It’s Time to Read 1984.
(ThyBlackMan.com) It is becoming a battle to disagree with the 45th President. The decorum and temperament we have known that office to embody is gone. The media is a tool that is used to keep the dialog going about any given administration be it good or bad. Every President has had to face the criticism of the media news outlets at some point. Be them left or right they are not always wrong, but they do offer perspective. This current administration is very thin skinned, and want to hear nothing but “Good Job”.
If you disagree with the direction of the current administration you are deemed “fake news” and a battle is waged against you. It seems this administration spends more time defending, and attacking, the media then they do actually paying attention to the job they should be doing. When we look at the tyrannical position this president has taken it should urge Americans to do a bit of reading.
The beauty of art is that it can explain, and warn, us about the state we are in from an outside perspective. Literature, and film are two areas that tend to bring us to different setting, and worlds, to show us the battle that may be ahead of us. It is often a running joke that Americans don’t read, but to get through these next four years Americans will need to prove that to be a lie. There have been a few references to George Orwell’s’ “1984” after this election. When we see statements like “Big Brother is watching”, or the use of the term “Doublethink” we are seeing references to literature that tell a story within the confinements of tyranny where thinking is highly discouraged. This book, among many others, is one the American populous should serious consider reading, and breaking down because it allows us to truly look at ways to avoid the reality of this book.
“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
– George Orwell, 1984
It is clear that this administration is just beginning to attack open thought, and free speech. If we aren’t careful they can very well become “Big Brother”. We must begin, as a people, to foster dialog amongst ourselves that will empower us to speak out in full force with an understanding of what we are fighting against…hence the beauty of literature. Too many of us have yet to read the books from our own people such as: “The Souls of Black Folks”, “David Walker’s Appeal”, “The Miseducation of the Negro” or “The New Jim Crow”. In addition to our authors we must embrace all forms of literature that give us a greater understanding of the times we are living in, and who we are as a people…not just as Black people but also as Americans.
1984 was published in 1949, and the reality of its words ring very real in 2017 right here in the US. Please take the time to start book clubs, and rally around information. This is more than googling subjects, or tuning in to social media…we require a vantage point by which we can make better decisions as a people and as citizens. The idea “if you want to hide something from a negro put it in a book” actually applies to this nation not just one group of people. We will need to know more than just our history…we will need more than just our storytellers to understand where we are, and how to withstand what seems to be looming over America.
“The ruling of men is the effort to direct the individual actions of many persons toward some end. This end theoretically should be the greatest good of all, but no human group has ever reached this ideal because of ignorance and selfishness.” – Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
– George Orwell, 1984
Staff Writer; Christian Starr