When thinking about anti-racism and the civil rights movements, many would attribute it’s effectiveness to protests and physical signs of opposition. I mean, are there any other ways other than “real-life activism” to be progressive in this country? James Jang. in the post “What is so real about online anti-racism?”, looks at Richie’s point of view and argues against the idea that online anti-racism is “is primarily about appearing as ‘progressive and helpful’ rather than being progressive and helpful.” Richie sees tumblr activism as somewhat of an inauthentic facade which is carefully constructed and mediated while Jang argues that “Tumblr activism and Real-World activism are both mediated. They are both authentic to the activists in question.”
This not only got me thinking of the similar motives that so called real activists have compared to the online ones, but also made me question the effectiveness of each one. To determine this, anthropologists could really look at how powerful social media is in shaping who its users are. We all know that technology is fast-moving and has easily landed itself as a very important element in our lives in such a short period of time, so how come protesting oppression and racism online cant be considered important? After all, change within ourselves starts with being exposed to new ideals and different ways of thinking. I know personally, the internet has been an essential tool in opening my eyes to the injustices of the world that “real life activism” could probably not have done in such a short period of time. It is easy to dismiss the online anti-racism as a facade without really knowing the power that online awareness of racial injustices really has but anthropologically speaking, conversation on the internet about these issues really is quite progressive.