The Social Media Stir

Lauren Owens, Staff Writer

For years we have contemplated the problem of racism in the U.S. From the beginning of this nation to the Civil Rights Movement, we have put emphasis on equality based on the color of our skin.

People have given their lives, time and money to search for the cure of the beast we see in racism. The government and many U.S. citizens have taken an active role in creating equality between races. Yet, we still find ourselves stuck in the middle of the storm of racism and social activism.

Recently, the news has been filled with reports of racism across the country, especially on college campuses.

The University of Missouri racism fallout and other racism-centered events on college campuses have brought to the topic of racism the front of our attention.

Due to social media and advanced technology, racism appears more prevalent in our society. Within hours of these events taking place, our social media feeds are filled with stories and comments concerning the events causing hype over events that we do not yet have all of the details on.

According to a study conducted by Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania, people who read articles on social media that are emotionally arousing are more likely to share or comment on the post because this serves as a type of physical release.

Berger said that when people are aroused, they are in a state of discomfort, and spreading the message will allow them relief.

Stories of racism are more arousing to people with similar backgrounds. These stories go viral before all the details are released.

As a citizen seeing the problem of racism within our culture today, there is one key point that we must realize before we narrow down how to fix the problem: bad experiences do not dictate an entire race of people.

One racist person does not have any bearing over the entire Caucasian race, and not all African Americans are facing racism today.

However, the way the trending topics on social media portrays the racism-related events shows a different story. There are accusations of a person or group of people as being racist and accusing people of being too sensitive.

African Americans must not see one racist person and judge the entire race.

In the same way, a Caucasian person must not see African Americans as any less of a person.

If we continue to push the blame off on each other, we have not solved the problem.

If Caucasians are portrayed on the media as racist individuals, then eventually they will believe the media. If African Americans are portrayed as criminals, they too will believe media.

The way races are stereotyped in media is killing our chances of putting racism to an end. If we focused less on the hype and more on the roots of the issues, we would have a better chance of ending the problem.

Ending racism will take a change in heart, as well as a change in the way we publish and respond to stories on social media concerning racism.