Don’t Be Fooled

Kevin Spacey is gay. The United States recently released a trove of documents related to the Kennedy assassination. “Clinton” and “Uranium” have been used in the same sentence more than normal recently. These three things, at first glance, have nothing to do with each other other than the fact they’re not really a big deal, either because we already knew them or nothing will really come of them. And, in theory, that would be true. However, they do happen to be linked by one other, one other incredibly insidious thing, as insignificant as it might sound: timing.

All of this information found its way to the public eye at moments when the person releasing it very much wanted the public to be focusing on something else. President Trump released the JFK files only a few days before multiple members of his campaign team were indicted for collusion with Russia. Unsurprisingly, talk of the Clintons and Uranium (which, by the way, is a blatantly ridiculous scandal that holds about as much water as a pre-iceberg titanic and which is bound to sink about as quickly) found itself circulating heavily on Fox News and many other conservative outlets at around the same time. Kevin Spacey came out as gay in practically the same sentence as he denied having any knowledge of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy when he was 25. All of these, then, now have a horrifying thing in common: they are distractions.

They are attempts to control the narrative, to either change or entirely avert the conversation around misdoings. They are attempts to throw something shiny in the face of the world and escape while the world ogles. They are the hope that those who have committed a wrong can somehow refocus that wrong on others or transform themselves into an injured or oppressed party. That, of course is how injustice, how predation, how oppression, have fostered for so long. Because they are, almost by definition, perpetrated by those in power, they require intense scrutiny for long periods of time to be vanquished. When the narrative is lifted away from their predation or crimes for a moment, the inertia of historical perception will sweep them back up and render them innocent again in the public eye.

There is hope to be found here though, because the narrative is one of the few things that does not, by its nature, belong to the people in power who so often commit these kinds of crimes. It can be bought, of course, and twisted by those who benefit from privilege, but it is not their purview alone. The narrative belongs first to itself, and second to the masses who aligns themselves with it, to the people who can make themselves heard. The narrative belongs to the people who will tell the truth of it, who will force out that truth of it. We just need to actually force it out.

With excitement and optimism,