by Latoya Peterson
Coming soon to a SXSW near you – attack of the POCs!
Okay, well, it isn’t quite that dramatic.
But if you’re in town for the festival, feel free to come by and check out our panel, “Can Social Media End Racism“:
Can Social Media End Racism?
Sunday, March 15th
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
The tangled issues of race and privilege in our society come to a boiling point on the internet. Exploring the complicated place of race in society, this presentation examines the ideas of race in the digital environment with a specific focus on social media.
Jay Smooth – illdoctrine.com
Phil Yu – Angry Asian Man
Latoya Peterson Editrix, Racialicious.com
We’re also on Facebook and I am going to see if we can get someone to liveblog this for those of y’all who can’t make it.
For those of you interested in some of the concepts discussed in this panel, check out this article in the Austin Chronicle, where three panelists (myself, Samhita of Feministing, and Steve of SimpleSeating.com) talk race, digital space, media, and organizing:
Austin Chronicle: Much is said about how the Internet is egalitarian – how it humanizes instead of segregates, how it’s “colorblind” and “gender neutral.” True?
Steve Swedler: I think that one of the big problems we have with the Internet are expectations. We talk about the Internet as shrinking the world and creating a global economy and community, but this is simply a dream. The number of people not on the Internet still outnumber those that are. And the number of people using the Internet for purposes of connecting with the global community is far less than people would have us believe. My supposition is that the majority of online “friendships” fall into three categories: “familiar,” “validating,” and “false.” We seek out those types of relationships because they are safe and comfortable.
Samhita Mukhopadhyay: In my experience, I have felt that most of my online experiences are very genuine, but I think part of that is that in order to write personally about sex, gender, and class, you assume a certain level of transparency. What I write about is who I am … so the relationships may not ever be validating and they are rarely familiar, but they are pretty real.
Latoya Peterson: I agree with Steve’s original idea. The concepts he has broken down are often seen in both racial and gender analysis. People seek out conversations that are both familiar and validating to them, and tend to reject things that fall outside of those lines as false. The key to progressive activism is finding a way to reach across these boundaries and encourage people to engage with ideas outside of their comfort zones.