Using Tech to Eradicate Racism
25 May 2017
The destructive power of racism can be overwhelming, but is there a way to effectively combat this social vice?
There are many ways to eradicate racism, but technology is seen to have the greatest potential to ultimately kick racism out of the world. In fact, scientists are currently exploring how technology can be used to build empathy and minimize tension between various groups of people. For this Transbeam SD WAN blog post, the purpose is to highlight how technology has played an integral in the fight against racism.
Hashtag activism, or social activism, is the practice of fighting for a cause through social media, especially Twitter. It derives its name from the use of hashtags (#), which are normally used to talk about a cause on Twitter.
With this kind of activism, you don’t have to go out in the streets to protest. All you need to do is like share or like a post, or retweet tweets on Twitter. While it is born of a true desire to impact positive change in the society, hashtag activism is not without critics.
However, it has weathered all the backlash and criticisms, delivering real results, especially in the fight against social injustices like racial prejudice. It has gotten people fired. Moreover, people have been charged and laws have been changed.
It is also worth noting that many activist campaigns started on social media have evolved into real movements, creating lasting change. Take the #BlackLivesMatter campaign, for instance. The hashtag simply started as a protest over the of acquittal George Zimmerman who allegedly shot dead Tryvon Martin, an African-American teenager.
The hashtag has since been used over 12,000,000 times. It has transformed from a simple online campaign to an international activist movement, fighting against alleged systemic discrimination toward black people.
Uber is another great example of how technology plays a positive role in the fight against racism. African-Americans have always had problems when it comes to flagging down taxis in the cities. Uber has tried to solve this problem, albeit unintentionally.
Namely, Uber’s primary goal was not to improve the life of any race. Nonetheless, the company accidentally achieved something that no anti-discrimination law, awareness-raising campaign, or social justice advocacy, could have lived to achieve.
While this does not solve the issue of racism entirely, it serves to show that technology is really changing how people of different colors experience the world. It is all the more noteworthy that it was not intended in the first place.
Pen Pals 2.0
Schools across the globe are utilizing digital tools with the aim of helping students work together and develop a cultural understanding with their overseas peers. This is another way that technology helps to entrench tolerance among various cultural groups.
Namely, when students are doing constructive work together, they get to understand that individuals from other countries are not that different from them. While they may look different, they are actually dealing with similar issues. They have the same thoughts and feelings. They have more similarities than differences. Isn’t this an excellent way to eradicate racism using technology?
Racism is deep-rooted in the society, in our institutions, public places, and even workplaces. It can be depressing and emotionally draining. That’s why institutions, experts, as well as individuals are struggling to eradicate it. There are many ways to deal with racism, and technology is one of them. The aforementioned are just a few examples of how technology can be used to combat racism.
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