The stories that Invisible Children create in their media put children at the front and center of them. And, indeed, as Neta Kliger-Vilenchik and Henry Jenkins explain, youth are drawn to this type of storytelling. Watch Kony 2012 from the perspective of a teenager or college student. Here is a father explaining to a small child what’s happening in Africa. If you’re a teen, you see this and realize that you too can explain to others what’s going on. The film is powerful, but it also models how to spread information. The most important thing that the audience gets from the film is that they are encouraged to spread the gospel. And then they are given tools for doing that. Invisible Children makes it very easy to share their videos, republish their messages on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr, and “like” them everywhere. But they go beyond that; they also provide infrastructure to increase others’ attention.
Invisible Children knew that it was targeting culture makers and youth. And Twitter users no less. Indeed, check out the list of “culture makers” that they encouraged youth to target. It’s an interesting mix of liberals (George Clooney, Ellen Degeneres, Bono), conservatives (Rick Warren, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly), geeks (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg), big philanthropy names (Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Warren Buffett), and pop stars (Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber). Plus others. They also recommended contacting political figures. (Interestingly, they start with G.W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice and don’t list Obama at all.) As Lotan points out, these celebrities got pummeled with thousands upon thousands of messages from fans, predominantly young fans. And many of them responded.
The recent study found that participants who had initially viewed a series of magazine ads for alcoholic beverages made more errors indicative of racial bias in a subsequent task than did others who had initially seen ads for non-alcoholic beverages, such as water or coffee.
Test participants were shown a series of ads for either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. They then completed a computerized task in which pictures of white and black men’s faces were shown for a split second, followed immediately by either a picture of a handgun or a tool. Numerous previous studies using this same task have shown that people often mistakenly identify tools as guns following presentation of a black face, a response pattern attributed to the effects of racial stereotypes. The fast pace of the experiment kept participants from thinking about their responses, which allowed the subconscious mind to control reactions.
In the real world, snap decisions in which one object is mistaken for another can be deadly.
- Internal Papers Show Anti-Gay Marriage Group Looked To Divide Gays, Latinos, and Blacks (Colorlines)
The documents were marked “confidential” by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which was formed to support the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. NOM has gone on to campaign against laws recognizing same-sex families in some of the nations biggest fights, including efforts in Massachusetts, Maine and New York.
According to the internal documents NOM raised $3 million for California’s Prop. 8 campaign and was its “largest single contributor.”
“It is likely no overstatement to suggest that without NOM’s early leadership, the Prop. 8 campaign would have never gotten off the ground,” read the notes from the 2008-2009 board update.
It is Not About Race because It Is Never About Race. Race is the past. Black people can vote. One of them is president. Nothing Is About Race anymore. Just ask Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum — and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick that guy is? — and they’ll tell you that the president “injected” race into the tragedy. It wasn’t there before the president — who is (shhh!) black, you know — put it there. Ask Joe Oliver, this “friend” of the gunman who insists that Zimmerman might have said “fucking goons” and not “fucking coons,” because the latter is an obsolete racial slur and the former is a “term of endearment,” according to Oliver’s daughter. This is enormously believable because, if you’re an armed 28-year old gunslinger in pursuit of what you believe is a dangerous burglar, the first descriptive that would leap to anyone’s mind is a term of endearment used by high-school girls. Yeah, sure. Whatever. As if. And it is enormously believable because This Is Not About Race.
It Is Never About Race. All those people arguing down through the years that the Civil War was about dueling conceptions of nationhood, or a clash of incompatible economic systems, or the ramifications of the 10th Amendment were all arguing, after all, that It Was Not About Race. Massive Resistance in the South in the 1960’s was about resistance to overweening federal power because It Was Not About Race. The Wallace campaigns, and the politically profitable adoption by modern conservatism of the leftover tropes and trappings of American apartheid was about the embattled white middle-class in the North and not About Race because It Is Never About Race. Ronald Reagan kicked off his campaign talking about states rights in Philadelphia, Mississippi, not far from where they dug three civil rights workers out of a dam, because he wanted to show that a new paradigm had been established in American constitutional history, and it was not About Race because It Is Never About Race. Amadou Diallo was Not About Race. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, which tracks such things, dozens of children are currently serving sentences of life without parole, of whom two-thirds of them are children of color, as a result of laws passed by legislators wanting to look tough on crime, and those statistics are not skewed because of race because It Is Never About Race. George Zimmerman saw a black kid with a hoodie and gave chase with his gun in his hand. But that was not about race, because Joe Oliver and the Sanford police and the oh-so-very fair-minded media are telling us, hell, don’t worry, It Is Never About Race.
- Piano, Forte (Hyphen Magazine)
But it’s not like I ever asked to play the piano. If I could have asked for something, it would have been to dance. When I was six or eight I’d stage my own dance performances for hapless cousins — doing god knows what without training or music of any kind. A classmate who lived next door saw me doing a private ballet in my living room one night, and asked me about it the next day. I was so mortified it’s as if she’d seen me with my pants down.
Somehow my parents never noticed. Each year at Christmas and in June my elementary school held student shows, with skits and songs and dance numbers. From third through fifth grade, I was asked to solo on the piano, or man the xylophone for the group bells number, and after each show my parents would preen with false modesty in the envy and praise of other working-class parents. Such a talented daughter! Such lovely posture! Such great wrist position! Okay, maybe nobody complimented my wrist position, but I thought they ought to have.
Clearly, these were moments when the sacrificing was Worth It. But in sixth grade the music teacher held an audition for two boys and two girls to dance the Charleston. I tried out. The popular girls had told me I should. In hindsight, they hadn’t meant it; they probably figured it’d be a hoot to watch the nerdy kid with glasses try to dance. But I had no social skills so I thought they had my best interests at heart.