Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How old school Facebook gave birth to Civil Rights

     Its strange to think of a Facebook of the 40's, but in lots of ways it existed. Like most things of that era it started as a Military tool, which inadvertently worked to help Black America. During WWII the Japanese program titled "Negro Propaganda Operations" used short wave radios to broadcast to any African Americans within earshot across the Country. They used Japanese broadcasters, and Black POW's, to tell the story of the treatment of Blacks in the Military, of lynchings, and other race related injustices across the U.S.. The POW's in exchange were given the opportunity to give their names, to let loved ones know they were still alive.
     The point wasn't to shine a light on the plight of Blacks in America, but to create major racial turmoil in the States and hinder us from fighting effectively in the war. Americas Military recognized the strategy, and since the broadcasts were rooted in so much truth, the potential for unrest was very real. Even though, most blacks didn't own short wave radios at the time, the word still spread. As a result the U.S. Government improved Military conditions for black troops while enlisted. Some believe this to be the first steps toward some sort of Civil Rights. Before the change, German prisoners were treated better than Black Military Officers. After, even Black civilians were given the opportunity to work decent war time jobs in factories and shipyards.
     So there it is, Social Media cart & buggy style. Desired effect or not. Information that was being spread from half a world away carried a message that was strong enough to initiate change. It's that time again. Time to use the ability to communicate in mass numbers to enact change. Facebook should be our village drumbeat, informing the tribe of impending danger, our negro spiritual to let us know whats going on on the other side of the field. Communication has always been the key to effective action. We will use this tool to take back our Political and Economic power. To take the first step toward controlling our collective futures. We can't continue to wait for events to react to, we are the catalysts. We will unite. Remember no McDonalds in October...

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