For years black people have been abused by the cops. It was considered normal to see black folks tortured and beaten.. But with no evidence proving their experience, people outside the black community didn’t understand so it made them take the police side. Since technology has improved over the years, the more the black community can showcase the issues they’ve been having with the police. Social media has opened doors for activists of any kind to be able to promote their side of the story.
In many cases, FB live and TikTok showcased many police officers abusing their power in different countries. Since most incidents get recorded, it is brought to the public to ensure the injustice that is happening. Police violence in the US is one of many problems globally, and the justice system is known for not taking accountability as an institution.
Since the justice system is never on the side of black folks, at least they can find a community that understands them. Ever since the evolution of social media has improved over time, the more information there is to share with the public.
There is no secret that there is a battle between police officers and the black community. Since police officers do not showcase that same energy to other groups, most of these actions are by racial profiling. How is the other race going to see that? If black images on the news only showcase one side to every story? Well, that was mostly the problem back in the day. No one believed black folks when it came time to tell their poor experiences with the police.
Since there was no evidence to prove their statements, they blamed those experiences on black folks until one altercation with the police was caught on tape. On March 3, 1991, a man named Rodney king was out with two friends to see a basketball game. On their way home, Rodney was speeding down the 210 freeway, which led them to have a high-speed chase with the police. Finally stopping, the cops order all members to get out of the car.
Since only two of his friends did that, the police aggressively went toward Rodney and beat him senselessly. This event stood the test of time since all of it was caught on tape and headed to trial. The situation didn’t go as planned when the officer’s verdict was not guilty so it sparked outrage in the city of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, this incident will not be the only one. Multiple lives within the black race are getting not only mistreated but killed as well. A lot of the killings being done by the police get showcased on the internet. So many have showcased that it made the public numb until one incident happened.
It all started on May 25, 2020, a man by the name of George Floyd was buying a pack of cigarettes. The store clerk found out that he gave a fake dollar bill so he called the police. Once the police officer came, he used excessive force on George and tried to arrest him. Three police officers were there also pinning George down until one of the officers put his knee on his neck for nine minutes. This causes George to suffocate and end up losing his life.
The killing of George Floyd caused controversy since the entire incident was on video. Once people posted it on TikTok, it went completely viral. The evidence worked in the George Floyd case since four officers were found guilty. Without social media, this wouldn’t have had as an impact as it did.
Even though we live in an age where we can document and post our experiences, police officers are still not being punished for what they have done. During the pandemic when deaths are at an all-time high, it can be very helpful to use social media as an outlet.
How does social media help play a part in the activism we need today?
Well, in order to get to the route of the problem, we must address it. If a community is suffering from police brutality, we as individuals need to find a way to get that message out there. That is why activists of today’s generation are making themselves useful when using social media. They are using their internet skills to gain attention from their target audience. In the article Why social media activism is important? Zora Khiry explains why.
“Social media allows those often excluded from spaces of access and privilege, like academia or politics, to engage in public and social debate. Social media is a great equalizer. Someone without any personal or professional access to politicians, world leaders, and other decision-makers can get their attention within seconds.”
If a person is not getting the information on the news, guaranteed they will get it on the internet. Back in the day, it was hard to get everyone to participate in a movement because there was no internet, and they barely had resources where someone could get involved in an event.
When social media arrives, it gets easier for anyone to connect with other people for events. The Zora Khiry article explains my point.
“One of the greatest gifts of social media is its accessibility. There are many dangers associated with in-person organizing, door-knocking, and protesting in person, especially during a global pandemic. Social media activism is a great way to include those who are disabled, who work long hours, or who are otherwise unable to participate physically.”
How has this benefited the Black Lives Matter Movement?
Black Lives Matter has benefitted from social media by letting the evidence give a perspective the other groups were not seeing. Multiple deaths that stem from police brutality have caused members of the black community to call out other races for not speaking up about their injustices that continue to go on. This did not just start with people watching the news but started with someone using their post to address the issues on all platforms. In How Activism uses social media for good and you can too Shelby Brown talks about the percentage of people using social media.
“In 2020, the Pew Research Center reported that 80% of Americans said social media platforms were effective for raising public awareness about political or social issues. For many people, the social media gateway to activism is very real, particularly over the last two difficult pandemic years.”
What have we learned so far?
Even though not everything is factual on the internet, we must be careful about what information we put out there. Certain information is important, use it to your advantage. You never know what type of impact it has on the people.
When it comes to accessing information, we have come a long way. The news has always been our eyes and ears of the world. But ever since we have had social media, it has changed our perspective on most issues. There will always be different versions of a story, but it is up to us to find the truth.
Links go for: How Activists Use Social Media for Good — and You Can Too – CNET
Why Is Social Media Activism Important? – Online Optimism
LAPD officers beat Rodney King on camera – HISTORY
Tags: Police Brutality, Social media, Activism, Police violence, Black community,