Comparing social justice hashtags in #Ferguson and #LaComay

The hashtags Ferguson and LaComay pertain to two different communities, being the Black and Latino community respectively. Even though they are primarily an interest to two different groups of people they share a commonality in the issue and the fashion of addressing the issue. Ferguson ,being the incident where a white police officer shoots and kills an unarmed black teenager named Mike Brown, and LaComay, a puppet commenting on that Jose Enrique died due to living a sexually promiscuous lifestyle, stirred up a revolution on social media. Both of these incidents use Social Media as a platform to collaborate and act upon. I looked at different posts under these hashtags, comparing and contrasting their activism on social media.

Looking at # LaComay  I realize that most of the comments are around the time of the incidence being Decmber 2012-January 2013. This is the Time Frame of the hashtags I will look at. Many people hashtagged the Daily Show and how it brought up LaComay without exposing the recent event of the shows racist comments. This exposes the fact that  media doesn’t give the most revealing story on an incident or may not even catch on to the racism that’s inherent in its culture. Media’s underestimation of the incident is one of the reasons why it is so highly present on social media. There is also a hashtag commenting on the incident, linking participants to #boicotlacomay which is a page made in effort to end the show. This is more of a motivational comment , enlightening people to take action as activists. As a mass of people joined this group a collectiveness of activism was encountered with videos of protests being posted and companies cancelling their sponsorships of the show. Four days after the incident AT&T posted a comment on Facebook announcing their withdrawal from sponsoring the show in response to the vast request of the public.

This portrays the power that social media has not only in continuing activism but giving birth to activism. ” The internet has the capacity for actually creating – not just enhancing – political activism in Latin America” (Harlow,  2011). Summer Harlow ,through her research on what role social media played in the Guatemalan community, portrays how social media has the capability of  sparking activism. I also came across a hashtag containing an article titled : “Did Puerto Rico’s Social Media just Slay La Comay?” The article has a picture of the puppet with a red X mark over it. This article summarizes the events that took place throughout the incident leading to ending the show. During the week of the homophobic comment made on the show a group “Boicot La Comay” was made on both Facebook and Twitter. Within a few days the group contained 40,000 people. During that same week companies started pulling their ads from the show. And this continued until a vast amount of companies pulled their ads receiving positive comments from the public, whereas those that didn’t received persistent requests. This action persisted until January 9th when a spokesperson confirmed their show was cancelled due to Kobbo Santarrosa’s resignation from WAPA TV right before taping another show.

I have also looked at #Ferguson that is of relevance to the black community. On August 9, 2014 a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenage boy named Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri. The incident has become highly present on social media with efforts to bring justice for Michael Brown. I have looked at hashtags that emerged at the wake of the incident being August 9th until September. The first hashtag was by a young black male named Sean S. Turner on August 9th who stated : “Police stop killing our young black men……Justice for Mike Brown”. On August 10th there were many hashtags, one of which linked to a news article and another had a picture of  five people protesting in Denver. Progressively after August 10th there have been pictures posted of a group of people praying at the site and more protests. Information about campaigns about supporting both the victim and the officer have been posted.  A Michael Brown Memorial Fund has  raised $130,842 during eight days meanwhile Support Officer Darren Wilson campaign has raised $151,257 after only three days! Where is the justice in that? There were successive posts on protest called Hands Up which were protesting the innocent death of Mike Brown as well as many other innocent deaths of black men. There was a post of a banner called Stolen Lives which had all the victims of racial profiling that were killed. There were also a lot of posts on police brutality such as spraying gas on nonviolent protesters. The hashtags on #Ferguson created a community centered on fighting the racial injustice inherent in the system.

Both #Ferguson and #LaComay have used social media as a intersection where all came together in the fight for justice. The amount of tweets on Ferguson are massive compared to LaComay, being due to the fact that the LaComay protesters have reached their goal in boycotting the show. The protest on LaComay was  silenced by the show finally resigning due to the high pressure put on the companies that advertised the show. These companies withheld their sponsorship of the show probably because they did not want to face lawsuits or a loss in customers. Social media allowed the public to have dialogues with the companies which led to such a fast response. Ferguson however is more of a uniting fight of the black community against the system that is inherently racist. The incident with Michael Brown represents so many other young male blacks that were innocently killed by the police.  The posts by now have become mainly the black community against the police. Social media enlarges that what is made to be silenced by society.

Works Cited:

http://politic365.com/2013/01/09/did-puerto-ricos-social-media-just-slay-la-comay/

 

Harlow, Summer. “Social Media and Social Movements: Facebook and Online Guatemalan Justice Movement that Moved Offline.” August 2011.

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LaComay incident

#LaComay was highly present in social media following the puppet’s  comment regarding the death of the publicist Jose Enrique. The man playing the puppet has made a comment that basically said the publicist was asking for his death since he was in such a dangerous location where prostitutes were located. This caused a huge stir on social media and called for activism.

