The Derrick Rose Conundrum
As a millenial, I want to believe that we live in a era that is more progressive and socially conscious than any previous generation. Obama, the repeal of DOMA, SCOTUS affirmation of the legality of gay marriage, marijuana is no longer as stigmatized, and very significantly, professional sports organizations are feeling the pressure to punish sexual and domestic assault — life in America has never seemed better than ever for us lefties. But then came Trump and Derrick Rose and I realized something — we are still the society that worships reality TV and the Kardashians and our newfound “woke”-ness is superficial at best. It can best be compared to the green energy craze that took root in the early 2000’s. People felt like it wasn’t just socially responsible to be environmentally friendly — now it was cool.
Why do I even mention this? Our narcissistic nation has no true values and it’s shown through the rise of Donald Trump and the disparagement of Derrick Rose. We want reality to conform to our opinions and not the other way around. Shaping a world perspective that reflects actual data and reality is too difficult, the due diligence requires too much thought. Instead, we jump on trends and rationalize our entire world post hoc. Trump supporters suffer from this reality distortion field and now we’re seeing it in full force from those who would condemn Derrick Rose without being privy to the evidence. We jump on board because it fits the narrative we want to tell on our Twitter, our Facebook feeds — even if it means throwing other human beings down the well.
What happened to the truth seekers? What happened to reasonableness? We are all so angry about the state of the world and we seem to forget that we are living in the best world we’ve seen yet. Don’t get me wrong, we have so much further to go in terms of social progress. But can we just take a step back and see that we just elected our first Black President (who was a goddamn rockstar) and are on the verge of electing our first female President. Gay marriage is LEGAL. The war in Iraq is OVER. The economy is the best it has been in a decade. Sexual assault and rape are being discussed in a way that could have never happened even ten years ago. We are running the risk of throwing all this progress away because some people think it’s not good enough and not fast enough — whether you’re a Trump supporter who is convinced that America is no longer great or a Derrick Rose critic who feels his not liable verdict is just another reaffirmation that rape culture is ingrained in American culture.
There is a certain value in thinking first and reacting later and I implore the reactionaries to take a step back and question their assumptions. We cannot progress by getting stuck in ruts, even if those ruts mean that being woke is the new trend. Nothing good has ever come from mob mentality. Think.