We are all Monkeys

On April 27, 2014 Brazil’s football club matched with Villarreal’s club football team. As the game went on Brazil’s player Dani Alves sets up for a corner kick. Out of the blue a fan member from the audience throws a banana at Dan. Dan, nonchalantly, picks up the banana, takes a bite, and continues on with the game. Brazil won the match but this isn’t about the game. After the game Dani spoke with the press he said, “It’s been happening on for eleven years, we can’t change it, so best to treat it as a joke. If we give it no importance, then they fail.” While Dan and his team members were out celebrating what Dan didn’t know was that fans were taking this racist incident to social media in awe of his swift and positive reaction to this aggression. The next day one of Dan’s teammates, Neymar, decided to do the same. He posted a “selfie” with his son on Instagram. They were both holding a half-eaten banana with a caption of,” We are all equal #Weareallmonkeys”.

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#Occupy

On September 17, 2011, countless people flooded the Manhattan’s Financial District in Liberty Square to protest the economic inequality that had gotten out of hand.  This movement has spread to over 1,500 cities globally and has had significant impact in each city respectively.  This movement was known as the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement.  The aim of the protesters was to raise awareness and fight back against the richest 1% of the people who write the rules without regard of anyone else.  As stated on their site, occupywallst.org, their main purpose is to level the playing field financially, usurp the over-entitled from their positions, and alleviate the financial burden on the lower classes.  Many believe this movement failed, while others think that it made a significant, positive impact.  Regardless of that particular movement, others took the “occupy” mentality and spun it their own way.  With more and more groups backpacking off of the OWS movement, one caught traction with a different group of disenfranchised people that was known as the “Occupy Harlem” or “Occupy the Hood” movement.  This group was established to bring awareness to the omnipotent amount of racism that specifically blacks received. To demonstrate how this particular movement made an impact, there are a few people’s stories that are pertinent to the Occupy Harlem movement specifically.

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“Just Checking”: a Biracial Controversy

Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, General Mills is one of the world’s largest and most successful food companies. In the 1960s, they were marketing childrens toys such as Play-Doh, Monopoly, and Nerf balls, and were associated with fictional characters like Betty Crocker, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and the Pillsbury Doughboy. Today, their main focus is on food and “Making lives around the world healthier, easier and richer.”

One of General Mills’ cereal brands, Cheerios, has taken some criticism for a fictional family they created for their commercials. The commercial takes place in the home of a family with a white mother, an African-American father, and a “mixed” daughter. The commercial starts with the daughter and mother  sitting at a table talking about how Cheerios can keep your heart healthy. After the mother tells the daughter that Cheerios are “heart healthy”, the daughter grabs the box of cereal, gives the mom a small smile, and walks into the other room. In the next scene, the father wakes up with Cheerios all over the left side of his chest and the commercial ends. Even though Cheerios has received some negative comments on the commercial,the majority of feedback received was positive and commended Cheerios for embracing and portraying the diversity of our country.

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Sterling’s Racist Rant Caught on Tape

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In April 2014, TMZ released a 10 minute audio recording where NBA Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, 80, and can be heard making a handful of racist remarks to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano. To sum up the argument between the two, Sterling rants about how enraged he is at Stiviano, who identifies herself as black and Mexican, for bringing African Americans to the Clippers games and for posting photos of herself with African Americans, including Lakers legend Magic Johnson, to her Instagram account. The recording triggered an uproar on many social media sites such as Twitter that led to Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine.

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Is San Jose State University Really Accepting of Its Wide Diversity?

In November of 2013, there was an event that took place at San Jose State University. Donald Williams Jr, an African American, was a 17 year old freshman at the university when he was brutally bullied by four white students.The four white students bullied Donald multiple times by abusing him, including wrestling him to the ground, fastening a bike lock around his neck, calling him racially derogatory names, locking him in his room and displaying a Confederate flag in their suite. Donald’s parents came down for the weekend and saw the confederate flag hanging on a bulletin board and immediately filed a report to the university. Once the university got notice about this event, they took immediate action and moved the students into a different living situation starting the investigation. San Jose State made the decision to expel three of the students and one student was put on suspension because he was seen more as a bystander. The state of California was also involved and decided that the three expelled students cannot enroll in any California State University college in the future.

Once the University started investigating this event it was only moments later when it became very popular to outside viewers on social media. Because of the racist actions done to the student and the pending consequences for the four students participating everyone took their stance on this event. This event sparked community outrage within San Jose State University as well as on the internet through news articles, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Though social media, many people were able to state what they believed should be done to the students, make comments and even make more racist comments about this whole situation. Based on the social media articles, there is colorblindness demonstrated by online users about the event taken place at San Jose State University.

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Domestic Violence Gender Gap and Social Media’s Impact

Domestic violence is an ongoing problem in society. Domestic violence occurs in every country, in every neighborhood, among people of all races, cultures, religions and income levels. Most cases are not reported but this issue is still taken very seriously. When professional athletes’ are accused of this crime, it stirs up much controversy and tough decisions for league leaders to act appropriately. Athletes’ are seen as role models for youth throughout the world and looked upon to set positive examples for kids.

Ray Rice, former running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was convicted of domestic violence against his fiancé last month and was suspended by the NFL, which resulted in a Twitter uproar to the way the National Football League handled the case. In contrast, United States soccer player Hope Solo was accused of domestic violence last summer against her nephew and half sister yet still continues to play soccer.

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Paula Deen Controversy

Paula Deen is a popular chef and TV personality. She made sporadic appearances on different Food Network shows before getting a pilot in 2001. Her show aired in 2002 with the title, Paula’s Home Cooking. After the success of Paula’s Home Cooking she started a new show called Paula’s Party in 2006. In 2008 she came out with her latest show called Paula’s Best Dishes and shortly after gaining popularity with her shows Paula started a magazine called Cooking with Paula Deen. After coming out with various cookbooks, Paula published her memoirs using the title It Aint All About the Cooking. She then went on to write two more books called The Deen Family Cookbook and Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.  In 2007 Paula Deen won a Daytime Emmy Award for best outstanding lifestyle host. Recently Deen created an interactive website where people can watch old shows, access her recipes, and videos of her cooking different items.

Recently Paula Deen was involved in a scandal that involved Deen admitting to using racial slurs in her restaurants. She also stated that she wanted to throw a slavery themed wedding for her brother. She got this idea when she ate at a restaurant with an all-black staff. This led to many members of various social media websites scrutinizing her for what she said. Most of this attention came from Twitter users, who would use different hashtags to make fun of her racism. With any issue, there are always going to be mixed reactions and different opinions as to whether the issue is right or wrong. Knowing this, we think it is important to analyze both sides of the situation in regards to how people reacted to the Paula Deen incident on social media. We argue that online users should not ridicule Deen for her actions because it is only furthering unnecessary racial discourses.

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