Thursdays in India

It was a Thursday.  Just a normal Thursday in Delhi, India until Nido Taniam stepped into a crowded store front.

As the 18 year old son of a local politician from Arunachal Pradesh, Taniam exhibited the lighter complexion of a Northeast Indian. As he entered the store front looking for addresses, Taniam began to be mocked by local shopkeepers about his northeastern features and blonde tipped hair. As a fight erupted, Taniam was beaten by the shopkeepers. Immediately taken away by police, he was arrested and the shopkeepers were fined. Later he  returned and was again beaten. This would be Taniam’s last Thursday; his last Thursday alive.


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Miss. France 2014 gets attacked on Social Media

Every year France hosts their annual pageant in December, and the winner is nominated by the year that begins the following January. 2014’s winner, Flora Coquerel, was a beautiful, intelligent woman with a French-Beninese decent. She captured people’s hearts through her words and elegance. She stated during the pageant, “I desire to represent a cosmopolite, modern France claiming that today’s France is a mixed France, where there is every culture, and I think a lot of people will see themselves in me.” Coquerel shows confidence in herself and is proud to be the mixed race she is. Some of the people of France had very different, vicious and nasty opinions about the winner of the 2014 pageant.
miss france


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An Olympic Commotion

Excitement spiraled across the globe just a couple of weeks ago as the 2014 Olympics whirled around in Sochi, Russia.  With opening ceremonies starting up on February 6, millions tuned in worldwide to watch the highly anticipated “Parade of Nations”, art program, and torch relay.  What a wonderful cultural immersion to recognize the talents of nations near and far- sounds like a lot of fun and games, right?  But there has always got to be a little trouble.

Meet Irina Rodina.  For starters, she was born in Moscow, Russia on September 12, 1949.  In addition to being known as a legendary Soviet figure skater and three-time gold medal winner, she was a torch lighter at this year’s opening ceremony, serves as a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party and is the mother of one teenaged daughter.  Seems fine, right?

Well maybe we should be a little weary that on December 17 2012, Rodina supported legislation in Russian Parliament calling for a ban on the adoption of Russian children by American citizens.  Could one argue that she is anti-American?  Maybe, but maybe she has some rationale.  If you do not find this to be a little shady, maybe her Twitter account will prove you otherwise.

From left to right: Rodnina’s racist twitter post, Rodnina herself pictured at the Russian Federation in 2010.

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Every January, Americans remember one of our nation’s paramount civil rights activists, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Typically, this holiday is a day of reverence for King’s birthday. However, this year, Arizona State University’s Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity decided to celebrate a different way; the brothers hosted a gregarious “MLK Black Party.” Afterwards, a whirlwind of photos posted on Instagram caused a great deal of controversy nation-wide.

CBS 5 Arizona posted a news story with a video, photos, and an article about the event in Tempe. CBS, along with many other online platforms, displayed the offensive and outlandish photos from the event. The Instagram photos that the party-goers posted speak for themselves:



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UCLA Student’s Racist Vlog


In 2011, Junior Alexandra Wallace, a student at UCLA and frequent “vlogger” (a person who creates videos of themselves discussing random topics) posted a vlog titled “Asians in the Library”. The video was 2:52 minutes long and was posted on a Friday afternoon, the same Friday there was a tsunami happening in Asia. To sum up the video, Alexandra rants about the Asians on UCLA’s campus not using “American manners” in the libraries during finals week and being disrespectful talking on cell phones while others are studying.

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Race and social media are increasingly intertwined. Social media is used both as an outlet of racist actions and a place to fight racism, and this site is a place to explore both of those spectrums and everything in between.

Led by instructor Kristi McDuffie, this site is specifically an exploration of a multitude of race- and social media-related topics by a general education course at Illinois State University. We encourage visitors to the site to engage in our explorations with us and participate in critical,  respectful dialogue. Questions, comments, links, and so forth are also welcome.

An exploration of how race and the Internet collide