Opinion: Mickey Mouse’s birthday can bring light to dark times

Understandably so, there’s been a lot of fear and and hate circling around the media these past two weeks. So much so we have neglected the news that is most critical to the existence of the human race: Mickey Mouse’s 88th birthday.

Let’s be real, this birthday isn’t special. He’s not 100-years-old or even 75. However, it is  a happy, genuine occasion which we never seem to celebrate. Media today is centered around gossip, hate, and shame, and it not only shadows all the good news but bleeds into the emotions we feel every day.

When a young girl sees an actress trash anyone above a size zero, she’ll most likely internalize that hate and turn it against herself later on. When a young man sees rape case after rape case where the victim is found at fault and the male perpetrator walks away penalty free, he’ll learn he doesn’t need to respect a woman’s body. If LGBTQ youth sees the nation’s leaders fight to stop gay marriage, they won’t feel safe and protected in the country they call home.

This is our reality. Media is  saturated with constant abuse and we have done little to stop it because quite frankly, we love it. As a society we have defined entertainment as relationship drama, celebrity scandals, and political mudslinging. We’ve normalized the hate and look where that’s gotten us.

A campaign fueled by racial slurs, belittlement of the disabled, and the mocking of women caught our nation’s eyes and votes. We allowed ourselves to be captivated in the scandal and regardless of political views, we were all on our toes waiting, hoping someone would mess up. We didn’t want someone to take the high road; we wanted to see them knock the other (or themselves) out.

The world needs to celebrate cartoon characters who tell us to believe in magic and to eat cake and watch Disney movies and enjoy the near century of adventure one mouse has brought us. Just like in every Disney movie, goodness and generosity, courage and forgiveness, need to be highlighted in the media to help combat the darkness we let grow around us.

Written by Liliana Reyes

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