Paraphrasing a popular Salt n Pepa
Let’s talk about race baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things, that may be
Let’s talk about race
World-shifting events have taken place throughout 2014. The year will be noted for seismic changes in world politics for sure, but I think more importantly, the biggest changes have been in the ways human beings communicate with one another. Social media continues to offer new outlets and the possibilities are endless.
It is commonplace, every day fare, to view full revolutions being televised and broadcast on the smallest of screens; hand-held media devices keep us instantly connected to everyone, everywhere.
Like never before, we are truly networked-by hard wire, in the clouds, and by innovations still under development.
Our redefined connectivity reminds me of some old science fiction movies. You know the ones which show the alien visitor on earth searching for ways to ‘speak’ to earthlings, and then comes up with some universal non-verbal response-like a series of bleeps, sounds, and lights. Humans have adopted some new universal language: the # communicates across language/cultural barriers, i.e., #bringbackourgirls; #meetupfortheprotest, #thisandthat, et al.
Continuing to break down communication barriers, just recently, the Korean Hackers have brought SONY to its corporate knees through a series of key strokes and data manipulation. Look at the success of the recruiting films from ISIS; brilliantly designed to capture the souls of the disaffected young.
These advances in technology/communication must be better used to affect how we talk about race relations in the US and the rest of the world.
I admit that we have a unique and peculiar situation in the US: our constitution suggests that all should be equal, yet after two hundred fifty years under the ‘democracy’ experiment, blacks, nee African-Americans, are still struggling to be fully written in; and new struggles have emerged in the aftermath of the Reagan legacy of ‘law and order’ mandates.
Technology is being used to wage a burning fire of retribution, revenge, and religious conflagrations- and that’s taking place here on our own soil.
James Baldwin warned us about these fires- the fires of using misinformation and manipulating minds and ideas to destroy. James Baldwin intimated that the fire next time would emerge from an ongoing, and never-ending talk about race in this country; that the tie in with religion and fanaticism is inevitable.
Pay close attention to how Obama has shifted the dialogue about human rights with his new policy to open dialogue with Cuba, and how the Pope has joined in as the newest game-changer as he continues to advocate for the policies of the historical Jesus: focusing on the poor!
In the global dialogue underway, some are just whisperings against oppression in the name of some God; others are in the form of small and large risings up against racism in all its practices (in some parts of South America, blacks have been either bred out of existence or simply, not included as a category on the census); public outcries and street demonstrations shown on global networks; class sit-ins; and sharp reactions to some religious distortions to justify violence.
In 2015, I would love to see technology being used to create a full scale marketing and promotion campaign designed by the brilliant advertising experts that would change the image of black males into something as desirable as a cigarette, or a new vodka drink, or even a new car.
I would have that image broadcast in all forms of media- every 90 seconds; developed into consumable products-action figures for boys and girls to play with; incorporated into music/lyrics; published in e-books- how about a story book that elevates the character of the black male to tell a new hero story.
What would that look, feel and sound like?
I challenge the millennials to get on it.
The day of reckoning is here.
This revolution is being tweeted!
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org