The Truth Behind Lives Matters’ Hashtags

So if your are immerse in social media you have seen the hashtags, you have used the hashtags, you have liked a post that had a hashtag, then you forwarded that post and used that hash tag again to follow more of that story, maybe replied to that message and used a different hashtag to express an opposing view. The hash tag is used to follow stories of our interest, summarizes a point of view, creates a movement, and helps organize or attract followers to a specific event. Some people abuse them or used really long and complicated ones. We may also argue that some of them are created in reaction to another hasthtag, almost like retaliation. I did a bit of research on three hashtags that are going around right now: #blacklivesmatter,#Alllivesmatter and #policelivesmatter. You are welcome to share an opinion here or to do your own research. This is what I found:

  • #blacklivesmatter started back in 2012 when Trayvon Martin, a unarmed young black man, was killed by George Zimmerman. The residents in that community where outrage that Zimmerman was not charge with murder right away. It happened a month later and we all know the results. We may argue that in this case the social media outlets and the used of this hash tag helped create a movement and also brought attention to the case. Public pressure mounted and the authorities had to bring up the charges.  When I googled this hashttag there were thousands of people talking about it or using it. One of the beauties of Internet is the ongoing interaction of thousands of people. Sadly, #blacklivesmatter resurfaced at least two more times after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both in the hand of police officers. Like Nancy Scola from The Washington Post mention on her blog :”#BlackLivesMatter is serving as sort of a catch-all for the bigger idea at work that users are going back to again and again, with more tailored tags emerging as a way of tying each incident into that broader, ongoing, powerful conversation “
  • #Alllivesmatter made its appearance when Officer Darrel Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown. It was actually used for the first time in a rally, according to other social media outlets, in support of the officer. I have personally used this hashtag. I thought: “I agree with this one hashtag”, all lives DO matter, white, black, Latinos, Asian, we all matter, right? Well, as I dig more behind the real meaning or purpose of #Alllivesmatters I came to a rude awakening. It was created as a reaction to #blacklivesmatter, to almost take people away from the real conversation about racism and police brutality. It is not that not all lives matter, they do! But the  ‘good’ hashtag is doing something really bad, is basically not acknowledging that there are stereotypes or bias in the minds of law enforcement and the public in general. The reality is that it is hard for anyone to admit any preconceived ideas, let alone for police officers or anyone in power to do so. I get it! It is a difficult and uncomfortable thing to admit. It is much easier to hide behind a hashtag.
  • #policelivematter started when two police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, where murdered by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a young black guy with a long criminal history, in an apparent revenge for the deaths of Garner and Brown. Believe me when I say that in no way I am trying to minimize the deaths of police officers. Everyday police officers risk their lives in the line of duty. We need to honor them and respect them. Some of the users of this tag claim that the protesters have been fueling hate against the police. A lot of those supporters also claim that the police do their job fairly 100% of the time.

You see? Here is where I firmly believe the conversation gets lost and the obvious “tag war” doesn’t really help. If anything it becomes a shouting fest. When one side is screaming and no side is really listening. The divide is evident. Some people are for the social justice and others do not believe that that even exits or that is necessary, that the “race baiters” need to get over it. The creation of #Alllivesmatter and #policelivesmatter, we may argue is the result in part of that lack of acknowledgement that there is a real  problem.

We live in an age in which we are “connected” like never before thru technology. I wonder if in this case is just “dividing” us like never before and tags are just a way to sort us into groups.

To all moms out there: Topics to avoid during first encounters with other moms

I find first time encounters among mothers somewhat intriguing.  Why some mothers have a need or an urge of sharing what they feed to their babies (formula or breastfeed) or even talk about their views on vaccines! Yes, on the very first encounter!  Like any of the views on these topics could potentially be a deal breaker if you want to get together in the future, or let alone, get the kids together for a play date. Forget it! This two subjects should be left out for discussion way after a friendship is build and not let  those be the basis for a future friendship. I just find it ridiculous and immature. But I confess, I often feel I fall into the trap of asking/answering those type of questions too, maybe because motherhood can be lonely and drive you crazy and you will say anything to almost anyone just to carry an  adult conversation. Is almost like they ( the other moms) are trying to place me in a category, if there is one for these type of moms, while going down the list of their requirements; Do you co-sleep, do you vaccinate, what about home school? Seriously, I rather be at home than trying to “fit in” in any of these mommy groups. So if you are a mom and you are at the park ask yourself why you  ask those type of questions? Why can we talk about the shoes that we are wearing? Or what kind of movies do you like? What did you do before becoming a mom? Not to be overly dramatic, but sometimes I miss those days, or better said, I miss the “cool girl” I was. And before you pass any judgement on me, I love my children and love the mom I have become. But please, I do not want to belong to any mommy group! They are not cool, not as cool as I believe I used to be.

A new challenge!

So I decided to take matter in my own hands, or better said, with my own computer, my own time, by myself. Studying like a nerd for the past year about marketing and social media has truly  awaken in me thedesire to do big things.  If you are reading this you probably agree with me that times are tough. I am the mother of two, on my thirties and an eternal optimistic. Please don’t judge my poor handling of the English language, I do  take pride on being a bilingual. One that is ready to get out of a comfort zone, write whatever and start doing things a little bit different. By now you are probably trying to figure out what I am talking about. Honestly, I am still trying to figure it out myself, I will keep you post it. My journey can be yours too.