A letter to the Editor

Sean Spicer is the former White House Press Secretary and White House Communications Director. In a time where alternative facts are valid points in the day to day discussions, we can’t ignore that this position of power retains an enormous amount of influence in what we believe now a days.

Coming from Brazil the appearance of Sean Spicer in NEIU leaves me with an uneasy feeling. Jair Bolsonaro, the current president, was elected almost completely based on fake news that were spread through WhatsApp chats. Many electors believed the things that were being spread about the other party called “Partido dos Trabalhadores”, also known as, PT. This generated a mass effect in which many ended up voting for Bolsonaro, and that in the long turn got him elected.

Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. A week doesn’t go by where the president doesn’t say something sexist, homophobic or simply incorrect. In one of his latest statements, he called Brigitte Macron, the first lady of France, ugly, in a Facebook post. That started a feud with France and, obviously, the president Macron. Then, Bolsonaro refused the 20 million aid the G7 were eager to send to Brazil to help in the burning of the Amazon fires, he said he would only take it if Macron apologizes. When he is not making statements like that he cancels diplomatic meetings on short notice for ‘medical reasons’ like he did on September 2 when he was supposed to talk about the ongoing burnings.

When I arrived here in the US I didn’t know who Sean Spicer was. As soon as I started to do a bit of research on him, I rapidly understood what he represented to the American people. The act of being constantly lied to is something that is exhausting and frustrating. We are living in a dangerous time where information and facts are not perceived as something that contains the truth.

I wonder what George Orwell would say if he still was alive. In his most famous novel 1984 the act of erasing the past and changing facts are a day to day job that has the only purpose to control the ‘proles’ and maintain the power of the Party. After 2016 this book regained a new meaning and a new importance in today’s society. We can really and truly understand the frustration and pain that the character Winston feels throughout the book when he tries to remember the truth behind past events.

As Orwell said in the book:

“It struck him that the truly characteristic thing about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity, but simply its bareness, its dinginess, its listlessness.”

Ana Peres

About Ana: “I’m an international exchange program student. I will be attending NEIU for the Fall Semester of 2019. My major is in Creative Writing. In Brazil at PUCRS I’m a junior.”