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Most of the 10,000 slurs we tweet every day aren’t intended to be derogatory, but that doesn’t make them any less disturbing.
Just how racist is Twitter? About .00007 percent racist, according to a new study.
But that still adds up to a disconcerting volume of words used as religious, ethnic, or racial slurs. There’s some good news, however: Most of the language isn’t used with derogatory intent.
The most common phrase that turned up on the study? “White boy.”
The author, an American of Russian descent, writes:
I’m more than thrilled that attention is finally being called to how fucked up Russia is; it’s only something I’ve been talking about for years. And it’s fine to make fun of something, but when that something is not your own, not something you understand, babies, goddamnit, you’ve got to be kind as Kurt Vonnegut would say. And kindness from journalists means adding context and not being sensationalist. Not playing the Ugly American Broadcaster.
And it’s very easy to be unkind in the face of unmitigated public attention.
Which is why the best people covering the Olympics are not any of the reporters that have been retweeted millions of times. Some of the best coverage so far has been by my perennial favorite, ViceTV, who first went to the sprawling Olympic complex, and then to the people displaced by its creation, who now live seven in a room and use an outhouse very much like the one nearly every family member I know did until at least the early 1960s. They also did a six-part piece on being gay in today’s Russia which I could only watch the first part of because of how cruel it is.
Unfortunately, in a mass public media event, being stupid and sensationalist is the only thing that will get you noticed, which is why the symbol of Sochi is now the toilet, instead of the people actually still going to the bathroom outside, instead of the hundreds of state officials paid to take bribes, instead of the underpaid laborers of the Olympic village, instead of the fact that the president of Russia owns a $200,000 watch while parts of Siberia have intermittent heating in the winter.
It’s hard to encapsulate context in a tweet,though, which is why this is the news we get.
The whole thing is very well written, and will probably make you think about things you haven’t thought of, yet. I highly recommend taking a few minutes and reading it.
“Racism is not dead. It’s not. And that’s why this film is so important. To understand American society today, it starts with these kinds of stories, and the fact that they haven’t been dealt with yet. There’s work to be done. There are apologies that need to be sought and apologies that need to be offered. And that’s on a political level and a social level and an individual level and a communal level”
I was raised within the Jamaican culture in Britain. I was surrounded by these incredibly powerful women growing up—independent, opinionated, strong-willed women, like my mum and my aunt. But what always shocks me is that I don’t really see those women being represented in film. I see a woman who is a kind of adjunct to a male story and doesn’t really influence how the story goes. The men kind of go off and do the brave things and the women kind of wait at home, cowering while the dragons are slain. And from my experience growing up in a Jamaican culture, that’s not at all how it was. The women would be going out to slay the dragons alongside the men, if the story were told from their perspective. [x]
^ Naomie Harris <3