Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dealing with garden variety racists on social media

In thinking through and attempting to stay on top of things for the Black Studies in the Age of Social Media class I'll teach this fall, I've encountered instances where, after some national event, a few dozen racists will broadcast racist tweets. A cute Hispanic kid in a mariachi outfit beautifully sings the national anthem and a bunch of people go nuts with the name calling. Same thing when a New York born Hispanic sings the national anthem at another national sorting event. Xenophobes come out of the woodworks with idiotic expressions of racism.

I've tried to think of this in context though. There are 400 MILLION mundane tweets every day, coupled with DOZENS (or sometimes HUNDREDS) of publicly shared racist tweets. How should one respond? If you ignore racism, it can take root and grow like an all-consuming weed. On the other hand, when you point out the kooks, you give them free publicity and the opportunity to convince others of their warped perspectives. Working through this conundrum will be one of our class tasks for our Black Studies in the Age of Social Media.

Now, all that having been said, next up, Part 2 (the one where I go ahead and call out a racist asshole since he is an elected official of influence) ...

1 comment:

  1. When does one call out a racist? When one feels like it! Sounds like your upcoming class and students will be armed with the ability to discern WHEN the time is right! Oh if I could be a fly on the wall I'm sure THIS will be a wonderful class!