Sage advice for anyone hoping to expand your presence in social media is to comment on other people’s blogs. If you take the time to read an article, leave a comment. Let people know you like what they’ve said, or engage in dialogue about the topic….unless the topic has to do with race.
It’s not the first time I’ve dared to comment on a blog that was talking about bias and/or racial identity, and it’s not the first time I’ve been taken aback by the immediate and vitriolic response.
In this case it was an article by Dr. Boyce Watkins on the Black Voices blog, “CNN Fires Rick Sanchez for Speaking Out Against Racism.” While he is right in recognizing bias and discrimination in media, I don’t see how one can expect to make a point about one group, while talking in a racist way about another group.
At any rate, I found the article itself to be confusing–there definitely seems to be a gap between Rick Sanchez’ connection to Jon Stewart (the ultimate comment was that he called Steward a bigot, after suggesting Jews controlled the media–a classic conspiracy theory designed to corral suspicion) and whether there was any actual connection to Stewart in this case, or he was just using Stewart as a representation of an entire group of people (can you say stereotype?).
But the comments, 107 total, including a couple from me, are fascinating in the realm of competitive victimization–who has it worse off–blacks, Jews or Hispanics, with a sprinkling of racist hues, to simple opinions about whether Sanchez was a good reporter or not. They are interesting (or perhaps saddening is the better word) to read just to see where “real people” play out, regardless of the public dialogue.
In the end, I’m left feeling like I’ve just finished an exercise in futility. No one has really connected to anyone else, it’s a little like a shouting match, and the vehicle doesn’t allow for any sort of greater knowledge or healing to emerge.
At a bare minimum, it suggests to me that even with the infinite ability to connect to anyone, anywhere, about any subject, time spent interacting and building relationships in the “real world” might be more productive in the end.
Well, to get the final insight into Stewart’s reaction to Sanchez’ comments, I went straight to the source. Here’s Stewart’s response to Sanchez on the Daily Show.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
|Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c