We are a generation of losers? There is a friend on facebook that wrote a status message that stuck out to me this week. To paraphrase, she asked the question if organizing a protest against the acquittal of a police officer that recklessly shot an unarmed black male (Robert Tolan) at his family’s home, is just as important as the party invites that are sent out on Facebook.
Many of us Facebook users get angry at the constant invites to parties and events that we will probably never attend at the cost of staying connected to a friend that has a side gig as a party promoter. These invites come daily. At 12 o’clock in the morning you may receive a message reminding you that “the VIP room at Club Heat or The Office is half off and will be all night.”
These are messages that annoy us, but we still can not find it in our hearts to delete the person that is sending the messages or unsubscribe from the group, mainly because we want to stay a part of the ‘in crowd’ and be informed—and at some point we may act on the invite and attend one of these parties.
Facebook has quickly become a hot bed for marketing and promotions. Are we missing the fact that we can use this platform as a tool to organize and change our communities?
Just think, if there were more of us that care about our community we could organize hundreds, maybe even thousands to take part in direct action campaigns–protests or petitions–to secure funding for our community schools. All of this action could come directly from utilizing the most powerful connection many of us have, Facebook.
Then, I was attending a church service and an older group of people began discussing how the younger generation ‘dress like they are going to the club’ in the later services, which is why they avoid them and attend the earlier service. Yes, these elder people were losers for disconnecting themselves from young people because of their dress, but they do have a point. We are losers because we are so disconnected from the issues and the world around us.
During the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama, the young people organized themselves by utilizing a low powered FM radio station. We have Blackberry messenger, Yahoo messenger, Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, but we can’t even organize an effective campaign against new Texas textbook changes.
Oh, I almost forgot, we do have one win. We organized a successful online campaign to get ‘The Game’ back on TV.
What a huge win for the African American community.
I pray for an activism spirit to fall on our generation and for us to no longer sit aside. These issues are not about black or white, but right and wrong. If you don’t believe in something, you’ll fall for anything. It’s time-out for being a loser.
Let’s get it!
Tolan’s, officer’s testimonies about shooting differ (Houston Chronicle): http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6993089.html
In Houston, 2 Cases Raise Tough Racial Questions (New York Times): http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/us/15houston.html