A few weeks ago you asked, “Can we all just get along?” I don’t know, but we’ll never come together if we keep turning away from each other and toward corporate media, big tech and their narrative of fear and hate. Corporate media, big tech, and politicians in both parties benefit when we are scared, divided, and selectively informed. In 2019, 50 percent in Congress were millionaires compared with less than 10 percent of Americans. More than 100 million small businesses across the country closed permanently due to government-mandated COVID lockdowns, while seven tech companies gained $3.4 trillion in market value.
Instead of highlighting these examples of income inequality, corporate media and big tech use hyperbole, obfuscation, and censorship to convince us that our real problem is neighbors, friends, and coworkers we disagree with politically. They tell us these people are dangerous, motivated by racism, fascism, or other ugly beliefs, and must be silenced. They caricature, marginalize, sometimes demonize, people we previously may have thought of as wrong, but not as bad or dangerous.
Instead of offering solutions, they perpetuate a climate of fear, hate, and sometimes self-righteousness to keep us from even considering finding common ground. The media, tech, and political elite pit us against each other to distract us. When we fight with each other we don’t notice the wealth and power they are accumulating at the expense of our economic security, privacy, and individual rights. We don’t notice their hypocrisy on income inequality, energy consumption, and other issues. Maybe if we turn off the talking heads in corporate media and question their self-serving narrative, embrace free speech—even when it offends us, listen instead of argue, and assume the best in each other, we can start to heal the divide.