In just 24 hours, social media has erupted in response to the Charlottesville protests.
A state of emergency has been declared for the state of Virginia, and protesters have been ordered to evacuate the entire Charlottesville area. This news came following the initial reports of violence at the hands of white supremacists who gathered for the Unite The Right rally, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday. Counter-protesters have gathered in the Charlottesville area to meet these white supremacists directly, and the resulting violence — including the news of one dead and multiple people injured when an unidentified driver drove a car through a crowd of protestors — have left many feeling overwhelmed and powerless on what to do next.
Needless to say, what is happening in Charlottesville is not an isolated incident. Violence against people of colour and other marginalised people have only increased following Donald Trump's election. With all of this in mind, it can be easy to feel helpless or overwhelmed by the cultural climate of what is happening in the news. But that doesn't have to be true.
Social media — and Twitter in particular — have heavily impacted the ways that education, information, and resources are shared across different communities and demographics around the world. Often, for Black and other people of colour, social media can be one of the few spaces where our voices can be heard. Many activists utilise social media to spread information on current events, how it affects particular communities, and what kind of action should follow to put a stop to that violence.
Here are a few tweets from people on Twitter who are using their anger to education, vent, and share information on the importance of what is happening in Charlottesville.
Pay attention to the language used today in response to #Charlottesville particularly if it doesn't address racism, but "hate"— Tanzina Vega (@tanzinavega) August 12, 2017
"Oh my goodness! This racism on display in #Charlottesville is not America!" -Lawmakers who enact & enforce racist policies everyday— Bree Newsome (@BreeNewsome) August 12, 2017
First season of HBO's Confederate currently being shot on the campus of The University of Virginia.— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) August 12, 2017
I know this s hard to hear, but...— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) August 12, 2017
White supremacy benefits all white people.
Including the ones with no torches. That’s why it survives.
when you write off Charlottesville as just a fringe act, you prioritize your comfort over the people for whom racism is a daily reality— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) August 12, 2017
Nah nah nah, don't follow our "lead": go into your homes and get your bothers and uncles and fathers and partners to cut this shit out. https://t.co/bYFLfoTyAl— Zoé Samudzi (@ztsamudzi) August 12, 2017
If you're calling white supremacists "alt right" you're doing it wrong. Racists don't get to rebrand.— Robert Young (@robertcyoung) August 12, 2017
These #Charlottesville people are not just the fringes of society. I assure you they are part of society & enact these ideals every day.— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) August 12, 2017
When you're just super-concerned about jobs. pic.twitter.com/k2mG0VjlE0— Sara Benincasa (@SaraJBenincasa) August 12, 2017
For those who are looking for further action to take, calling your representatives is of the utmost importance. Now more than ever, your voice is needed to send a message to elected officials that what is happening in Charlottesville is not acceptable. White supremacy will not end overnight, but the actions that we take today can help to begin the process of ending it, one step at a time.
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