How do we change the narrative, and what happens when we do?
November 8, 2021
The narrative in America has been told by the same people year after year. It is the story of those who have triumphed, and, if the story is about who lost, it is told by the victor. The narrative is about the oppressor, told by the oppressor, and has been since white people came to America. Minorities have tried for years to have their voices heard, and the narrative is finally being disrupted. People are finally realizing their privilege and the amount of racism, classism, sexism, and more that is still present in society, and more and more people are doing things about it.
In order to disrupt the narrative, all stories have to be told, from all perspectives, and about all people. Disrupting the narrative means representing all people in the media accurately and in a positive light. It means electing minorities into places of power, and asking minorities how they want to be represented. Disrupting the narrative means learning, becoming aware of one’s own biases, and spreading awareness about issues that aren’t well known. Disrupting the narrative means becoming aware of one’s privilege, and using that privilege to be an ally to minorities and to help others move up in the world and have their voices heard.
When the narrative is disrupted, we start hearing stories about everyone, not just the winner, and not just about white cis/het men. We see ourselves and everyone around us represented in the media. We see all kinds of people in government and as managers. There are queer couples in TV shows, people of color in movies, working women, and stay-at-home dads. Everyone can find someone who looks like them when they watch a movie, everyone can see themself represented in a book, and everyone feels heard.
The narrative obviously hasn’t been completely shifted, and there are still a myriad of issues concerning racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, religious discrimination, and more. America and the world still has an extreme amount of work to do before the narrative accurately represents everyone in the world and is told from all perspectives, but the shift is slowly happening, and change is on the way.