In the early hours of yesterday morning , Liverpool FC player Luis Suarez was named by the English Football Supporters Federation as their player of the year. This is despite a track record including, but not limited to, instances of diving, racism and even biting an opposition player. This is endemic of a wider problem in that as a society we tend to ignore such traits and flaws in those we aspire to, be they sports stars, celebrities, actors, musicians, or whoever else we may idolise and pay far too much for contributing far too little to said society.
Such a phenomenon is prevalent in more well known cases involving Chris Brown, R Kelly, Mike Tyson and a whole menagerie of garden variety criminal rappers such as 50 Cent and Lil’ Wayne who possess rap sheets longer than most people’s resumes. In fact, for all intents and purposes their criminal records seem to function AS their resumes.
The R Kelly case in particular demonstrates a deplorable and deeply concerning lack of interest from not just the general public but a conspiracy of silence from the music industry and media for well over a decade. It may be cynical but the obvious answer would seem to be because he’s successful. If the powers that be can continue to make a truckload of money off him and his music why jeopardise that with something as apparently trivial as sexual abuse.
So why is that? For all the progress that has been made in overcoming inequality in recent times, why is it we still collectively turn a blind eye to such transgressions? That’s obviously not to suggest that inequality is a thing of the past *cough*marriage equality *cough* but there is a greater focus on overcoming such inequality than at any point in history. Yet such flagrant disregard for such issues results in nothing more than temporary rage online (if any at all).
A large part of the problem has to be the current internet-induced short attention span. When people are bombarded by a million new facts in the 24 hour online news cycle any situation which may engender outrage is forgotten as long as the next one comes along. In a situation where clicks = dollars, all ‘news’ is designed to provoke outrage or at least some other similar emotional response regardless of worth and as a result situations and events that are actually worthy of that reaction fall through the cracks more often than not.
What do you think is the cause of this problem where people just plain don’t care? More importantly, what can we, even if only as individuals, do to try and change others’ attitudes?
Written by MATTHEW PURSER, whose own double standards can be witnessed on Twitter.