Firsthand account from Standing Rock
“Have you heard about all this fake news stuff on facebook? Isn’t that horrible?” asked the woman on the BART train last night.
“Totally,” her companion answered, and added “like all this stuff about Standing Rock. They’re not reporting the truth at all.”
My friend Kelsi just got back from the camp there, so I was curious what they had to say. The guy continued “My sister’s friend lives in Bismark and says that the protesters are really violent. They march through town with severed pigs heads on poles and stuff. She’s super scared to walk to her car every night and has asked her work to provide security for them.”
I was flabbergasted. This went against every bit of news I’d read from reliable sources, and could not have been more different from Kelsi’s firsthand experience. She spoke of families and children, elders, cooperation, acceptance, and shared dedication to a clear idea of justice. I dug around online and found an article about somebody putting a pigs head on a table at one point, but to use that image to characterize this movement strikes me as inaccurate to the point of slander. Or at least willful miscomprehension.
But I’m not there. All I have is the evidence of others, combined with my personal experience among people who care about such things as the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable, versus militarized police who shoot tear gas and concussive grenades at peaceful protesters on behalf of billionaire oil companies who routinely lie and break the law themselves. And damn right I use the word “peaceful” for the dedicated people at Standing Rock.
But don’t take my word for it. My friend Kelsi’s piece on her experience at Standing Rock is here (click). And if her style seems familiar at times, I confess to helping her write it a bit. With pride. It’s an important piece of what’s going on with America today. An age when democracy is a fragile concept and the powers that be pay little attention to the good of the people they claim to serve. (Did I mention that Trump, Rick Perry etc are investors in the pipeline? But that’s a conversation for another day.)
In case anyone’s keeping track of lies by the way, here’s our state apparatus showing its integrity. https://www.facebook.com/TYTpolitics/videos/1783739111873796/
Sadly, the days of living in ‘post-truth’ get longer and more numerous.
That notion that we don’t respect Fact anymore is still difficult for me to grasp. Still makes me want to grab out species by someplace sensitive and give it a good shake.
Of the many, many things wrong with the world today, epic–and seemingly growing–misinformation is at the foundation of most of them.
Remember when a healthy amount of discussion centered around different approaches to solving agreed upon problems? Now it seems as though the bulk of “debate” involves arguing about what the facts are. How can problems be solved if we can’t even reach a consensus on basic facts?
And given the process underlying this misinformation–it can’t possibly help that the president-elect is tweeting out utter falsehoods on a regular basis–I’m at a loss as to what can be done about it.
Have you seen the Hypernormalisation documentary? It has some awful editing, but a lot of interesting information and perspective. Helped me understand a little better how we came to this post-intelligence place. Now I just need to get my Buddha nature on and find a foundation of optimism and love.
(The part about how we all grew addicted to fear is particularly instructional though…)