Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 Portfolio / Fine Art_PO

The State of America

  • Photographer
    Todd Bradley

The State of America America is a country in a state of distress. Besides the constant threat of war from North Korea, The US is still racially divided 53 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed. There is a major culture shift happening in our nation with women and men exposing sexual misconduct in the workforce. The Education system is flawed in that students are taught solely how to fit into corporate America as cogs in the machine. Americans are not learning about their rights as citizens. Just as the President and other key figures within the Republican Party dismiss facts as fake news and have herded the people of America into a dumbing down of our society. These things and others have caused our role as a super power within the world to change. Fifty-three years after the Civil rights act was passed there are racial riots happening in the streets of the United States of America. We have watched far too many dash-cam or body-cam videos of police officers using excessive force on dark skinned individuals that ended in the worse possible outcome. The President labeled Hispanics as rapists and murderers. And anyone from the Middle East is assumed to be a terrorist. Unless your skin is ivory white, there will be restrictions to how far you can get ahead. In my photographic series titled The State of America, with a few exceptions, almost all the figures are white to show just how lopsided the system is. Stemming from the #me_too movement, women and men have come forward to expose how prevalent sexual misconduct has been in the workplace. Since that, allegations of sexual misconduct have hit almost every industry, including 15 women who have accused the president of misconduct over a 20-year period. Millions of Women and supporters came to march on Washington and other cities worldwide to protest the sexual misconduct and treatment of women, LGBTQ, minorities, and other policies of the just sworn-in President, Donald Trump. Knit hats shaped liked Pussycat ears were worn by demonstrators as part of the protest by the millions. We as a society have had our basic logic turned upside down by the term of “fake news.” If a story doesn’t fit the agenda of the subject, a quick denial and label of fake news is all that is necessary to stop the story from gaining traction in the media outlets. Thus making society question it’s own level of knowledge. Big Pharmacy has put millions and millions of people on mind-altering medications. GMOs have taken over our food supply and these toxins eat away at our bodies, requiring more medications furthering our spiral down the rabbit hole. Common Core academics do not teach the individual, it teaches group thinking and how to work as a group to accomplish the task at hand. Individual thoughts and creativity are not encouraged. And in turn, kids are being prepped to be cogs in the machine of corporate America. Americans do not know their rights. An Oscar nominated film this year, Captain Fantastic, offers a scene in which compares 3 kids, 2 of which were public schooled that didn’t know about The Bill of Rights, in caparison to the other younger, home schooled child that could decipher all ten. Jay Leno once did a whole segment on his show; Jaywalking, asking college students on the street about different Amendments…it didn’t go well. Civics is not taught in most schools anymore and people are not aware of how the government works around them. The United States of America is suffering at its core. For many, the state of our country is measured on how well we live out the American dream. But what is the American dream anymore? For many it was a time when white males could prey on young women for sexual pleasure. Or was it a time when lunch counters were separated by the color of your skin? Was America great when our education system ranked top in every subject or when we placed at the bottom as recently polled? Was America great when space exploration was at the forefront of our growth? Or are we better off with a large segment of society believing the Earth is flat? Thomas Jefferson once said “When people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Before the US can be the superpower it once was, we must as a people come together to build up the core structure of our society to strive to treat each other better and learn about our government in order to overcome the deliberate oppression of the people.