CHANCES are, you have probably heard that adage, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” It’s a phrase taken to the heart by the nation—or more accurately, the media.
Honey is unreliable, however.
Honey might sweeten your tea, but unintentionally alter its flavor. You might decide to add honey to your pie while mixing together the ingredients, but it may thicken the consistency to an undesirable extent. And sometimes, although you’ve added a great deal of honey to an item, that same item might still taste just as bland and unsavory as it did in its original state.
The thing about vinegar is that no matter what variation you purchase and how much you add to any given substance, vinegar will always be sour, bitter, and undesirable. Vinegar is never minimal and rarely will it hide itself from you.
The truth is the same way. And because of this, many would rather be told a lie sweet on the tongue than be forced to grimace at the unrelentingly bitter taste of the truth.
Instead of referring to the several murders of black individuals by the police as a government-reinforced hate crime, many sites and news outlets prefer to view it as an isolated incident—the wrongdoing of one warped mind—as if the forces that led to the murder were applicable only to that individual and not perpetuated daily. Instead of calling COVID-19 a pandemic that caused an initially somewhat preventable economic catastrophe, commercials prefer to refer to it as an “unprecedented time”. Instead of referring to the January 6, 2021, happening as an unwarranted insurrection, several sites prefer to deem it an “incident”, as if it were as feeble as experiencing a fender bender.
The media prefers to feed the public honeyed variations of the truth in order to ease the guilty consciences of those responsible for or indirectly contributing to such atrocities. The legal system is allowed a sigh of relief because “it was only one bad apple who killed the black man.” The former president is allowed a sigh of relief because “it was an uncontainable virus, and no measures could have possibly been taken within the time between America’s” awareness of its existence and its arrival on its shores. And those who supported the groups related to the January 6th insurrection are allowed a sigh of relief because “they were just protesting their beliefs and it got a little too rowdy”.
However, for the many groups—racial and other sociopolitical minorities, and the working class—that have suffered because of the aforementioned events and many more nationally documented occurrences, this sugarcoating is nowhere near helpful. It does not lift any weight off anyone’s shoulders. It does not lull them to sleep at night.
Instead, they are stunted by societal ignorance and their voices are muffled by the mass ignorance such niceties instigate. Because these groups are directly affected by the events the media sugarcoats, they see right through all the sugar, honey, and other diabetes-inducing variations of sweetening the media feeds the public via language; they immediately lose respect for it all. And because these groups aren’t as minor in number anymore as the media make them seem, the masses are growing tired of the blatant lies, too—or at least, far less tolerant. The truth is beginning to reign supreme.
We must start calling things what they are. Racism is not an “accident” or “incident.” It’s a choice. Discrimination isn’t a “difference in beliefs,” it’s inhumane. Riots and insurrections are only considered protests when those involved are white or Right.
Some might not like what I’ve said within this writing. And they have my insincerest apologies. While one may catch more flies with honey than vinegar, one, sometimes, obtains more respect with vinegar.