very much recognized as a legal union, the shooting in an Orlando night club reminded us how far we still have to go to learn to love one another. Racism has existed since the beginning of time. There has been, and unfortunately will likely always be some group of people that will feel the wrath of others convinced that they are superior or a group of believers that use a piece of literature to condemn and judge others but ignoring the instruction not to do so. With all of the shit in the world that is going profoundly wrong, why do we feel the incessant need to report report report on what has been done and not on what can be done to promote change in the hearts of others? Why can't reporters take to the scene with sincere concern in their hearts and report on what happened and what we can do as American's to better this division in humanity? The reason is, that that shit doesn't sell. What sells, is the fear factor and the anger factor, and the racism factor. The media are there for one purpose. To stir an emotion in those watching their shit show. The happy stories matter to, right? Sure, when watching the news, you are most likely going to see the occasional celebrity visiting sick children in a hospital, or the big hearted humanitarian that has devoted every Saturday to deliver sandwiches to the homeless. It makes viewers feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but just as they are getting their pen and paper out, hoping for a phone number to call or a website to check out in order to themselves make a difference, BAM! Shooting in East Nashville that is thought to be race related flashes on the screen and suddenly your "do gooder" focus has been robbed from you and you are now so incredibly pissed off, that you sit there stewing about how people are despicable human beings that are sure to disappoint sooner or later and after a 10 minute slot on a 30 minute newscast leaves you feeling depleted, you never remember what the hell it was you got that pen and paper for in the first place. Ah yes, just when you think people are going to try and make a difference, the media comes in clutch and mind fucks you just in the nick of time. Oh well, there is always the option to send a text and donate money without having to get up and do anything, that'll have to work for now. I myself have been without cable for the last 2 years now, and without a doubt, I do not miss it. I am always the last to know about current headlines, and I'm ok with that. I get on my laptop almost daily, and about once a week read current events, but by the time I do, the hype has typically died down and what you are left with is a bare bones version of what happened which is the way I like to find out what is going on in the world. In my world and in the world I create for my roots, there is no room for racism, sexism, fascism, homophobia or any other sort of discrimination. I refuse to live in a world where any sort of disgust for another human being is something I feel in my bones and carry with me, and I for sure don't want my children to carry the burden of hate in their heart. I want to encourage others to get out from in front of your 6 o'clock newscast and be proactive about making a difference. How can you do that? I have no fucking clue. I'm a word vessel you guys, not a fucking genie in a bottle. I personally started by explaining to my children what happened recently in Charlottesville, sparing the specifics because while we have the opportunity to have a teaching moment here, I don't feel the need to explain the grimness of it all and have their little minds get stuck on that and miss the message that will follow which is that we are meant to love one another despite differences. I will tell them that we love them unconditionally and with 100% truth. I will teach them that people of color are equal, and not just "equal as long as you don't marry a black woman/man." I will teach them that gay people are equal and not just "equal as long as you aren't dating the same sex". For myself, I will be proactive about promoting peace, and in doing so I will also be certain to taste my words before I spit them out. We aren't fence riders in this house, and we don't love half way. I'm sure we will continue to be exposed to news and media propaganda, but we will also continue to treat it like what it is, which is a souped up version of facts delivered to you by networks hidden agendas and paying sponsors. In the words of the great Mahatma Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see in the world". Live, Love, and Grow Roots.