#WildWestWendy and the Insidiousness of the Machine

Today we celebrate our nation’s birthday and usually on birthdays, it’s a time for contemplation and celebration. I am thankful for the miraculous experiment that is the United States of America. And as we look on 244 years of history as a country, I wonder about the danger of the new faceless oppressor that has led and controlled our language on some of the most pressing issues of our time; the one that encourages us to vilify and destroy one another in the the name of justice.

The machine has taught us to look at this video and see a hero and a villain.

It has taught us that, in situations like these, a gun is both the problem and the solution.

It has taught us that making a definitive assumption about someone is both racism and justice.

The miracle of America, is that our heterogeneity, in all it’s ugly glory, made us who we are and has not killed us….yet. But the machine’s power is using strength and turning it into weakness.  A place where once,  opposites could co-exist, now a place where you can either stand as black or white or a muddled gray. What makes America great is how well we’ve evolved towards ‘e pluribus unum’ without collapsing on ourselves. But the machine learned that money mattered most and that perhaps our motto was the only thing standing in it’s way.

When Twitter Goes Wrong

Today marks the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ bravery against segregation. The moment was memorialized all over Twitter with one tweet from the RNC receiving hundreds of retweets. It reads, ‘Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism.’ Yeah, that ‘ending racism’ part didn’t go over to well and made the comment the butt of more that a few jokes. I was sure it was fake, so I checked it out and it turns out, it’s real…and two years old. That’s right. One of today’s most tweeted is a goodie, but definitely an oldie. When a sharp eyed reader pointed it out, AJ Plus (a digital media provider from Al Jazeera) made no comment; very slick (and questionable) move for a content provider tied to a news organization, but that’s the power and danger of Twitter: the word gets out faster than anyone can bother to say ‘retract’ and even if there’s a correction, who cares?! Hundreds have already spread the word on their own feeds, in the process, giving the fledgling channel a much needed boost, and a easy target, one more kick.

aj plus