After George Zimmerman was found NOT GUILTY of murdering Trayvon Martin, something predictably disgusting occurred. The profit vultures started to circle, attempting to find anything or anyone they could exploit post-trial to make a few, albeit sleazy, bucks. One juror known only as Juror B37, decided she wanted to publicize her story, which is not so bad, until we learned that she wanted to sell a book that would propagate the importance of her and her story over the death of a 17-year-old boy and a forever broken family. But “Black Twitter” was having none of her bullshit, and they decided to bring her book deal DOWN.
Cocky McSwagsalot gained A LOT of support from her Twitter followers, and Sharlene Martin eventually announced via Twitter that she decided NOT to represent Juror B37.
Now this does NOT mean that someone else won’t offer to sign Juror B37, and that her book deal has completely been quashed, but seeing people mobilize around an issue to create REAL change is a beautiful sight, especially for those of us who are somewhat skeptical of it.
I don’t want to sound like an old man sitting on a porch with a pitchfork screaming at teenagers to “get off my damn lawn!” (Especially since I’m only 30-years-old) but I damn-near HATE Twitter. I am not a technophobe or someone who is easily confused or conflicted on how social media works, but there’s something about reading people’s illiterate second-to-second commentaries on every minutia of their daily lives that I find annoying as hell. I don’t really care to read what people are about to eat for dinner, what they think about frowsy crowded buses, or how frustrated they are with the rising prices of dog food. But, every now and then Twitter proves to be MUCH more than just a hub for inane commentary. It can spark immediate and important social change that can affect us all.
My ignorance of the potential social impact that Twitter can make was initially trounced by how it, along with Facebook, was used effectively during the Arab Spring in 2011. In fact, many well-versed political sites have lauded social media as a key player in the uprisings in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, since the organization of protests was instantaneous as a result of the ability to be shared fast and wide. Now, two years later, I’m baring witness again to how Twitter can impact social change fast as hell on our shores – and I’m proud to see what social media CAN do.
Now, to go unfollow everyone talking about random BS and start using it for change myself …
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site ThisIsYourConscience.com, he’s an author of the book “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer” and a weekly contributor for UPTOWN Magazine. He can be reached via Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at This Is Your Conscience.a