WTF Is A Hashtag Going To Do: The Age Of Fake Activism [Editorial]
Another black unarmed teen is slain and the outrage of a community speaks. Not in the form of full on protests, riots and petitions, but in the form of a hashtag. Growing up in the digital age, my personal experience with the hashtag hasn’t been more than a few likes, a retweet, or a follow. So it’s a little ingenious: a new version of “the silent protest.”
With the birth of the digital world we have gained something that those before us didn’t have, global information (from even the most remote parts of the world) and a voice. Up until recently, neither has served us any real good. It has a way to truly connect us, if we use it correctly.
Since the creation and popularity of social media, it is as if we gain the ability to speak and be heard but lost the will to act. It’s the same routine. An injustice occurs; then the whole social network sphere catches wind of it. A new hashtag is created and people debate about it in the process slandering those that have an inability to grasp what’s happening. If you’re lucky, a mini protest or something is held. Hell when it’s big enough news, maybe even a celebrity will speak on it. In a month, sad to say, no one will really care as much. That is unless it’s still happening or until it happens again.
Honestly, not enough of us really care as much as we say we do. It’s like we get swept up in that moment and let the mob mentality take over without realizing it. Once it dies down within a week or two, we go back to our lives.
We don’t figure out ways to effectively change the system, such as questioning what is taught to a cop during their time at the academy or challenging officials to find a more effective way to end racial profiling. We teach our kids, to the best of our abilities, how to make it to see 25. How the people hired to serve and protect us can sometimes let power change the way they treat people and become the threat to our communities instead of the ones we call on. We teach our kids how to live and survive in a system that seems to usually work against us. Instead of teaching them the law, their rights, and to have no fear in truly fighting for change, we, like the generation of our great (or great-great) grandparents, bound our offspring to a state of mental slavery with the idea of “This is how it is.”
We can create a petition for Beyonce and Jay to do Blue’s hair, but we won’t make one to have an investigation opened on laws and dealings within a city’s government. It’s just funny and the honest truth because it just seems like we always worry about the wrong damn things.
We use the hashtag to show where we stand in the digital world, but we really don’t fully support that shit in everyday life. We’re ALL fake activists, but I ain’t even gonna act “holier than thou” `cause fuck it…
I’m just the first to admit it (#Kanye).
- Bring Back Our Girls
- human rights
- Mike Brown
- mike brown ferguson
- Social Media
- Trayvon Martin