Tag Archives: social media

Thoughts On The Calls for Ralph Northam to Step Down

Doing and saying stupid sh*t is part of life. Especially when we are young. The goal is to learn from that stupid sh*t we did so that we do not repeat the same actions or statements. These days, it’s not uncommon to relive the stupid sh*t we said and did via social media.

The most recent political scandal comes from Virginia and her current governor, Ralph Northam. Pictures from his medical school days in the early 1980’s have surfaced. In the pictures, two men are dressed up in costume. One man is in blackface, the other is wearing KKK robes.

When the accusations became public last week, Governor Northam initially admitted that he is one of the men in the pictures. As of earlier today, he has changed his statement, denying that he is in the picture. Despite calls for him to step down from the office of Governor, he remains in office and appears to ignore those who are calling for his resignation.

Of course, you know who had to add his own two cents to the conversation.

Should he be given a pass for making a stupid mistake that is often the mark of a young person? I don’t know. I don’t know because these pictures are offensive, then and now. The excuse of stupidity of youth can only go so far. By a certain age, we all know right from wrong. It’s matter of choosing to either do the right thing or do the wrong thing and face the consequences.

The fact that Governor Northam first stated that he is in the picture, then said he wasn’t is questionable. The answer to the question is a simple yes or no. Any other answer brings up more questions, including if he is able to do the job the voters of Virginia hired him to do.

I’m sure that some Republicans are literally jumping for joy that a Democrat has been accused of racism. This issue does not belong to any specific political party. Racism and prejudice, no matter where one stands on the political aisle. We are all Americans, we are all human beings and we all deserve the same respect, regardless of what we look like.

 

 

 

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Perhaps We Jumped A Little Too Fast To Judge

A viral video is defined as the following:

A video that becomes popular through a viral process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites such as YouTube as well as social media and email.

The latest viral video to catch the nation’s attention was a group of high school boys who appeared to mock Vietnam veteran and Native American elder Nathan Phillips as he chanted a traditional Native American song last Friday in Washington D.C.. The young man who is standing inches from Mr. Phillips and appears to be wearing a smirk on his face has been identified as Nick Sandmann.

Over the last day or so, more details have emerged about what really happened last Friday. Five men who are part of the Black Hebrew Israelite community taunted the boys. Mr. Phillips said that he stepped into de-escalate the situation before words turned into regrettable actions.

The Today Show aired the full interview with Nick Sandmann earlier today.

Right now, I don’t know what to think or believe. Regardless of whose side one is on, we all jumped a little to fast to make a judgement call without knowing all of the facts.

The problem with this quick judgement is that it reveals how divided this country is. It is those divisions that scare me and makes we wonder what we will say to future generations when they ask us about this era in American history.

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New Randy Rainbow Video-Just BE BEST! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Though the First Lady Of The United States is not an elected position, she has a platform that few have, especially when it comes to activism. Most, if not all First Ladies have used their positions to shine the light on an issue that they feel is important to them.

Be Best is the cause taken up by Melania Trump, our current First Lady. The focus of this organization is to ensure that all American children grow physically, emotionally and socially healthy. One of the main goals of Be Best is to ensure that our young people use social media in a way that is productive, positive and healthy. The irony of this goal is that her husband uses social media as a bully pulpit to spread lies, half-truths and to make himself look good at the expense of the country.

This is the subject of Randy Rainbow’s new video, “Just BE BEST! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody”, uses Be Our Guest from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast to show how utterly hypocritical this idea is.

 

Thank you, Randy Rainbow. You have given something to laugh about and something to think about.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Do Not Underestimate The Youth, Mike Huckabee

The conventional political wisdom is that young people are either illiterate about politics or frankly don’t give a sh*t. They are more interested in the latest trends and spending time on their phones.

In this case, conventional wisdom is wrong.

The other day music superstar Taylor Swift publicly announced via Instagram that she is supporting Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, two Democratic nominees who are running for office in Tennessee. As a result, 65,000 citizens registered to vote. Former Presidential candidate and current Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee sniped back via Twitter that 13-year-old girls cannot vote and threw his support behind Marsha Blackburn, Mr. Bredesen’s opponent.

We all know that 13-year-old children cannot vote. But they have older siblings, cousins and neighbors who are of age to vote.

What Mr. Huckabee forgets is the power of young people voting and using their political muscle. If the survivors of the Parkland shooting had not used their collective rage/voice to remind this country of the true cost of gun violence, it would have become just another school shooting that most of us would have forgotten by now.

Young people have the power to change the world, to fix the mistakes of their elders. They also have the ability to vote out any politician whom they believe is not doing the job that voters elected them to do.

While celebrity endorsements, especially of politicians can be a little iffy sometimes, they have the reach that a politician may not have.

