What happened to you, America?

More stories from Allie Randall

This past week, two members of American mass media found themselves the topic of controversy following the discovery of a shocking video that shows a South Carolina school resource officer in a violent altercation with a high school student. That officer has since been fired for his actions. There are now two petitions circulating the internet calling for the termination of CNN’s Don Lemon and ABC’s The View co-host, Raven-Symone.

This is a problem, America.

Whether or not you agree with Lemon’s or Symone’s views should not dictate their employment status. It’s important to note that Lemon didn’t actually justify or agree with Officer Field’s actions. He simply called for the presence of more evidence before conclusions were drawn. Isn’t that what good reporters do? The creator of the petition for Lemon’s removal [Jamell Henderson] seems to have forgotten the very essence of journalism. Though I wouldn’t necessarily deem Raven-Symone an intelligent co-host [she often spews false information] or “journalist” in any sense of the word, the problem here is not that she expressed an ill-informed viewpoint; it’s that any time someone in the limelight expresses an unpopular opinion, they are publicly crucified for doing so. It is not Symone’s job to instill in you a moral compass or BS-meter; it is her job to express her views—after all, The View is a show that claims to showcase differing viewpoints. So, Raven Symone should be fired…for doing the job asked of her? If her opinions just so happen to be ignorant [spoiler alert: they were], then we should, as intelligent members of society have the ability to recognize them as such…and then move on with our lives.

The ability to debate ideas and opinions happens to be a rather positive interaction for anyone to engage in. I’ve found that I’ve learned more from the times I’ve disagreed with someone’s views, than when I’ve shared the exact same opinion. Often times, the conversation lags when you and another agree unequivocally on a subject. Debate is healthy. It promotes an astute awareness to the goings-on around us. Do we wish to have a society of robots programmed to think and act in the exact same manner? That sounds dystopian to me.

Some argue that having people such as Lemon and Symone on television will negatively impact the impressionable sector of our population [i.e., children and adolescents]. To that I counter, when did parents relinquish their custodial rights to the flat-screen in the corner of the living room? Now there’s an actual issue people should be worried about: the lack of parenting in the US.

What happened to you, America?