Public can influence change, lacks focus

By Anthony Szudarski

The public eye should be a force to be reckoned with. When the public is informed, it serves as a watchdog to protect people.

But all too often the media allows important issues to fall from the entire nation’s attention long before something is done to resolve any of them.

Recently, the news has been focused on the National Security Agency (NSA) obtaining information known as “big data” on calls made from subscribers to cell phone companies like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

I have never been a big history buff, but George Santayana said it best when he said, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”

This has certainly been proven true with the recent news of the NSA performing grand-scale domestic surveillance.

What many people have forgotten is that this has already happened once before during the Bush administration.

In May 2006, the NSA was found to have acquired the records of millions of phone calls from many of these same cell phone companies.

So whose fault is it for this happening again?

Too often do we forget about events that shake the nation — events like the killing of Trayvon Martin or the FBI using drones for domestic surveillance — but how soon will it be until these events once again fall from the public eye and occur yet again?

While I’m not saying individuals or organizations aren’t responsible for their actions, I do believe a nation-wide response to events that have occurred can produce significant results.

The case of George Zimmerman was brought back into the news recently as it was announced the jury for his trial will be comprised entirely of women.

Many remember the public outcry after the February 2012 night Martin was shot. Some may even remember the “Million Hoodie March” that took place in New York after his death or one that took place this February to help keep the tragedy in the minds and hearts of the nation.

This was a great way to aid people in remembering and to prevent such an act from happening again.

I am a firm believer that the people have power, that the public eye should be feared more than “Big Brother.”

If the nation stands against something, change will happen. Unfortunately, change does not happen quickly and it’s because of this we need to remember incidents like these and keep fighting against them.

I am not naïve, and I know there won’t always be updates and newscasts readily available about major court cases or scandals like we’ve seen.

But I also believe news on what is happening with Edward Snowden, the man who leaked information on the NSA surveillance, or George Zimmerman should never be trounced by news that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian decided to name their newborn child North West.

The general public has more power than it knows; protests and boycotts always send a message. It’s up to the news providers to keep those messages as powerful as they began.

As a writer, I hope to do the best I can to keep people informed on the important issues whenever it’s possible, because like the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power.”