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As we (hopefully) evolve, as a species, to be more inclusive and diverse, we will (definitely) need, as a society, to fundamentally change art and media.
For decades, stories told in and by media – whether in books, TV shows, movies, and the Internet – have often glorified the bad guys/gals or those who bend the rules. Even when the good side ultimately wins, the anti-heroes are still celebrated.
Too many people, then, believe or have the expectation that these stories are fictionalized versions of real life. Treating these bad characters with respect and appreciation, their bad behavior gets mirrored by real people in actual real life. This is what influences our day-to-day interactions. Most of the good people are white; most of the bad are people of color.
We have the ability to create art that, instead, frames these bad apples in negative ways; and our media can also celebrate those who oppose the breaking the rules for selfish or negative reasons. The news can become more “fair and balanced” by including one piece of good news for every bad news story. Moreover, we need to refrain from posting stories glorifying false statements or evil actions.
As a society, we need to value facts and the common good – and stop inciting behavior that is negative, destructive, and/or fails to support the common good. We can find new ways—and revive ancient, traditional ways—to tell our stories and celebrate life. Together.
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