This past weekend, the page for Ghion Journal was shuttered by Facebook. Citing a nebulous reference to “community standards”, the world’s largest forum—and thus the preeminent conduit for free speech—shut down a page for a website dedicated to overcoming our differences and seeking universal justice (read more at A Speech Deferred). This is an attack on journalism and free speech as a whole; when a multinational conglomeration that is a primary source of news for billions throughout the world and the most powerful aggregation of current events can dictate what is acceptable or not, we give our hands to plutocratic tyranny.
I know some will dismiss this as a rant and hyperbole that is making a mountain out of molehill. After all, who has ever heard of the Ghion Journal before? It’s not like Facebook shut down the page for the New York Times or Fox News. But I humbly submit to you that you should be outraged precisely because I am a nobody compared to the giants of the news industry. Corporate State Media outlets like the New York Times, Fox News, MSNBC and their ilk are shills who are more concerned about their P/E ratios than they are about holding the powerful accountable.
In this paradigm of omnipresent corporatism, Facebook would never banish any of the established Corporate State Media outlets because they are all in cahoots when it comes to presenting the world through the narrow prism of ideologies and identity based politics. This is how freedom of speech is wiped out; corporate interests have initiated a stealthy and hostile takeover of almost every established media outlets we count as sources of information. Whether its through outright ownership—the way Jeff Bezos bought out the Washington Post—or through corporate contributions, Wall Street has direct influence on almost the totality of the fourth estate.
This is why it is vital for truly independent media outlets to have space in the public square. Yet, as the Corporate State Media monopolize more than 85% of the media market, they are intent on having 100% ownership of all news that is shared through the air waves. This is why there was all the rage about “fake news”, yellow press journalists at CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and the rest off the corporate mouthpieces jumped on this “development” as if we were just invaded by aliens from Uranus. This was nothing more than a veiled effort to crowd out independent voices by vilifying anyone who is not part of the established media as undesirables who need to be silenced.
The rich irony of smut peddlers like MSNBC and Fox News labeling independent voices “fake news”. This is akin to Donald Trump accusing Mother Theresa of being a narcissist. Yet, sadly, too many Americans fall for the hoodwink as journalists like me and the work independent journalists present is marginalized as fake news. Slowly the noose is tightening around our collective necks as we are being bracketed by the nexus of politics, media and pop culture that discredits alternative voices and makes us submit only to the counterfeit news that is peddled by the establishment elites.So today, I am traveling to the United States Congress to deliver a petition that I initiated four days ago asking people to come to the defense of the Ghion Journal. To my surprise, the article (click on picture above) and the associated petition has gained traction as over 800 people have shared the article and 62 people have signed the petition. Though I’m delivering the petition today, I hope people continue to sign it so that Facebook and the elites behind this incorporated scheme can understand that we can only take so much before we say enough.
It’s ironic that I’m traveling to the US Capitol today to deliver this petition to my congressman Gerry Connolly and Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine since Congress is currently out of session until the day after Labor Day. By out of session they mean they are on vacation as they spend almost all their time being wined and dinned by lobbyists who represent the interests of corporations like Facebook, New York Times and the moneyed gentry that sit atop of us all. Our government does not work for us, they work us over as Democracy has become nothing more than a two party shell game.Did you know that Congress is only in session 138 days out of the year? Must be nice to only work 1/3 of the year and spend the rest of the time being flown around the world in Lear jets. Where Congress is out of “session”, I will go to Washington today to deliver the #RestoreGhionJournal petition. I am going to hand these petitions to the staffers of the aforementioned Congressman and Senators. If none are around, I will give it to a janitor or a cafeteria attendant in side the capitol—fitting since they do more work than our corrupt Congress. l follow up and deliver a wider set of grievances titled “Ninety Five Theses for Justice that will be delivered on September 11th. (click picture above to read the People’s Petition).
I will be traveling to the Capitol as a journalist with a Ghion Journal press credential on. I will be delivering this petition on behalf of the free speech and free press; I hope others join in this effort and start to empower independent voices instead of listening to the elites. I hope the readers of the Ghion Journal and others who are reading this for the first time join and let your Congressmen and Senators know that we are not going to take being pushed around by the elites ad infinitum. Use social media today to get behind this effort and let us empower each other instead of submitting to the powers of the powerful. Fikre2DC
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
If you appreciated this write up and you too stand up for free speech and free media, share this article on social media using #Fikre2DC while you are at it, let Congress and specifically @GerryConnolly @timkaine @markwarner know that Mr. Fikre is not on his own, that there are people who care about the freedoms we cherish
What is the Ghion Cast, why is the independent media model better than the Corporate State Media business model? Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss these exact things.
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss how we are being pushed to conflict and how we can overcome this hatred that is being foisted upon us.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.