A Million Ways to Express Yourself on Digital Networks

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I don’t think the United States will ever become a post-racial society. The main reason why individuals have become accustomed to stereotyping is because of the things that are taught at a very young age. Above is a an example of an everyday stereotype. It all started with pregnant females. At their baby showers they would either have pink if they were expecting a female or blue if they were expecting a male. Ever since we were kids we have been taught to identify females with the color pink and males with the color blue. Then we wonder why it is so hard for males to wear pink without having to worry about what others think?

When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, many people believed  that the United States would finally live up to their name of “freedom and equality”.  Though that would have been a positive change for society, stereotyping and categorizing did not come to an end. Stereotyping has become more and more common, especially through digital networks like Youtube, Tumblr, or other sites..

[Verse 3: Nas]
Yeah, our history, black history, no president ever did sh*t for me
Had to hit the streets, had to flip some keys so a ni**a won’t go broke
Then they put us in jail, now a nigga can’t go vote

Rappers Young Jeezy and Nas made a song praising President Barack Obama but attempting to put down previous presidents. They give out the notion that the only reason they are going to succeed now is because their President is Barack Obama and black(hence the title)

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In Tourre’s “Forty Million Ways to be Black” he describes his way of thinking of blackness. He argues that if there are forty million black people then there are forty million ways to be black.

“I would like, through this book, to attack and destroy the idea that there is a correct or legitimate way of doing Blackness. If there’s a right way then there must be a wrong way, and that kind of thinking cuts us off from exploring the full potential of Black humanity.”

Just as there are forty million ways to be black, there is also millions of way to be different. Every time I meet someone new they always know  I’m hispanic. They also always assume that I’m Mexican or Central American. As Tourre explains, there is no right way to be black or “hispanic” or any race. Though it can be upsetting, disturbing or just the truth of past experiences, digital networks offer an opportunity for individuals to share their opinions. Most opinions are shared through music, memes, blogs or just expressing their thoughts on the internet. All in all, this is the way some people practice their “freedom of speech”.

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One comment

  1. I agree that racial equality from a legal standpoint has changed, but it is very hard to sway the opinions of people that have been instilled in them since they were young. I liked your example of gender and stereotypes being established even before we are born. Moms will buy clothes for boys with footballs on them or the color blue- essentially things portrayed as “masculine”. This will continue when the mom may tell her child if they got lost in an amusement park, for example, to approach another woman with children to ask for help. Here’s a link to a video to support this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srnaXW9ZgZc

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