Bracing for notoriety
In the wake of our blossoming arena of endless opportunities to connect, as well as become published and spread a message, comes the increasing trend of notoriety. We must discuss this. I see all of it, as the result of idolatry and focus on becoming an influencer, rather than making a statement. Hence, the shadow side creates theirs, and broadcast vicious deeds to the world, all to become famous. The last in mind, the mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, yesterday, where I once have been to cheer on our winner of the Ticonderoga Jr Miss Pageant in the state finals 1989. So, what should we do?
We must see and listen to others, in person. To let go of our premature opinions and conclusions and really learn to hold dialogues. Would these supremacist manifesto writers, feel the need to publish these, if their voices were taken into account without the violence?
Is it the responsibility of our digital platforms? I say no, not at all. In the world of newspapers and magazines, there is a law of having to have a named editor-in-chief, holding the legal authority of what is being disclosed. It's the person to contact with any suspected libel. One could argue that Facebook and Twitter, for example, should be held accountable likewise, but this doesn't seem neither fair, nor possible. Each person has his/her own copyright and thus the owner of one's words, as well as being responsible for them. What I do feel is necessary, is the crying need of really venting what copyright is and how we can uphold it, in this digital era where many assume that they are allowed to copy and paste anything into a fancy template. The discussion of ownership.
In 2016 or so, I listened to a small gathering at the Stockholm main library in Sweden, and heard a young woman's outcry of how she should be allowed to call herself "Aryan" and be proud of such, afraid of they becoming extinct with the increase of immigrants. While this is certainly flagging a right wing new nazi view, I still confirmed her. She, who was a blonde original Swede, has the right to call herself Aryan, just like African Americans or Pacific Islanders have their right to. And then there were no violence, all the speakers softened their voices, and we all agreed upon the facts, but not how do deal with them. Yet. For this, we need a greater coherence with the rest of the world and the UN, I think.
So how do we curb racism? Not by assuming that we don't have any. We curb it, by the values we put onto others' looks. Next time you encounter someone with opposite views from your own, especially when they're more radical, just listen, and acknowledge them as humans.