April 21, 2021

Social Media & Journalism brought Derek Chauvin to Justice.

 

Do you remember seeing the video last year? Do you remember the outrage on social media?

Do you remember the time when all of that didn’t exist?

When we are facing systemic racism, inequality, or climate change, we often feel powerless—but thanks to social media, we don’t need to feel this way.

Instead of not doing anything, we can be like Darnella Frazier. She is the 17-year-old who took out her phone, filmed Chauvin killing George Floyd, and by doing that she produced “the strongest piece of evidence I have ever seen in a case against a police officer.”

Most of us have a social media account and a camera in our phone—why not use it for something more meaningful than selfies, self-promoting, and other superficial content?

All of us can be journalists.

If we use social media right, share our perspective on platforms like Elephant Journal, and create awareness for things that really matter in our communities, we can create the changes we are desperately longing for.

Without Frazier’s video and the following conversations on the media, Chauvin might have gotten away with killing George Floyd. As Jake Tapper reminded us, the original police report did not even mention any misbehavior on the side of the police officers—just imagine we would have never heard about this case?

It’s time for us to use the power we actually have but are often not aware of. Each of us can change the course of history by writing one mindful article, recording a video, or engaging with others who feel the same way.

And, of course, this will upset folks like Sean Hannity and his Fox News crew. They don’t want us to join the conversation; they want to exclusively shape the opinions of their audience—but thanks to Twitter and other platforms, people are able to call them out for exactly that.

Tomi Lahren might have gotten away with this statement prior to the age of social media. If she expressed this questionable perspective on Fox News, nobody could have replied directly—but thanks to Twitter, we can tell her how we feel about this attempt to distract from the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism that lead to this tragedy.

I am not saying that all of us should start trolling right-wing agitators on social media, but it is probably a better use of time than posting selfies with meaningless captions underneath them—just saying.

The verdict in this case is just the beginning, and we are still far away from having solved the problem.

Just moments after the verdict was announced, Ma’Khia Bryant was shot by the police after calling them for help. She was a child, and her family needs our support to bring the officers involved to justice.

Social media can be used to spread nonsense and fake news, but it can also be a tool to hold the ones in power accountable. Our voices matter, and we should use them more often.

Do you know the feeling when you read an article and say to yourself, “That’s exactly how I feel, but wasn’t able to put it into words?”–we can be that person for someone else at any given time.

It might take some courage to get started, it possibly gives us some anxiety at times, and people will respond in a not so mindful way—but it is still worth the effort.

The world needs our voices—let’s start using them to be of benefit.

 

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