Social Media Propaganda


These memes (see attached) that people share on social media always over-simplify and misrepresent complex issues. Are we collectively satisfied with such lazy ‘explanations’?

A meme like this is missing some serious context that requires a degree of literacy that not all people possess: let’s build some context shall we?

This is written in English and assumedly is directed at the English Speaking world, eg. Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

In the history of the English World, there have been a series of race based policies and events that make it problematic to use a phrase “proud to be white” and not be considered at worst racist and at best insensitive or ill informed, e.g. England’s so-called White Man’s Burden where this country had an official policy of spreading its power and influence at the point of a sword in part because of a sense of racial superiority; the institution of slavery largely introduced by England to North America in the 16th century and lasting until the 19th century; the Jim Crow laws and Black Codes and segregation in the United States existing until the 1960s; the attacks on Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia by whites pushing blacks out of that area to Sierra-Leone during the American Revolution; the residential school system designed to breed the Indian out of Indians in Canada; the malnutrition experiments on these same First Nations peoples in the 1950s; the genocide of indigenous peoples by whites in every English speaking country; the Ku Klux Klan and its various powerful political supporters that continue in the present day to push for laws that keep minorities out of participating in elections, cutting funding for public schools, and a judicial system and for-profit’ prison system in the United States that treats whites one way and people of color quite another.These would be a few reasons why it’s hard to say one is proud to be white without being associated with the rich and regrettable history of white treatment of non white people. 

Also, it is kind of silly to take pride–regardless of your color–in something you have no control over, ie. how much or how little melatonin is in one’s skin. I have super white skin: is that cause for extra pride? If anything, I have been bugged and disparaged by other white people who aren’t quite as pale as myself for being my particular shade.

For context Japanese, Chinese and African societies, eg. In America the Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, etc. can be, and have had, issues with racism. These racist movements have power and influence in Japan and China but Japanese and Chinese people do not possess this kind of institutional power in either Canada or the United States. They do have this power in their original countries though which would make a white person residing in Japan, for instance, who hears Japanese people say “I am proud to be Asian” justifiably afraid.

This meme is propaganda.

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