What’s on my mind? The same things on everyone else’s minds. But I’m disturbed my a lot of what I’m seeing. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how the media controls narratives about what is currently happening in our country. I’ve also seen people saying things like, “Do your research” and posting information that isn’t accurate. And here’s the thing. I HAVE done the research. I earned my Master’s degree from the University of Kansas BECAUSE of this research, and here’s what I keep thinking as people share this information…
Social media is also “the media.” That means every one of us who posts information on social media is responsible for narrative control. ALL humans fall behind their own biases and share information as they see fit (human nature), and typically the way they “see fit” is to share it in a way that promotes their own beliefs. When I did research projects on completely different topics, I have witnessed the phenomenon: people will share the exact same screenshots and videos, regardless of whether they are conservative or liberal, but they skew it to say whatever will support their own beliefs.
Is Antifa causing riots across America? I have no idea, but I DO know people are scared and frustrated and angry, including MANY people I love. What I also know is that for generations, men, women, and children with melanin in their skin have been murdered by people who have taken the law into their own hands and haven’t allowed our justice system to fairly serve its citizens. There is a desperate need for #BlackLivesMatter because they are continually shown that dark skinned people are expendable, and that is unacceptable.
I have the research that shows that yes, there are people who manipulate social media to take charge of the narrative and that the media falls for it. I have the research that shows that people are willing to riot and burn things regardless of the side they’re on. I have the research that shows that people will embrace somebody they THINK believes the same thing as them, only to turn their backs on them if that person later clarifies it in a way with which they disagree. I also have the research that shows that there is a systemic problem with racism in our country.
I would love to share my research with anyone who is interested in challenging their own beliefs or even seeing what I found. It’s supported by data. I have two papers, which can be downloaded below: one on the death of Sgt. La David Johnson in Niger, and one on the #JustBurnIt “movement.” They aren’t the most fun reads (they’re SO dry), but they are eye opening.
And if you want to do your own research but don’t know where to start, contact me. I’m happy to help you. Furthermore, please vote. Please talk to your congress people. Please run for offices and write letters and do whatever it takes. Take time to listen and not just talk. This country, and people of color, need you to do just that.