Learn to question what the media covers

Shaheed Shihan Columnist

Ever since boy-toy, Justin Bieber had his DUI incident, I got to thinking – how is it possible that a celebrity DUI received more attention in the media than the state of the union address by President Obama? How much do the students not know? How much is the media hiding from us by concealing what is and should be of more relevance? I mean, surely Justin Bieber’s shenanigans weren’t that significant as to interrupt a former congresswoman, while giving her opinion, and plastering it as breaking news. But that night, it was.

The sad part is, we the students, are fooled by it. We take in everything that is at our fingertips, presented to us as facts and don’t bother questioning it. Instead, we then spit it out like we’re the experts talking about something, we truly know very little about. In class, when we read or watch documentaries about the 1960’s it amazes and astonishes me the differences between then and now. The civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the anti-war protests at home – nothing would have been achieved or remotely possible without a direct effort from students like us. Today, however, things have changed.

Understanding why this is requires effort. It requires us to get out of our comfort zone and push our boundaries, which admittedly most of the time, we’d rather not. We’d rather choose to live in our own little bubble where our only filter for information is the social media we choose to partake in. We are the accidental citizens of this world – citizens that received their rights and privileges by the mere fact of being born into a family that had the ability to provide. Almost like a lottery.  I’ve been guilty of this, we all have. 

So the next time you decide to stay out of a debate because you hate politics or you just don’t care about it, remember you are not doing the quieted and oppressed any favors. Instead, you are a silent bystander watching as the oppressor continues to do what he does best – vilify and abuse innocent people. Looking at the 1960s, it reminds me of a time when students weren’t afraid to stand up for what they believed in, they had a burning passion for the country they lived in. They questioned their leader, their beliefs, their curriculum, and their morals and refused to ‘just accept’ anything. We wouldn’t have been where we are today if it weren’t for them standing up for what they thought was best back then. 

I write this with the vision that one day, students at SDSU will question what is being fed to them. They will question if serving on corporate boards by the higher-ups at SDSU might cause a conflict of interest in the education. They will question the legitimacy of the facts presented from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will question why we graduate each year with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans while salaries for the higher-ups keep on rising. These are just a few questions that need to be answered and we, as students, need to have the will to fight for the answers. 


Shaheed Shihan is majoring in mathematics. He can be reached at [email protected]