Are you fed up yet?

Are you fed up yet?

Here we stand, in the midst of one of the most visibly divided times in history, about to elect a sham of a human one way or the other as president, and still fighting for the equality of people everywhere. There’s a lot to focus on, a lot to get behind.

Then there’s the ‘Clown Lives Matter’ movement, a small but viral group in Tucson, Ariz., with plans of a “peaceful walk to show clowns are not psycho killers,” later this week. The group’s intention is to make the public feel at ease with the recent outbreak of creepy clown sightings worldwide, and is asking the public (with their kids) to come downtown to meet clowns and get a free hug.

It’s innocent enough. But the reality is, it’s a slap in the face to every American who’s ever been wronged by a system of power — most especially the black community, who continue to work tirelessly in the fight for equality, to be taken seriously.

Equating them and their movement to goofballs decked out in makeup is basically admitting to apathy. It puts Black Lives Matter in the same category as a celebrity diamond heist, or a football player being suspended for cheating, Brangelina — digestible gossip with no real weight on the future of the world.

Except, the Black Lives Matter movement is one of the most important things to come out of this generation. In the annals of time, historians will look back on it as a point where (regardless of outcome) people at least tried to speak up about inequality. A time where most everyone was shown little changed since the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement of the '50s. It’ll be remembered as a real issue. Hopefully.

Then again, if the movement has to continue fighting to be respected as its own cause, with importance of it placed on what its three words actually mean instead of deeper sociological issues hidden among cultural traditions — or defending itself against these types of tone-deaf copycats — it might never flourish, as it needs.

However, Nikki Sinn, the Clown Lives Matter walk organizer, didn’t create the event with malicious intent. It began as an off-the-cuff idea on Facebook between herself and close friends. Then it caught steam, and went everywhere from there.

“It was just going to be a fun night with a couple of clown buddies," she told The Arizona Republic. “We want to make it a fun, safe, upbeat night. I'm just trying to make it a little bit light so [the clown prank] isn't scary for anyone.”

Her story is why experts warn about what people choose to put on social media. Because now, everyone with an active Internet account is a target for exploitation to fill salacious headlines. The media hunt isn’t just for celebrities and people with perceptual clout any longer. Every thought, every word, is fair game.

"Because the clown story is traveling by social media, it is fast and furious,” says Catherine F. Brooks, the director of UA's Center for Digital Society and Data Studies. “It propagates easily. It moves faster and faster, and it takes hold in communities of people and becomes fashionable.”

Which is a disastrous problem in the current scope of American communication. A ‘Clown Lives Matter’ joke between friends wouldn’t have been cause for national concern some 5 years ago. But it is now, or at least it can be. Normal, everyday people are too often finding themselves at the center of viral controversy this way, unable to handle the media onslaught as well as trained professionals can.

Since the story went viral, Sinn has gone relatively silent, likely hoping the whole thing blows over soon. There isn’t much left behind as to the intentions of the Clown Lives Matter movement in Tucson, either. Whether or not the event will even happen is questionable. But the damage is already done (Update:.The event has been canceled due to, well, you know. Decency and all of that.)

Or maybe, instead of chastising it as a pimple on the current state of America, we can all use it to teach others about why it’s important to pay attention to words. They matter.

“The notion of a Clown Lives Matter rally is insensitive, as the issue of police brutality and violence is a serious issue and the clown issue is not as important,” adds Rev. Reginald Walton, chairman of the Arizona Black Lives Matter campaign to The Arizona Republic. "The Clown Lives Matter rally takes away the focus of a serious issue in this country that we are working with law enforcement and the community to resolve."

And it points to an exceptionally ironic facet of the American condition. Right now, black men and women in this country are afraid to go outside, living with an uneasy notion that today could be their last. They’re scared for their kids, worried they’ll be profiled, followed and systematically gunned down by those hired to protect them.

Just think: a black man standing on the side of the road holding a weapon with the sole intention of terrorizing a neighborhood would be shot on site.

Pranksters with machetes doing the same thing in alarming clown suits are not.

This is our reality in a 2016 America: A place where clowns are afforded more social protections than black communities. It’s a circus around here after all.