Racism in Social Media
The ADL defines Racism as the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another. We can’t say that Racism has always been a part of the American culture, it wasn’t till a certain point in our history that America became segregated and divided, but that was the past.
Now in the 21st century, how has racism changed from the past and how it is portrayed today?
Has Social Media aided in the reawakening of racism in today’s America, and are they portraying what is really happening in America or are we being fed FAKE NEWS? Many Americans believe that racism has played a role in selecting our new leaders. Many believe our new leaders have been aided by radical groups and the media outlets and have portrayed them as being the leaders that will fight for their cause, but how true is this? The reality is that Racism has made a mark in our culture that can never be erased, from generation to generation our American culture has seen the what segregation does to our society, even at times when racism seem to dissipate it always seems to find its way back. So, the question to our reality is, IS RACISM AS AMERICAN AS BASEBALL?
How has Racism changed from the past to today’s date? There are many differences from what racism was when it first started to what it is today, in the past people of color were treated worse than the house dog, the farm pig, and were not seen as human beings depending on the part of the country, they lived in. During that time not all states were created equal or had the same beliefs, some were free states, and some were known as slave states. Southern states were given the constitutional rights to own slaves, in a The New York Times article, writer Peter Sagal states “The three-fifths clause was one of the “consolation prizes” for the slave states. By allowing Southern states to count their slaves at all for purposes of representation, while denying those slaves all other civil or human rights, the Constitution granted slave holders magnified political power, while creating an incentive to acquire more slaves”. Moving into the future people of color were given their freedom in the united states.
Even with their freedom, segregation was still, segregation equaled racism by not allowing people of color to be in the same neighborhoods, eat at the same restaurants, attend the same schools, and even drink out of the same water fountains. Even though slavery was abolished the constitution still did not make these people equals even though the 14th amendment states that all men are created equal. The law in America was found that all men adhere to a separate but equal standard constituting segregation. The civil rights area brought great changes into human rights. The powerful voice of leaders such as Martian Luther King, and Cesar Chaves fought for the rights of people of color and were successful even through all the adversity to be able to desegregate our country and give people of color equal rights and opportunity to grow. Moving forward about 3-4 decades, racism seemed to simmer down, we had our first black president bringing a sense of unity to our country. Peniel Joseph of the Washington Post Stated “A black president would influence generations of young children to embrace a new vision of American citizenship.
The “Obama Coalition” of African American, white, Latino, Asian American and Native American voters had helped usher in an era in which institutional racism and pervasive inequality would fade as Americans embraced the nation’s multicultural promise”. President Obama was president that seemed to understand how to get through to the American people, he was the first president to utilize social media to communicate with all generations from baby boomers to millennials. America would show their love and support through social media and at time the president would even reply to bringing a sense of connection that was missing in our country. Monica Anderson of The Pew states “Americans are increasingly turning to social media for news and political information and to encourage others to get involved with a cause or movement. Social media also can serve as an important venue where groups with common interests come together to share ideas and information”. For a short time, Social Media brought a sense of unity to the American Culture, but the feeling of unity was short lived. Social Media brought in an easier source of communication, peoples true racist colors started to show, hate groups such as the KKK, and David Duke created pages of their own news outlets to spread their hate gospel in social media.
Kiana Gardner of Public Integrity stated, “Social media also allows something else: a largely uncensored collection of public opinion and calls to action, including acts of violence, hatred and bigotry” the use of social media for hate shows that racism is still alive and doing well in America. Social media has a long arm that that allow hate pages to reach thousands of people every post. Some if not most of these posts only allow people to see fragments of what an actual news feed is, allowing the creators of these social pages to have an influence on what they want you to believe creating Fake News. Amanda Zantal-Wiener of the HubSpot states “With fake news continuing to be a problem on social media, why do so many people continue to rely on it as a source of information on current events?” in the new age America about 62% of adults get their news from social media even though the information’s being reported is inaccurate. The reality is that most of these sources cannot be trusted, social media companies such as Face book and Instagram work to combat these sources but the news still gets out. With social media bringing a new avenue for hate and fake news racial tensions are high, people believe that the influence of these groups in social media allowed changes that created a civil rights movement.
