Journalist Amy Goodman discusses voting, politics and media

With the presidential election just next week, published journalist Amy Goodman came to campus to address voting and to discuss some personal stories and the media.

Bradley’s sociology club invited Goodman to speak about her newest book, “The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance and Hope.” Assistance sociology professor Darcy Leach said the sociology club was proud to have Goodman at Bradley.

“We have a big election coming up, and the sociology club felt it was important for someone like Amy Goodman to come to campus to speak to the students about voting,” said Leach. “It’s amazing how little many college students actually know about the election process.”

Goodman also discussed controversial topics, tragic events and presidential debates and shared some of her personal experiences throughout her life as a journalist. But before she spoke, Dennis Moynihan, co-writer of “The Silenced Majority,” briefly introduced Goodman.

“‘The Silenced Majority’ is a book that has a reason to bring people together,” Moynihan said. “Amy is a fearless and dedicated journalist.”

Moynihan said their current tour is about 100 cities, making Peoria their 70th stop. He also said Goodman was excited to be able to stop at Bradley to discuss many of the topics her book covers, including the current media.

“Independent media allows you to know something you wouldn’t normally know,” Goodman said. “That is the power it holds.”

Now, the media has the power to almost instantly inform the general public, whether the information may or may not be accurate, said Goodman.

She also met one of the survivors from the Virginia Tech massacre and was shown the room where the murders took place.

“The young man, Colin Goddard, was shot twice in the shoulders, twice in the hips and survived,” Goodman said. “He almost decided not to go to class that day because he wanted breakfast.”

Goodman said Goddard received thousands of signatures on a petition that allowed him to ask a question about gun laws at the presidential debate in Colorado.

“Colin thought, ‘What better place to bring up gun laws than Colorado, where the most recent massacre just occurred?’ and I told Colin he was doing the right thing,” Goodman said. “Gun laws are a major issue in America right now, and it is a popular topic in the presidential debates.”

Goodman also expressed her feelings on voting in America, comparing life here to that in Haiti. She said people are gunned down as they walk to the polls to vote, but they still make the effort knowing they may die or become injured.

“What I want to know is why people in this country don’t feel it necessary to vote,” Goodman said. “We don’t face anything like what they do in Haiti, yet we still don’t understand the necessity, importance or privilege to vote.”

The discussion ended with Goodman’s opinion on war and climate change.

“I really do think that those concerned about war, climate change, the raging fires in Colorado, the drenching rains in Florida and fate of the earth are not a silent majority,” Goodman said. “These concerned people are silenced by the media, but movements are important, and what a great year for movements.”