RACISM

 

The core beliefs or doctrines of racism are that one’s own race is superior to another and can dominate the others or that a certain racial group is inferior to the others. Primarily, racism has affected people of color. For centuries in America, black people were under slavery and experienced cruel mistreatment, violence, malnutrition, and degradation. They faced discrimination and assumed inferior to other races and were denied right to vote, schooling, to go to particular public places and employment.

 

Today, organizations and laws have come up to protect against unequal treatment and discrimination. While a lot of improvement has been made on the basic rights of all regardless of color, a lot of stereotypes still exist within society such as young black boys are aggressive, lazy and dangerous. Muslims are assumed terrorists due to recent attacks such as 9/11, and white people are assumed to be wealthy.

The increased use of technology, the internet, and social media networks has led to cyber racism. Cyber racism is defined as the transmission of racist behavior, attitudes and racially offensive content that is intended to cause distress or harm to another person. Cyberbullying and racial hatred may be presented as cyber racism. Within seconds, material defined as racist can be transmitted from one person to the next and eventually to thousands. The internet has opened up and allows one to self-publish which is leading to websites that are not entirely correct and sites with content that is racially motivated. Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have provided platforms that are being used to create forums for racist material. Research [1] presented by Monash University shows that cyber racism can be as damaging as face-to-face racism and has the physical and emotional impact on the victims it impacts.

 

One of the founders of Islamophobia Register encountered first hand cyber racism when neo-Nazi organization from the United States urged its 5,000 Facebook followers to flood her social media account with offensive threats–some of the threats advocated for her murder. These death threats were taken seriously, and she had police patrolling her house overnight as she had to worry about her safety in the real world. Susan Carland, who is an academic and Muslim community advocate, tweet made international headlines. She tweeted she would give to UNICEF a dollar for every hate tweet she received and had donated $1,000 so far.

 

Racist comments to Premier football players have led to the prosecution of several offenders, with most offenders providing the strongest evidence against themselves through their digital comments. Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore who has been a victim on “Twacism” also known as Twitter racism has been raising awareness of inappropriate remarks on Twitter and actively campaigns against racism. Twitter has gone on record to say that it is a neutral platform but reviews all violations and act on a case by case basis.

 

Victims of cyber racism should as well, use all available channels to report incidences. From using the Social media report buttons, or alerting relevant authorities to ensure there is a record. While authorities try their best to make sure that what is illegal offline is also illegal online and ensure perpetrators of cyber racism are held accountable, there is still a long way to go to ensure that technology is used to create harmony within communities and deal with racist thoughts and racist comments.

 

 

Post navigation