Many believe that in the 2016 election race played a role in who our next president would be, from states turning from the Democratic party to the Republican party a big change occurred when the campaign began. With the rebirths of racial tension, David Duke the leaders of the radical group KKK came out in support of Donald Trump the candidate that he believed would help his cause. David Duke states, “I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action” “Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump at this point, is really treason to your heritage,”. Even though Donald Trump Claimed no affiliation to the groups, the support of the Grand Wizard David Duke did help Donald Trump gain votes from people who changed political affiliation to people who came out to vote who were absent in previous elections, creating the idea that race played a factor in selecting our new leader. Racial tension and division rebirthed in the United States during the 2016 election, groups such as the Black Panther Party, White Lives Matter, and Black Lives Matter protested for their rights and equality interrupting and slandering candidates while they give their speeches. In the previous elections of President Obama, many believe that blacks came out to vote just because he is black.
Kevin Jackson, author of The Big Black Lie stated in Time Magazine “Racists that they are, blacks voted for Obama because he’s black, not because he’s qualified.” In that 2008 election, Obama won black votes 98% to Romneys 0%, a historical black voter turnout for that election Making it seem that race has played a role in selecting at least one of our leaders. In politics, media have aided politicians in their quest of political power, some have portrayed them as the leaders that will make a difference for our country and many outlets have attacked their agendas and affiliations.
CNN has been one of our current leaders punching bags claiming that this news outlet is fake news. This news outlet has been one of the most controversial questioning President Trumps positions on certain points and bringing to light his unethical behaviors. Bill Goodykoontz of Arizona Republic writes “At nearly every one of his rallies, President Donald Trump rails against the media, often saying they are “”the enemy of the American people.”” The chant, “”CNN sucks!”” is as much a staple of these gatherings as Trump’s bragging about his 2016 election or demeaning his opponent in that race, Hillary Clinton”. Other news outlets approve of Trumps behaviors by turning a blind eye and not talking about some of his controversial statements or behaviors. The reality seems is that race continues influencing the American culture, creating division within our citizens.
When we go back in time and look at how it all began, we see that racism has played a big part in our society. In 1886, Americas Minor League Baseball had its first African-American player, only two decades after the Civil War had ended. Bill Pennington of the NY Times stated, “To most Americans, the history of black baseball means the Negro leagues, an enterprising, culturally rich response to the Jim Crow-era segregation in professional baseball. But blacks played professional baseball for decades after the Civil War, long before the Negro National League began in 1920.” As the times advance, so does the outlook on African-Americans- In 1947, Jackie Robinson signed to play Major League Baseball breaking the color barrier. Matt Kelley of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum wrote, “The leagues died having served their purpose,” said baseball writer Steven Goldman, “shining a light on African-American ballplayers at a time when the white majors simply did not want to know.” As slavery helped build America, it also made us believe that we were superior to the African-American race.
Through time and plenty of suffrage, racism dissipated though-out the Americas. It was only shortly after Jackie Robinson, that the Civil Rights Movement began, in 1954 and ended in 1968. From the Constitutional Rights Foundation on Black History Month- “In 1948, President Truman ordered the armed forces to desegregate. In 1954, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education outlawed “separate but equal” schools. The Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s fought against segregation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 opened public facilities to all races. But the movement against segregation after World War II really began in 1947 with Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball.” The famous phrase, Rome wasn’t built in a day, well, desegregating America was not done overnight either. The color barrier breaker, Jackie Robinson, opened the eyes of a new generation who would one day start the Civil Rights Movement.
As slaves began to earn more rights, they were still not treated as equals. Slavery turned into segregation bringing voices of leaders out for protest for equal rights. It was the same time that it seemed as though racism was diminishing from our culture. Alas, we were wrong to believe such things. In 2008 came our countries first black President, in his first election he had the majority of the black population. President Barrack Obama began to use social media during his Presidency in order to reach out to the baby boomers to the millennials. Even though social media was on a rise, it began to grab hold of the American situation with Racism towards our Countries First Black President. Racism is clear form of negativity to which grows like a wild fire, spreading from state to state.
Many news medias including CNN and Fox fed off the negativity and added fuel to the racial fire. Politicians seen this as a chance to use there Facebook and Twitter accounts to reach out to new voters. Between the Medias and Politics using racism to fuel their careers, they have influenced the American Culture by creating a divide within society. When our country was divided by segregation, out came Jackie Robinson to play for the Dodgers in Major League Baseball. Against all odds he fought segregation and racism with a bat, ball and glove. He taught us that The United States is our ball field and we are the players, it is up to us to make the change. America is as Baseball, as Racism is America; At the end of the game one team must lose. Which team are you on?
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