There are a lot of extreme opinions knocking about in today’s society. Made especially prominent by both the mainstream media and also social media. Sadly, in my experience, the most reliable way to obtain balanced and/or impartial coverage of events is through social media. Not because everyone is impartial, but because it is possible to see so many different views on a topic. Obviously for this to work you need to consume a large amount of information and check multiple sources but it’s better than only seeing whatever narrative the mainstream media is trying to push.
“My enemy’s enemy is my friend”. An ancient proverb, first credited to an Indian philosopher known as Chanakya or Kautilya but used by many people throughout history including Winston Churchill, from whom the direct quote was taken. The gist of it, in the most general terms, is working with someone towards a common goal or to defeat a common enemy even though you may not entirely agree with each other.
I don’t always agree with this statement. There are some situations where neither side of the argument is in the right and neither side has enough going for them for me to side with them. However, there are also situations where someone I would usually disagree with completely or at least in part, has the moral high ground.
The most recent example of this is the story from this week about the Cathy Griffin and Tyler Shields photoshoot. If you haven’t heard this story I’ll leave a link to it below but essentially Shields (a photographer) took photos of Griffin (a comedian) holding what looks like Donald Trump’s decapitated head. Now I am the last person who would support Donald Trump but this was inappropriate and a very poor attempt at comedy. Many people, from the left and the right, have spoken out against the photos including Chelsea Clinton. Griffin has since deleted the images and uploaded and apology video in which she acknowledges she overstepped and seems very sincere (although she initially defended them as art).
Understandably there has been a tidal wave of backlash on social media around these images. Many people arguing for the images comparing it to the protests after Barack Obama was elected when people had images of Obama being lynched, their argument being: ‘why was that ok but not this?’. What they have seemingly failed to understand is that it was not ok. It was not acceptable then and it is not acceptable now. Whether you like him or not, Trump is the President of the United States and a human being and it is never ok, for comedy or otherwise, to threaten the life of another human being in this way.
Another horrifying story following the images was that Barron Trump (the president’s 11-year-old son) first saw the images on television, thought they were real and, understandably, ‘freaked out’. This on its own is awful but then I went on Twitter to find people (read: fully grown adults) making fun of him for being upset! I am disgusted by this behaviour and can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing. No matter who his father is, Barron is a child and he was distressed because he thought his dad died. How could you make fun of that?
One person I consistently disagree with (other than his thoughts on free speech) is Milo Yiannopoulos yet I have to agree with how he has spoken out against Kathy Griffin and the people ridiculing Trump and his family. I’ll leave the link to his article below.
In conclusion, my enemy’s enemy is not always my friend, although sometimes he becomes so unexpectedly.
Thanks for reading! What do you think about the images? Do you agree with everything I said? Do you have any other points to add? Let me know in the comments.
I’ve left some relevant links below along with all my social media.