I think, perhaps Governor Huckabee would be wise to mind his words, especially if he plans to run again for Governor. He may find out on election day that he is out of a job, because of the young people.

 

 

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Thoughts On The Removal Of Alex Jones From Social Media And The Boundaries Of Free Speech

Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of any legitimate and thriving democracy. But while many will claim that they can say anything, freedom of speech has boundaries.

Last week, “journalist” and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was removed from most social media platforms (with Twitter being the exception). The removal was based on the determination that Mr. Jones violated the terms of service.

The issue as I see it, is that freedom of speech is a very broad and subjective phrase. Freedom of speech could be as simple as an average citizen stating that they disagree with a government official and not being thrown in prison or executed. It could also be as complicated as a member of a far right group using certain words that many would recoil from in disgust.

The fact is that Mr. Jones is entitled to speak as he pleases. Trying to restrict or compartmentalize freedom of speech is akin to a slippery slope that one cannot climb out of.

However, it should be also understood that when one signs up for a social media platform, there are rules that users have to follow. If the users don’t follow those rules, then the people running the platform have every right to close their account.

As simple as the term of  “freedom of speech” may seem, the truth is that the concept is complicated. The Alex Jones case, I think, has opened many of our eyes to this fact.

 

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Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump Book Review

In the history of humanity, the game of politics has never been clean. It has been dirtied by ego, money, greed, etc. But even among the dirt, there still a bit of clean optimism that exists.

Dan Pfeiffer was the White House Communications Director under President Barack Obama from 2013-2015. Having an insider’s view of the game of American politics in our modern era gave him a unique perspective. He chronicles his experiences and observations about his boss and you know who into the new book Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump.

Pulling no punches, Mr. Pfeiffer gives the reader not only the first person experience of working in The White House, but also gives those who still believe in the American democracy hope that it will survive beyond the orange snake oil salesman who is President.

I recommend it.

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Dear Mark Zuckerberg: A Response To Allowing Holocaust Deniers To Stay On Facebook

Dear Mark Zuckerberg,

You’re a Jew. I’m a Jew. You believe in free speech. I believe in free speech.

But I also know that the internet and your creation, Facebook, allows hate speech and lies about The Holocaust to spread at a rate that is quite scary from my perspective.

I don’t know about your family history, but I lost family in The Holocaust.

One of the reasons I am alive today is because members of my family took a chance when they left their homes and families for a new life in America in the early 20th century. I suspect your family at about this time in history did the same thing.

While I respect that Facebook is supposed to be a social media platform for all of us, a line has to be drawn when it comes to hate speech of any kind.

There should be no place for hate speech in this world in 2018. Unfortunately, Facebook allows hate speech to flourish.

Sincerely

A Concerned Facebook User

 

 

 

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Words Can Hurt And Bullying Can Kill

Bullying in school has been around since the invention of school. Countless children over the generations have suffered at the hands of their classmates.

These days, in school bullying has been taken to another level by social media.

Last summer, Mallory Grossman was in sixth grade at Copeland Middle School in Rockaway, New Jersey. She took her own life after dealing with the persistent bullying she received from her classmates, both in school and online.

According to media reports, one of the accused bullies asked the young girl the following: “when are you going to kill yourself?”.

Some might argue that social media plays a role in the bullying that led to the girl’s decision to commit suicide. While I can certainly understand where that argument is coming from, social media is not entirely to blame.

If the bullying happened on school property and nothing was done by the staff to stop the bullying, the school is culpable. The blame is also on the parents of the bullies. Their children are responsible for this girl’s death and should be punished appropriately.

Two decades ago, I too was bullied in school. Thankfully, social media as we know it be today did not exist back then. Though it’s been years since my own experience of school days bullying, the scars still remain.

May Mallory’s memory be a blessing to those who knew and loved her. Wherever she is, the bullies cannot hurt her anymore.

RIP.

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Social Media And The Working World

For better or for worse (depending on how you see the world) the internet and social media have forever changed our world.

That includes how hiring managers go about choosing whom to reach out to for a job interview.

According to the survey, a majority of hiring managers use social media as one of several criteria to determine if a certain candidate will be contacted for an interview.

As I stated in a post a while back, I believed that a candidate’s social media profile should not be a factor in determining if he or she is going to be contacted to schedule an interview. This comes with two caveats:

  1. That any grief or issues that one has with a current or former employer is not shared on social media.
  2. That when job searching, one’s social media has the highest security settings possible.

I understand the reason that a hiring manager may use social media, but for the most part, I disagree with the idea. When a hiring manager is making a decision on who to extend a job offer to, one’s resume and interview should be all that is needed to make the final decision.

What I do on my time, on my equipment is my business. What I do at work on my company’s equipment is their business.  As long as  I come in on time and do the job I was hired to do, that is what should matter. What should not matter is the content of my Facebook or twitter accounts.

 

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