“I’m Just Saying..”:: The Blessing And Curse of Social Media Racism

imjustsayingA few months back I wrote a post titled “How Do You Like Your Racism?” Basically, I expressed how racism never left but was merely hidden. But as this powerful monstrosity we call social media grows, the sheet of denial is slowly unveiling.

For the last two decades, it’s been said that racism was silent and not as obvious as it was in the 1960s and 70s during the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. But the way my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram news feed is set up, racism isn’t hidden. It was merely covered up.

Although that’s true, it’s still pretty bad. And somehow we’ve become comfortable with the fact that it isn’t “as bad” as it used to be. The fact is that these harmful racist acts of discrimination and bad conversations never stopped. The only thing that’s changed is technology. Video cameras and the internet have never been more accessible as it has been now. Instead of sharing their inner beliefs in diaries, so many people rather share on social media for everyone to see. Why should racist opinions be any different right? But with this technology comes exposure and truth. It’s one thing to think someone is racist but it’s another to see your “friends” post racially explicit opinions about your own race online.

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Before social media, instead of verbalizing their feelings, racists would simply discuss them among themselves, stereotype and discriminate against other races. And apparently, they’ve been teaching these thoughts to their children. Because as this new generation becomes more technically savvy and addicted to social media, times still seem not to be changing.

More importantly, social media is revealing the violent impact of racism. And that is something that needs to be shared. Before the monstrous beast really grew into what it is now the only way someone from Mississippi would know about common racial incidents in South Carolina or Texas, or Florida, or New York, or Baltimore, or Missouri would be by word of mouth or mass media coverage. And as we know before social media, mass media did a pretty good job of keeping these incidents as separate as possible. But now they can’t.

And that is the blessing and curse of social media. Now that we know what’s going on, how will society react? None of us want to see a negative reaction. We all would much rather see peace, equality and progress. These things are not given but must be built and earned.

“I’m Just Saying..”

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