Typing in #LaComay I came across interesting posts which were very similar in the message they were sending across  but varied in the format of which the message was passed on. Someone hashtagged an article from the New York Times which gave an overview of the incident in an informative and statistical manner. It was written in a cause and effect kind of a way. It informs of the scandal regarding the puppet La Comay’s comment about the death of Jose Enrique saying that he basically asked for it. They commented on the fast spread of this on social media. It specifically noted a page on facebook calling for a boycott of La Comay having 72,000 signatures and advertisers like Walmart and AT&T who withdrew their ads from SuperXclusivo, which is the program that feautures the puppet. This article also commented on La Comays known coverage on crimes, politics, and celebrities. They wrote that people went to La Comay to get a message across instead of the local Newspaper.

Another hashtag that I came across had information about the city council women in East Harlem, namely Melissa Mark-Viverito who protested to the City Council about investigating the language used on the show. East Harlem is a neighborhood with a large Puerto Rican population. This portrays the connection of the Puerto Rican population identyfying with the issues in their hometown. This reflects the idea of using social media as a platform to connect with your hometown country either on a personal or political level as written in Gabriel’s Blogging while Black and British.

Homicide is a major problem in Puerto Rico. Two weeks prior to the crime involving Jose Enrique, boxer Hector Camacho was shot to death. The goverment is trying to lower the high levels of homicide via social media. The Department of Correction in Puerto Rico started a campaign through hashtags where prisoners live tweet their experience behind the bars. This portrays how powerful social media is in acting upon issues and getting messages across to people of power.

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Ferguson Incident

The Ferguson case, touching the hearts of many people, is mostly addressed via social media as all the other cases involving social inequalities. It has become a common trend for people all over the world to meet at a dynamic platform where they are able to connect, support and act upon todays injustices. The strength of this connection allows for collective activism.  Coming across different hashtags related to the Ferguson incident I noticed an aura of people contributing different insights, connections, and information all touching upon a common core. I have looked up #Ferguson on Twitter and looked into hashtags that touched and enlightened me in a way. One of the hashtags was reminiscent of how this incident affected the use of social media. It posted a link that’s titled : In Wake of Ferguson, Facebook Is Making News Feed More Timely. This article underlined how attention on Ferguson was drawn by social media ,especially Twitter being a lot more active as the event developed than Facebook which was lagging behind by about three percent. Facebook then announced that it is tweaking the formula that determines how the news feed is filtered so that when the next story unfolds they will make it noticeable sooner. This portrays how social media platforms are acknowledging peoples dependency on them when it comes to getting actual coverage on events. This is reminiscent of Gabriels experience of how her research on googles representation of black women was acknowledged by Google and in fact caused a change in their algorithm which is written in : D.D Gabriel.”Blogging while black and British:An exploratory study on the use of Blog as social cultural and counter hegemonic practice”.Diss.University of Salford.2014. Not only do we react to the internet but it also reacts to us. Gabriel also points out in her article the strength and importance of collectiveness through social media as it brings about social activism. This hashtag is different from others in that it is not a direct reaction or update on the case but however a more technical review of social medias recognition. Contrary to this technical connection another hashtag makes a connection through similar experiences. The second hashtag I came along  had a link to an article about a similar case regarding Darrien Hunt who  also died in a similar tragic way. He was reported as a “suspicious person” in saratoga spring, salt lake city and was also shot by police to death. He was unarmed and treated in a similar manner to Mike Brown. This hashtag shows how people come collectively for support. Another hashtag I came along was more of a personal one where a girl posted an article of her experience taking part in the protest in Ferguson. She describes how there was police everywhere with watchdogs and K-9 units. She describes how a protest turned into people being sprayed with gas. She portrays how a mourning in peoples hometown was met by a violation of human rights. This post in contrast with the other two is a personal experience which allows the reader to emphasize with the writer and get an actual true reenactment of the scene. All three posts had different messages. The first one was informative in a sense of how social media is crucial when it comes to social inequality and how it makes changes to make access to these kind of events easier and faster. The second post was more of a relative one through common experience of loss and an outreach for support and action. The third post was a narrative of ones experience that was aimed to expose police brutality and how they were in violation of human rights. All three post are common in that they play a role to inform the public of how powerful social media is when it comes to social injustice and the need for collectiveness as opposed to individualism. All of these posts provide an alternate view from mainstream media which is one sided and framed.

