According to Gallup, Martin Luther King Jr had a favorability rating of 33% when he was alive. Today his rating is 94%.
Thankfully for us, he was born before a time when people cared about much more than the amount of followers and likes they had on social media. The culture of social media is more detrimental to the human psyche and culture than we realize. The fact that Donald Trump is our president should be an indication. An indication that our values today are on self, on the material, and on fear.
One may argue that social media has increased activism. However, last year, the Pew Research Center found that many do not want to engage emotionally or at all with social media politics. This is due to increased harassment, even in the form of bots. This has created stark partisanship with little room to discuss and come to realizations. These conversations need to be dealt with in person. Social media can never have the same effect as face-to-face verbal communication.
The events of 2017 were so shocking its as if we took a step back 50-years into the past. The open racism from our “president” on multiple occasions, most recently about Haiti. The alt-right violent protest and acts of terrorism in Charleston. The persecution of Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee in a non-violent protest.
In the following excerpt from a piece by MLK, he discusses that white liberalism emerges from the discriminated pointing out an existing problem (racism) that Whites believe POC created. This mindset is fallible logic. You wouldn’t blame a doctor for finding your illness.
If Martin Luther King were here today he would be so disappointed to see the prison industrial complex, modern slavery with unlivable wages, black lives matter cruel criticism, and Donald Trump as president. Despite all this we must remind ourselves that MLK’s dream is still possible.
“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Let’s continue to do more action-based activism in the real world sans social media. Don’t quote Martin Luther King on IG if you don’t check your racist friends or family members or if you are said person. Anyone that says brown people shouldn’t be in this country or that there shouldn’t be affirmative action, needs serious self-reflection. Be the person you are on social media. Step up, have more deep conversations, do the actions.
What if Martin Luther King Cared More about Likes than Justice