If you use any of the current social networking sites like Myspace or Facebook, you know about activism pages. For instance, on facebook several groups have popped up concerning the recent shooting of an Auburn University student and Westboro “god hates fags” Baptist Church protest of her funeral. People have joined these groups in droves to show their disapproval of facebooklogo.jpgWestboro’s tactics. This kind of upsets me. Rather than actual activism, our passive youth (of which i am usually a part) have begun “passive activism” which accomplishes pretty much nothing. So, dear facebook user, this post is directed at you. Joining a group titled “(insert university name here)’s students hate Westboro Baptist Church” does about as much to counter the hate group as putting a magnetic yellow ribbon on your car “in support of the troops”. I mean come on, grow a pair and write an op-ed to your local paper, organize an ACTUAL protest against hate, or even tell your friends about your disgust at such a hate group. If you really want to combat religious homophobia, talk to your pastor, tell him or her that this has to stop. Using religion to bash gay people needs to stop NOW.
I’m not against facebook groups, hell I even started one. But unless, you use them to organize actual people working for actual change, its about as useful as a football bat. If you’re going to start a facebook group, encourage your members to write to thier congressperson and elected officials. Tell them that homophobia and racism is erupting from the mouths of the radical right and request, nay, demand that they speak out against it. Then put your money where your mouth is and speak out yourself.
I recently wrote an Op-Ed for my student newspaper about gay blood donors and how we are barred from donating blood by the FDA. I was surprised by the response it got, not just on campus but from other parts of the state. I was almost reduced to tears earlier today as a student who read my article came up to me and told me that my op-ed had inspired her to do a speech for her public speaking class on gay blood donors. I was truly touched and it reminded me that speaking out to whoever will listen is a great catalyst for change.
I can’t stress it enough, joining a facebook group or adding a Myspace cause to your page is great, but you still have to speak up and speak out, as loud as you can and to anyone who will listen.

  • http://birminghamblues.com Kathy

    “…speaking out to whoever will listen is a great catalyst for change.”

    Amen! Excellent post.