Social Media and Race

It’s something you see everyday if you’re on any type of social media. I look through my Facebook timeline and it reminds me of a tennis match. One “side” serves and the “other” side hits back. “Oh yeah, well take this,” the other player hits back again. “Not good enough,” the other side shouts back, “this post will get ya!”

Tennis Player 1: Black Lives Matter

Tennis Player 2: All lives matter

Tennis Player 2: Beyonce’s Racist Super Bowl Show

Tennis Player 1: Beyonce’s Performance More Than Just a Good Show

Tennis Player 1: White Cop Shoots Unarmed Black Man

Tennis Player 2: Black Man Shoots Off-Duty White Cop

Tennis Player 1: If This Offends You and Not This, You’re a Racist

Tennis player 2: If This Offends You and Not This, You’re a Racist (Yes, I purposely put this for both players.)

And so the never-ending tennis match continues on and on, on and on, and on, and on, and on, and…..on.

This isn’t to say that race, racism (on both sides), and differing culture beliefs shouldn’t be discussed. But here’s the thing, it’s NOT being DISCUSSED.  Instead, people are shouting from behind computer screens in efforts to shout a little louder than the other side. It reminds me of that song, “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”, you know, the one sung by children.

Here are my questions:

What purpose does posting news story after news story serve? Awareness? I think people are aware. And I personally think it’s counterproductive no matter who it’s coming from.

If someone is or isn’t offended by something, or speaks out about something, and so on…is “racist” the only label we can come up with?

Can someone make an ignorant statement and not be deemed a racist? And while we’re on it, let’s stop being offended by the term ignorant. Ignorant means lacking knowledge or information about something. A little while ago, someone said, “Next time that happens, you should go all black on them.” Ignorant statement? Yes. Racist person? Not so much.  Have I made ignorant statements before? Sure. I remember years ago, a couple of coworkers invited me out and the first question I asked was, “Will there be any other black people there?” Ignorant question on my end? Ugh, do I have to admit it? Okay, yes. Did the question make me a racist? No. They were both offended but guess what, they asked me about it and we discussed it. I was able to share my reasoning for asking the question and they were able to share why it offended them.

More questions to ponder: Are you a part of the problem or a part of the solution? Because quite honestly, if all you’re doing is shouting for your “team” on social media you’re helping your team lose. Wait, did you catch that? You’re both losing.

(If you’re a believer, than really you should know that we are really ONE team and that this whole thing is a scheme by the enemy, but I’ll digress.)

 

Here’s the thing, either you are a part of the problem or you’re a part of the solution. It’s that simple. If you’re not trying to find a solution, you’re fighting a losing battle and you my friend, are a part of the problem.

Now let me pause, the solution is not to ignore it, say it doesn’t exist or say that talking about it further perpetuates it. It can’t be ignored, it DOES exist, and not talking about it is like letting a forest fire continue to burn, eventually it gets out of control. Sex trafficking, poverty, hunger, and unemployment won’t resolve themselves and ignoring those things doesn’t make them go away, same goes for the racial climate that exist today.

Instead of posting away behind your screen, why not pray and ask God how you can be apart of the solution and not the problem? Why not start a conversation with someone whose viewpoint may differ from yours so that BOTH of you can be enlightened? Ask God to open your ears so that you can actually listen and not just hear what the other person is saying. Ask God to open your heart so that even if you don’t agree, maybe you can understand the other point of view. Pray that the other person will do the same for you, open their ears and listen. Pray that they will attempt to understand you, even if they don’t agree. Ask God to help you go into the conversation with a heart towards finding a solution and not with a heart to make the other person agree with YOUR stance.

The truth is that things won’t get better until there is an open dialogue, a conversation, and not a shouting match. So make a decision now, either you can keep the tennis match going or you can put your racket down and work toward something that can actually benefit your “opponent” AND you. Let’s stop letting the enemy use us to further perpetuate problems by posting antagonistic memes and news articles. Remember that saying that was out a couple of years ago, “What Would Jesus Do” (WWJD)? Well, what would He do? Pray about it.

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Praying for you daily, love you!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Social Media and Race

  1. That’s a great analogy! It really is like that, just trading posts back and forth. It is hard not to engage when people make those posts because they are so provocative and ignite emotions and when emotions get involved things can go left quickly! And that is sort of the effect that is desired in the first place. The key is pulling away and looking at the situation to try and figure out how to support a solution instead of perpetuating the argument. We know the stuff is there, so now its time to ask God for guidance on how to not jump in and be just another opponent but to be a solution supporter instead.

    Like

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