“Our country is going to hell in a hand basket!” screams the news headlines making up the 24-hour news cycle that increasingly seems to rule our lives. Once again, one year after the death of Michael Brown, we were glued to our televisions waiting for something catastrophic to happen in Ferguson, and other cities in our nation in response. But is this our fate? Is this the truth of our situation? Is anything good happening out there? Is there any hope?
Yes, there are powerful forces marshaling for the common good in our cities and rural areas, but there are also powerful forces marshaling for the opposite. A wise person once told me to follow the money if I wanted to know what’s really going on in any given situation. So follow this:
The so-called liberal or conservative news media is owned by 6 mega media companies that control 90% of our information.
As Matthew Cooke points out, those companies are owned by the very rich who benefit by selling conflict not truth. There is a direct monetary incentive to keep us all at each other’s throats.
The best way to combat this is to turn off your TV and social media for a while and get to work. Start mobilizing around organizations, ministries and churches focused on the common good of our communities and helping people to flourish. Jobs for Life is one organization working in Ferguson, MO that has provided practical tools to help address poverty, begin reconciling with each other, give hope and restore the dignity being suppressed by our conflict-driven news media.
There is much in which to be hopeful! So get moving and remember, as Kendrick Lamar reminds us,
“If God got us, then we gon’ be alright!”
Byron McMillan serves as the Director of Content and Training at Jobs for Life in Raleigh, NC.