warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Violence disturbing during season of peace

Crime, sex and money. Those three news topics, poll after poll and survey after survey tell us, are what people want to read about in the print media, see on TV and hear about on the radio.
Unfortunately, that seems to be all too true. Just look at the recent coverage of the shooting of a black man by a white police officer, the subsequent looting and riots, and demonstrations that have turned ugly — even one right next door at the Mall of America in Bloomington.
It is starting to feel like we are on the cusp of another decade like the mid-’60s to early ’70s, the decade of civil rights demonstrations and anti-war protests, many of which turned violent.
Those hoping to attract media attention to their civil and social issues often turn to violence, because that’s what brings the news teams to town. The media know that a confrontation between helmeted police officers and demonstrators will draw more viewers and readers than a peaceful sit-in or parade.
There is no doubt that the media helped fuel the civil unrest of the ’60s and early ’70s. That was the era when television was a relatively new media. The live coverage that is the rule today was the exception then, the first time that viewers could watch events on their TVs as they actually unfolded across the country or even across the world.
In our current decade, social media has furthered the immediacy of news, often at the expense of accuracy and fairness. One cannot open Facebook or Twitter without encountering commentary on the recent events involving the protests and the recent slayings of police officers in New York and Florida.
We, of course, do not feel that violence is a solution to any issue, nor should it be used to draw attention to deeper social and civil issues.
And we find it particularly troubling that these violent episodes are erupting during a season that traditionally promotes the concept of peace for all mankind.
We don’t know how to stop the violence, but here’s a thought: on Christmas day, the day of the birth of the man who brought about the radical concept of peace and forgiveness over that of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” let’s shut off social media, the television and close up the newspapers and magazines, and concentrate on the real reason for the season. Maybe we’ll find a little peace for ourselves.