I am 31 years old I am an avid animal lover, semiprofessional photographer, lover of the outdoors and a not so closeted nerd. I went back to school in January to finish my bachelor’s degree in digital photography when I kept finding myself in different history classes. Applied History (American history from 1830-today), Art History, Film History, History of Photography and the thing that I kept seeing them all having in common is the effect that the society of the day affected these individual histories. What struck the biggest chord with me was how the United States we are living in today is very similar to the United States we were living in, in the 1960’s , the early 1900’s and the late 1800’s. I have literally been reading an article that has to do with a completely different decade than the one we’re living in now thinking I was reading a recent news story, or watching The Great Dictator (by the mastermind that is Charlie Chaplin) and looking at the portrayal of Hitler wondering if maybe this was a spoof of our current President. The very first black and white silent film I had to watch for my film history class was a white man in a “black face” portraying a serial rapist of white women. I just couldn’t stop seeing eerie and unsettling similarities of the things I’ve been seeing on the news in recent years.
I have been surrounded by many different races my whole entire life, in 7th grade my best friends mom was white and her dad was black, my friend Tiffany was from Colombia, when I was in my 20’s my boyfriend was born in Mexico and came here with his family. Race was never a thing I thought about, immigration was just something I thought our country was built on, so I didn’t see anything wrong with it. When George Floyd was killed by the cops and the riots started, I remember seeing helicopters flying over my house because I live within 30 miles of downtown Raleigh and people were protesting. It was in that moment I needed to learn more. I wanted to learn everything; I wanted the truth.
If you asked me just a couple years ago what I wanted to do with my life you would’ve heard “I want to be a writer” I used to want to be a journalist but then I was told by a professor that journalism was a dying profession. I didn’t understand then, but I do now. The news today is not the news our parents grew up with, or their parents before them. The news these days is a platform pushing, emotionally driven, biased political machine.
I have since then continued to educate myself on what in the world is going on in our country today. It’s scary, it’s sad and it’s definitely not new, it has actually been going on for decades. It didn’t start with our current president or administration (though he really is fueling a fire) it’s been ingrained in our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents etc. Since at least the 1830’s from what I’ve been learning about in school and that actually started with the Irish. Racism, political unrest, sexism; you name it, it’s been happening. What I want to do in future blogs is just educate, shed some light on the History that you don’t learn unless you decide you WANT to learn about it. Take off the blinders that people have put up (myself included) so maybe we can throw a cog in the wheel that keeps us endlessly repeating a history that we should’ve learned from long ago.