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Last week, a young black woman went on Dr. Phil claiming to be white. The 15-year-old named Treasure Richards said, “When it comes to black people, I think they’re all ugly — and I have nothing in common with them. I tell my mom, I’ll never be like any of those negroes.” She also proclaimed her support for the Ku Klux Klan, even going as far as having their number on speed dial. The clip not only baffled most people, but disgusted them.

The episode was truly one of the most shocking and saddest things I’ve seen, but it was also fake. The sister of the young lady later went on social media to expose how her mom and sister did everything for fame. It didn’t come as a shock, as Dr. Phil’s show has a habit of running episodes with storylines like this one. Another famous example is Danielle Bregoli, a 15-year-old who appeared on the show after hitting her mom and committing various crimes. Her infamous “Catch me outside” line went viral. Bregoli is now a rapper and public figure among pre-teens.

These two examples are a testament to what society chooses to give its attention to, whether it be positive or negative. Both clips circulated the internet, garnering thousands of shares and comments. We see dozens of examples of public figures and celebrities thriving off of bad press every day.

The thought of bad publicity or ridiculous stunts bringing an onslaught of success is not without merit, however. We’ve seen the product of this on the news — outrage and incredulity breeds attention and later, acceptance. Society glorifies the things once seen as inherently bad.

Society used to be extremely firm in its definition of good and bad, but now the two seem to be blending together without a clear idea of the difference between the two.

The things that have become acceptable in this day and age are abhorrent.

The morals of society have shifted to a truly dangerous place. They’re seemingly non-existent.

One of the worst examples of this is the normalization of school shootings. We swore never again, yet the number steadily increases. It’s gotten to the point where the media doesn’t even bother to report on it and schools have drills for what to do when — not if — it happens. How did we get to the point where the loss of a child’s life is normal?

It concerns me to see the dangerous place society is heading toward as we continue to disregard all the blatant evil that takes place every day. Norms shift and change with the times. However, in this case, it’s not for the better.

Maya Stevenson is a 19-year- old English and economics sophomore from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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