Saturday, 5 August 2017

Really against racism? Really against antisemitism? No lip service, be more careful!

Weaknesses or not?
Social media does have many downsides, but it can be informative and even reveal sides of our characters that we never knew.
It can show us people who are incredibly smart, lucid and witty. Or in the case of Donald Trump what narcissism, power and insecurities are really like.
It can reveal our innermost thoughts or a wobbly grasp of reality.
But most mature adults and sensible people have a degree of care when on social media. They tend to avoid posting material when drunk, under the influence of drugs or from racist sources.
You are who you tweet
The latter point regularly pops up.
Whilst I am studying the Extreme Right I will often find people who are vehemently against antisemitism, only to promote racism against other people. Or find those stridently oppose to the English Defence League, British National Party and associated neofascists, but who make the mistake of promoting someone who likes antisemitism.
Again, it is not uncommon to find someone who argues against one particular form of racism yet seems comfortable in the company of a different form of racist.
Sometimes it is merely a mistake, a blindspot or mere carelessness.
But if I regularly find a particular type of bigots in the timelines of people who claim to the against racism then I am not that surprised, as with Trump’s tweets, it can betray an aspect of their underlying character.
Increasingly I am finding it happens far too often on Twitter, from people who should know better.
What is to be done?
So if you wish to avoid racists, antisemites, neofascists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan aficionados, White Power skinheads, anti-Muslim racists and the leftovers of humanity then I suggest a few simple measures.
1. First, take your commitment to antiracism and anti-fascism seriously.
2. Have a policy (what material to tweet and what not to).
3. Keep a list of known racists, bigots and their allies, update weekly.
4. Get training (learn social media, how to do it properly,)
5. Show judgement (if you make a mistake, say so, quickly (it happens) and apologise sincerely, without prompting)
6. Above all, be open to corrections and self-improvement.

Not a problem?
If you feel this is not a problem then please do peruse the posts on Tracking Racism, Antisemitism And Neo-Nazism On Social Media and note the number of really serious racists and neo-Nazis who are consciously given the oxygen of publicity by people who claim to be “anti-racist”.

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