when my best friend passed, a big event was held to honor him. my friend had an amazing legacy. i witnessed him assisting countless people. i know of hundreds of people he helped out of the goodness of his heart and his faith. he was the ultimate do-gooder. he was fearless, a fighter, and never shied away from confrontation.
the large church filled to near capacity when i took my seat. the stage was full of dignitaries which included my friend’s mentor, representative maxine waters.
representative waters had a real relationship with the family. she attended my friend’s father’s funeral and spoke. i got to see ms. waters on many occasions. i became a huge fan of her political skills. she is a master organizer, dresser, presenter and speaker. irrespective of your side of the political aisle, there is so much to learn from her.
ms. waters, with impeachment on her mind, perhaps went off of the topic of my friend’s legacy. out of her mouth came the rallying cry for impeachment. this contrasted with my friend’s legacy. he was the one to get an invitation to the white house and lecture a sitting president. he would have walked out of the meeting with opportunities for those who needed help. after the meeting, he would have been described by the president as a “force for good” and someone worthy of lending support.
this moment taught me one thing. messaging can turn on a moment. once others can grab ahold of one’s story, a legacy can become something quite different. it could become something unintended.
the recent comments and posts from “ye” aka mr. kanye west, is an example how one’s message is co-opted by others. ye’s alleged anti-semitic remarks have taken on different messaging from different groups of people: there are those in social media who are looking at the black economics part of it; there is the media who are addressing it as an “anti-hate” moment; there are those in the hebrew israelite groups who are wondering whether ye is aligned with their ideology; there are the traditional “right wing” anti-semites who are declaring kanye west right about the jews and are using the moment for self-promotion; there are those on the “left” who, in their twisted logic, find it a moment to defend members of the “squad” in congress and their alleged anti-semitic remarks; and there are those in the not so mainstream media who wish to explore concern over the hebrew israelite ideology and its ramifications.
with all of this, we see the variety of messaging that is floating around “media/social-media bubble” over the comments. the problem with the “bubble,” however, is that it is not addressing what might happen outside of the “bubble.” will someone translate ye’s message into an act of violence? these violent acts will not be towards the media or those on social media. rather, these acts will be at locations where you can easily target jews. religious schools, synagogues, kosher markets, and communities are places at which these events may occur. the messaging has created this risk. while there are those who feel the need to employ cancellation as a form of handling the whole affair, there is a greater concern that people who probably have never heard a kanye west song or wore his shoes and clothing are the ones who may succumb to violence as a result of the messaging. how can we protect these individuals?
in sum, messaging is tantamount to a pandora’s box. once let out onto the world, it is fair game for others to take, use and interpret for their own agenda. in this recent instance, i hope and pray that no one takes ye’s message as a call to violence. it will not be those in the bubble harmed but rather those who outwardly practice their religious.
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post comment: linked is an article which may be representative of my expressed concern.