This is not official Journalism.
These are personal reflections and hopes in a blog article written and edited by the free (Anti-Trump) Italian citizen Cristina Capucci.
Each day, social media feeds, newspapers and news programs present circumstances which prove that human civilization has taken a turn for the worse.
Missing people, missing children, very hight rates of poverty, absolute poverty, death for hunger also in “industrialized” countries, deaths for medical malpractice, lack of vaccines, constant news about the current hundreds thousands of pandemic and cancer diseased and victims.
Disparaging comments about women and sexual consent and social minorities, enormous social diversities, news about mass shootings and social uprisings out of control. White supremacist hate crimes and other terrorist attacks leave communities and countries as United States of America feeling unstable and deeply violated and communities and other countries deeply touched, hurted and influenced by those informations.
Millions of refugees are displaced around the world thanks to civil wars, war crimes and genocides.
In the wake of such grim and terrible headlines, it’s easy to assume the world is becoming more violent and separated, and humanity’s collective ethics have having a breakdown. Modernity, it seems, has left the human community in worse shape than ever before.
But the news stories that inform this sad vision and prospective don’t do justice to the complexities and deepness of the human story. While the headlines describe a world that is getting worse, the world is actually getting better.
In fact statistics prove that since 1945 in Europe and the Americas, there have been the declines in the number of deaths from interstate wars, ethnic riots, and military coups, even in South America. Worldwide, the number of battle deaths has fallen from 65,000 per conflict per year to less than 2,000 deaths in this decade. Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, we have seen fewer civil wars, a 90 percent reduction in the number of deaths by genocide, and even a reversal in the 1960s-era uptick in violent crime.
Media are constantly accessible, the violence that they depict also perceived as constant, and as a result, violence appears more common and “acceptable” than it actually is. It’s worth noting, however, that this phenomenon is not the product of an “evil” mature media system that’s hell-bent on deceit and manipulation rather it is simply the by-product of how humans process information and use it to make sense of the world and to their personal world and sense of reality.
When we consider the whole of human history and evaluate the differences between life today and life as it was many centuries ago, it’s clear the violence is declining.
But make no mistake of evaluation: the world is not a perfect place, and human civilization has a long way to go before it reaches a state of perfect peace.
Furthermore, the path to our reduced rates of violence has neither been smooth nor constantly progressive.
Rather we are all stuck in someway.
For example, racism started to become prevalent because it was required to justify slavery, and the theft of land, labour and resources by colonialism.
In the past century the end of slavery (thirteen Amendment) in the United States was met with the creation of racist Jim Crow laws.
Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. All were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures to disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by blacks during the Reconstruction period.
Just a decade later Woodrow Wilson’s record on race relations was not very good. African Americans welcomed his election in 1912, but they were worried too. Just reflect on the fact that during his first term in office, the White House passed a law making racial intermarriage a felony in the District of Columbia. This was just one of anomalies of his presidency. His new Postmaster General also ordered that his Washington offices be segregated, with the Treasury and Navy soon doing the same. Suddenly, photographs were required of all applicants for federal jobs. As president, Wilson must confront himself with a new generation of African American leaders and Wilson when pressed by them, replied: “The purpose of these measures was to reduce the friction. It is as far as possible from being a movement against the Negroes. I sincerely believe it to be in their interest.”
A socio-political situation which just attended the start of 21th century after the 9/11 and during those years Maya Angelou affirmed: “Living in a state of terror was new to many white people in America, but black people have been living in a state of terror in this country for more than 400 years.”
The headlines are in these days describing the US as a nation in crisis. As the protests against the killing of African American George Floyd by a white police officer.
That suggests something broken, unable to function as planned. What black people are experiencing the world over is a system that finds their bodies expendable, by design.
Beyond every racial discrimination, nowadays there are still leaders who perpetuates misogyny and tolerate (if not encourage) hate speech supporting a freedom of speech in the name of an illusory and superficial progress, increasing a representation of individuals able to talk (overall on modern media and platforms such as social networks) just to manifest their popularity and a lack of real and concrete ideals. Non-Political Leaders who with mastery they are overall creating preferential lanes for freedom of speech, hate speech and inconsistencies.
Despite this uneven path, the circularity of the human history demonstrates that humans have a reason to be hopeful. While the present is far from perfect, the current age demonstrates significant improvements to the human condition. Rather than lamenting human shortcomings and proclaiming that the end is near, humans can secure a better future if they take stock of their successes and failures in order to discern which patterns and choices have led to progress.
Author: Cristina Capucci