— Jay Loomis (@jaymloomis) March 22, 2015
For #CDT450 I tweeted this article about Martese Johnson – he was brutally beaten up by police in front of a bar near the campus of the University of Virginia, where he is an honor student.
Part of the title to the article in the Daily Beast asks: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? The article addresses issues of prejudice, racism, and the unproportionately high levels of violence that are unleashed on African Americans by police officers. Hopefully, we are becomeing more aware of this systemic injustice thanks to people using social media to get the word out and create an infuriated buzz about it.
What does this have to do with how Twitter can shape my identity? The first thing that comes to mind is that my choice of tweets says something about who I am. Why do I want people to know this story? Why is it important to me? I tweeted this article after reading Cole’s post about how UVA students reacted to this act of brutality, and it reminded me that we need more dialogue about race relations on college campuses in America. We have an excellent opportunity at Stony Brook to open up discussions about race because we have such a diverse community here. Hopefully Twitter, FB, Yammer, blogs, and other social media tools can be useful to help start conversations and to create opportunities for people from different ethnicities and backgrounds to get together and get to know each other and improve race relations through social interaction – online and face to face. #Integreat