The links I pulled up from the hashtags are as follows:

http://utahpoliticohub.com/darrien-hunt-did-not-have-to-die/

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/09/18/in-wake-of-ferguson-facebook-is-making-news-feed-more-timely/?mod=e2tw

http://www.ebony.com/news-views/ferguson-forward-when-i-close-my-eyes-at-night-i-see-people-running-from-tear-ga#.VBzx70vv_Gv

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Digital Divide;Social Media in Black and Latino Communities Hunter College

Digital Divide is seen as an economic and social inequality in regards to access, use, and knowledge of information and communication technologies. Reading articles about digital divide, as I researched, I found it to be defined  as a social inequality and connectivity gap among distinct regions and demographics. Looking more into it I believe that this kind of definition is just a scrape of the surface. The underlying major factor affecting these certain regions to have this limited access and use is race. Race is the major reason for this social inequality. It seems as if some definitions and articles are blind to this fact. The reason why certain regions do not have access and knowledge of ICT’s is due to aggregation of racial groups. Because of this aggregation there is a gap between White , Black, and Latino communities as there is in turn with access and use of ICT’s. Some articles I read on the web gave an impression of hiding the fact that its a social inequality by being part of a bigger racial inequality. Is it coincidental that the best access to ICT’s is given in regions that are primarily white? Or the other way around. Is it coincidental that the regions that have the worst access to ICT’s are primarily black and latino communities?

I decided to look into East New York , Brooklyn’s access to public wi-fi as opposed to Brooklyn Heights to see whether a gap was indeed there. I looked up free wi-fi’s available in a certain areas through openwifispots.com and saw that there are a total of 15 public wi-fi’s available in East New York, which were all either Mcdonalds or Public Libraries! There are no starbucks in East New York. And East New York is majority Black and Latino. Brooklyn Heights ,on the other hand, has 30 public places with wi-fi. Out of these 30 , only four are Mcdonalds and Public libraries. There are also 4 Starbucks. Brooklyn Heights is majority white. This is no coincidence as can be seen! The region that is majority white has twice as many public places with wi-fi than one that is majority Black and Latino. Starbucks seems like a symbol of whether a region is digitally deprived. It is most present in regions of white majority whereas its barely seen where there is poverty or majority black and latino. The reason why I looked into East New York is because I have actually visited the place a few times recently to meet up with someone. As i walked around Is saw no caffe’s, starbucks and places that predominate in regions of white majority. I just saw mcdonalds , dunkin donuts, payless, rainbow, a lot of african and latino restaurants and meat markets. Most of the people there were people of color specifically black. The possibility of seeing a white person was really low. I was  like the only white person on the subway cart. The limited access to wi-fi there is disturbing. It’s not like East New York is a slow paced area, other wise this limited access would be understandable. The amount of people getting off the train is like the amount of people getting off at 68st Hunter College. To have this many people in an area and  deprive them of resources other regions have is pure inequality!

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Welcome to AFRPRL 290:31 Social Media in Black and Latino Communties Hunter CUNY Course

Hi my name is Karolina . I am 22 years old and am currently majoring in biochemistry at hunter college. I know that taking this social media class is far beyond the scope of my major however I’m sure it will provide me with useful insights that will help me mature even more as a scholar. My decision on taking this class was mostly influenced by taking a previous class in AFRPRL in the 100’s. I do not remember the exact course number however I do remember that it was a puerto rico conquest and resistance class. I learned things that I previously did not know. And not only about Puerto rico but about the United States as well. I learned that the United States has control over some countries calling them commonwealths. The US controls their government and holds army bases there. These commonwealths would be considered colonies in the past however since it is not acceptable to colonize they have called them such to hide the reality of their doings. The US made it seem as if they benefited the people of P.R, however they were solely benefiting themselves and actually hurting the people. They established an army base to strengthen their military strength throughout the world even thought that posed a threat for the people of P.R. To give the people security they automatically provided the people of P.R with a citizenship of the U.S. I do not remember specific situations or conditions that proved that the U.S was exploiting P.R. however i remember there were many articles and cases that did. I was looking at my choices of classes to fulfill a requirement and zoomed it down to an AFRPRL class due to taking the previous class that I really enjoyed. So that is how I ended up taking this class. Being aware that this generation is built on technology, social media plays a big part in our life. It may seem like social media is just an electronic/static way to communicate with the world , however its emotional response is underestimated. I say this because so many times did we hear of cases where someone felt hurt or insulted via social media even to an extent that ended up in suicide. People post and say things to others on social medias in a way they would not in person making some things easier to say and some harder. It has become a new generation of communication. I am curious about how social media specifically affects African Americans and Latinos. I feel sort of numb as to how differently these two races engage with media due to not being able to recognize such signs. I hope this class makes me see social media in a different way.

Social Media in Black and Latino Communities, a Hunter College CUNY Course

Follow our hashtag for the course Social Media in Black and Latino Communties Hunter CUNY Course. Follow our hashtag for the course Social Media in Black and Latino Communties Hunter CUNY Course.

Congratulations for making history with me. This is the first course of its kind to be created and I will be facilitating it with brilliant scholars from Hunter College, CUNY. This course is through the Africana and Puerto Rican and Latino Department at Hunter. My name is Kaia Niambi Shivers, and I am a media studies, Africana and Women’s & Gender scholar who is currently finishing her doctoral work at Rutgers University.

Social media in black and Latino Communities course examines black and Latino social media usage in a multi-layered, multimedia angle. These populations are heavy social media users, but are still under-studied. This course delves into various topics of social media from politics to artists to advocacy and relationships in order to understand the complexities and nuances of media usage.

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