Three things dominated the news cycle this week: the news Jussie Smollett staged a homophobic and racist attack against himself, Tristan Thompson cheating on Khloe Kardashian with Kylie Jenner’s best friend Jordyn Woods and a U.S. Coast Guard officer’s foiled attack to kill politicians and journalists. The two former stories gathered more attention on social media than the latter one, which is common amongst the American public as celebrity news tends to overshadow stories that actually matter.
Earlier this month, we wrote about how Jussie Smollett’s attack is a sign our country needs to be tolerant. While we stand by the same principles held in the article, Smollett’s actions are embarrassing to marginalized communities and make it harder for real victims to be believed. He is a disgrace and should not take attention away from people who are actually victims, nor steal the spotlight from news stories that have an impact on people’s lives.
And frankly, why is anyone surprised that Tristan cheated on Khloe for the third time? It’s honestly old news.
What should be the topic of conversation is the news of Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson stockpiling weapons in order to kill a list of politicians, journalists and more. Hasson is a self-described white nationalist, and now a domestic terrorist who wanted “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country”, according to a court filing.
What would it take for our country to actually pay attention to this story? If he had succeeded in killing at least one of the people on his list, would we still be talking about it or would it still be Khloe and Tristan?
There are important conversations to be had around celebrity news — such as Jussie Smollett’s actions harming the LGBTQ+ community and black people in general — but as a society, we need to draw a line about what we allow to gain attention. We need to have conversations about gun control, polarization and ideology that contributes to people like Hasson plotting terrorist attacks against people in his own country.
We understand the news is generally not about pleasant things and it can be depressing to follow along 24/7, but journalists work 24/7 to inform the public about important events are happening in this country, and this information should not be overlooked for something as silly as a Kardashian. Our priorities in news stories should change so our priorities as a society change. If a news story such as the one about Hasson’s planned attack gathered more attention, it would say that our country does not tolerate white nationalists. Instead, our taste says a simple cheating scandal can distract us from practically anything, and that is unacceptable.
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