I despise this term that has been coined to represent those of us who blindly follow others and base our emotions on their words with no thought regarding critical thinking. I’ve been guilty of it, as my wife has pointed out. Due to her criticisms, I’ve actually begun to check out the “facts” before repeating them.

With the term “sheeple” in mind, here’s what I know about the Trayvon Martin case specifically and other issues in general:

• 100 percent of those who are talking about the case were not there when Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman.

• 99.9 percent of those same people were not in the Florida courtroom to hear all the testimony, see all the evidence and take part in the discussions within the court.

Everyone else has based their opinions and emotions on sound bites and editorial comments made by others whose living is made by selling airtime and/or has an agenda of some type. That includes the mainstream media (both local and national), politicians and commentators.

The mainstream media, politicians and commentators all have a vested interest in the public’s emotional investment in whatever story they are telling. That is, they gain market share and/or power through our emotional reactions to their words.

This has led to “race-baiting” on both sides of the Treyvon Martin discussion and multitudes have taken the bait. There have been demonstrations and rallies, both for and against the trial’s outcome. In some locations, there has been violence, vandalism and looting.

The media feeds the frenzy by selectively editing and reporting on the stories and calls it “news” when in fact, the “news” has become an Op-Ed piece to further the news organization’s own agenda.

It is time for us as a society to quit being “sheeple” and think for ourselves, rather than continue to be used by someone else’s agenda, whatever that may be. We need to fact check before we pass information along.

At the very least, it prevents us from having to retract a statement we have made after we’ve been proven wrong. At the most, we will have stopped erroneous information from being passed along as fact.

Joe Myalla | Port Orchard


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates