Escapism Can be Dangerous.

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( Life is riddled with mentally draining situations. In addition to the challenges that come with the struggle to survive, thrive and march towards progress some of us have to deal with additional stress that beckons for a release. It is no secret that being Black (male and female) is not easy in America, or in other parts of the world. There is a constant struggle for peace when you feel like your very existence is a target. In the Unites States it is very difficult to ask another group of people to understand the degree of stress, and fear, you must contend with as a black American. Though you know there are other people of color in this country that experience discrimination, and racism, it is quite unfair to ask them to understand what it means to be you…here.

In some instance the difficulties one faces on the job, at school, or in housing can be attributed to race. Some black Americans are finding themselves having panic attacks when they see the police pull up behind them, or when a member of their household doesn’t answer the phone in a timely fashion. The news, and social media usually affirm the horrors that many black people fear on a day to day basis. With all that is going on many of them are now finding themselves drawing upon escapism.

African-Americans 2023.

It is understandable that there comes a point whereby you just need a breather from all the stress of simply existing. There needs to be a space where you can let your hair down, and relax your nerves and soul. Many have turned to traveling opting to take a vacation from the US and everything that comes with it they long to have peace of mind. When traveling isn’t an option the arts become a great way to unwind. So many of us gravitate to music, art, film, and literature to take our mind off the day to day stress. Allowing oneself a space to recalibrate, decompress, and bring self to balance is mentally and physically positive. Each of us should find that space for ourselves because its sorely needed.

With the positivity of escapism being acknowledged it cannot be overlooked, that the word is also being used to justify a glorification of one’s preferences. When many of us are questioned about choice in music, or why we cap for an artist we’d pray our son, or daughter never become it is often passed off as we need entertainment. This need for entertainment is then justified by the need for escapism. When some of us are confronted about being heavy in movement and demanding that Queendom, and Kingship, be respected, but we indulge in things that counter that position escapism tends to become the scapegoat.

How many times have you heard the argument of “I can do more than one thing”, “I can be about the movement and still enjoy myself”? Both statements are true, but if you like artists such as: Cardi B and Migos…COOL just don’t use the need to escape via this entertainment as the reason when you are called into question based on what you openly claim to believe in. Escapism can be achieved without supporting the antithesis to your movement. Some of the things we support really are distractions that can do harm in community. It doesn’t mean the artists are bad people, nor that they have not overcome major challenges. This goes for all forms of “entertainment”. If you love watching black folks fight on reality tv that’s just what you like; but do not deny what it represents. It has nothing to do with needing to decompress, because there are other options.

Escapism should not become the excuse we use to indulge in things that can shape, and potentially hinder, our people and community. That statement applies to anything that can be defined as such. We don’t have to degrade ourselves for entertainment. It’s not a matter of judgement, but more a call for us to be honest with self and each other. Escapism can be dangerous when they cover vices that will impede progress in our children, and community.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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