Okay, guys. We need to have a talk.
I’ve discussed this before, and really… It’s so important.
You’ve got to stop believing everything the Media tells you.
This is the first post in a two-part series on narrowing the urban/rural divide, and just being a responsible, rational citizen in general.
Certain news outlets…
…are blowing up over a tweet by a UC Berkeley PhD candidate bashing rural America. And yes! He says horrible things. He says that rural Americans are bad people who have made bad life decisions.
Honestly, even writing that makes me laugh. Really? All of us? Something tells me he will reach a point in his life when he regrets making such sweeping generalizations, but alas, I digress.
There are a few things these news outlets aren’t telling you.
The guy who made these comments has since taken his Twitter account down. It has been replaced by a parody account. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access his tweets prior to him removing them.
However, if you Google him, you discover that he is not a professor at UC Berkeley, as certain news outlets are stating. That is a lie. Yep. A lie. Your news outlet lied to you. (I use the term “news outlet” lightly.)
If they are willing to lie about that, what else are they lying about? Please consider that when choosing your news source!
What is clear is that he is a young man who hasn’t even figured out who he is yet. He isn’t a world thought leader. He’s a student in philosophy. These are just the ramblings of a kid trying to figure things out.
Posts like these are essentially digital graffiti.
And I don’t mean the artistic kind of graffiti that makes a powerful statement in mural form. I mean the offensive defacing of public spaces as an act of rebellion by young people with underdeveloped character.
If these news outlets hadn’t given this guy a forum, no one would have even known he was out there.
This kid is a philosophy PhD student. I’m sure he TA’s some classes, as is required of all doctoral students. But that doesn’t make him a professor, and any actual professor would be miffed to have their hard work, publications, and experience relegated to the same category as a TA (Teaching Assistant).
This dude’s photo on his UC Berkeley page shows him in the mountains, looking happy as a clam to be in the great outdoors. His hypocrisy is right there, for all the world to see.
Let me make this real clear for those in the back… He’s an impulsive kid who went on a childish rant and probably wishes desperately he could take it back.
My guess is he’s learned some valuable life lessons from this whole experience. Or at least we can hope.
In the very least, he isn’t the first person to go off on a regrettable Twitter rant, and he won’t be the last.
So, does UC Berkeley hate rural people…
…as is implied by the Media?
I’m guessing the distinguished folks at the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources (which includes the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics) might have a very well-articulated counter to that claim, if they bothered to answer at all, since they have better things to do, like study agriculture.
Guess how long it took me to figure all this out.
Go ahead, guess…
Three minutes. It took me longer to type it all out than it did to look it up.
This part is really important…
…STOP GETTING ALL YOUR NEWS FROM ONE SOURCE!
…STOP BELIEVING EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE INTERNET OR SEE ON CABLE NEWS!
…STOP SHARING BOGUS STORIES IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA!
…DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!
…DON’T LET THE MEDIA DO YOUR THINKING FOR YOU! THINK FOR YOURSELVES!
So, who is my audience here?
Is it the rural folks who are offended? The city folks smiling and nodding in agreement with this kid?
The answer is both.
It’s for everyone who heard this story and took it at face value. It’s for all the people who believed without question that this guy was a professor, and was a representative of the university.
I’m talking to those who forwarded this “news” story on and fueled this ridiculous fire.
I’m talking to everyone who felt solidarity with this “expert” at Berkeley, without bothering to learn anything about him.
We get tired of our news sources lying to us…
…yet we continue to give them a free pass. If we don’t hold the Media accountable, who will?
The truth is often easy to find. Before you get offended or self-righteous, do your homework. It takes three minutes.
We wonder why we’re so divided and feel helpless to resolve it.
The answer is simple.
Stop giving a free pass to people capitalizing on your apathy.
Until we expect the truth, we aren’t going to get it. It really is that simple.
This is Part 1 in a continuing series on narrowing the urban/rural divide. Part 2, People crave community: Narrowing the urban/rural divide, can be found here.
Copyright © 2019 Sara Beth Wald