Fourth quarter blog post

Here is my fourth quarter blog post

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Social Media: The Root of Ferguson Protests

As we all know, just last week the Grand Jury in Ferguson made the decision to not indict officer Darren Wilson for murdering Michael Brown. This enrages me and through my use of social media, I have become aware that many people feel the same way. Social media has played a huge role in the protests surrounding the Ferguson decision as well as those of other cases similar to it.

After the Grand Jury's decision was announced last Monday, Tumblr as well as many other forms of social media exploded. Posts questioning minorities' safety in this country, racism, and the breaching of civil rights were (and still are) all over my Tumblr feed. Other media have large quantities of posts as well. For example, in the Twitter hashtag #blacklivesmatter, created after the Ferguson shooting to protest racist police murders, there are 798,286 posts, over 100,000 of these just posted yesterday. On Tumblr and other social media, the people I follow as well as many other Tumblr users had unintentionally formed a huge group against the decision made in Ferguson as well many other racist police murders such as that of Eric Garner. This has helped organize people that are against these decisions, thus aiding in the planning and formation of protests. Evidence of this is in the fact that #blacklivesmatter, a hashtag that (as previously mentioned) was invented in social media, is now the battle cry of the protests against cases like Brown's murder. Clearly, this explosion of social media has fueled the flames of unrest and organize protests all over the United States.

A protest in New York against the Ferguson decision

Social media also helps represent certain demographics that do not get represented in any other way. Tumblr and other social media websites typically represent the views of the young population of America, particularly kids in high school and college. A good chunk of this group are not even old enough to vote, so they are not represented in any other way besides putting their views on social media, and subsequently fueling protests. I am glad that this group is being represented in this way and therefore are fueling protests because the huge issue at hand is definitely something that needs to be protested.

Hopefully this explosion of social media will in some way reverse the mistakes the Grand Jury made and get the message out there that racist murderers cannot possibly get away free in this country without an explosion like this happening. This reminds me of the overthrow of the government in Egypt, since the whole thing was planned on Facebook. People, particularly of young age, saw injustice in their country and united to fix it through social media, and at least in the beginning, they were successful. Although our situation should not involve an overthrow of government, I do hope that this effort in social media and protests will be successful and Darren Wilson as well as the many other racist police officers and officials will no longer get away with killing people for no reason.