I just read an incredibly beautiful piece on The NewYork Times that dealt a punch in my chest, pluck out my heart, squeezed it into a lump and left a gapping hole behind yet my blood pumping at Jet Speed.
For those like me whose brains often momentarily stop working because of football this might not be a strange news to you. After the UEFA Champions League game between Chelsea and PSG in Paris some Chelsea Fans racially abused a black man in the Metro (Paris Train Station) by refusing to let him ride on a train coach with them, chanting quite gleefully “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”
This post is not meant to provide details about the incident as several news agencies with more information have provided better coverage.
I write this not in any way condemning the public for being infuriated by Racism or condoning the mindless act of those Chelsea supporters, this is written from a more ominscient point of view.
This is about how humanity swiftly swing into collective anger, how the mob mentality come into play completely deriding us of our ability of individualistic thinking.
Countless reactions to the Paris incident have come in different shades and have been scattered across various spectrums of opinions that it would make one wonder if the owners of such opinions can lay claim to a well functioning brain.
Taking a stroll across various twitter feeds will make one’s stomach churn, even several news outlets who ought to know better have resorted to sensationalizing the incident with outrageous headlines just to earn more traffic.
Some twitter warriors have branded Chelsea FC a racist club, some have categoried the entire EPL as racist and even a most gloriously stupid article have originated on a reputable NewsMedia stereotyping Chelsea fans for being racist by revealing data which they claim makes Chelsea the club with the highest amount of racist fans arrested thereby casting a shadow where Chelsea FC is categorised as a racist club.
This event is not a stand alone one, several incidents have occurred in the past and several others will happen in the future where things have been blown out of proportion by the media.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and others have been used to ridicule people for mindless comments, ill calculated jokes, senseless tweets, silly photographs et cetera. Plucking them from the stalk of their normal existence and living their lives completely ruined.
The speed at which the public respond to issues and how trends swiftly emerge without anyone verifying the authenticity of an incident is deeply appalling.
Currently, to ruin a person’s life, all one need to do is get his/her comment , quote it out of context and boom a new hashtag is born. And with Smart phones floating all around like oxygen, photographs and videos of people can be stealthily taken then posted online without their knowledge and if they are unlucky enough, they become an Internet sensation, a bag full of shit and flies will hover over their head, mourning the scintillating stench emanating from their living corpse.
Things ought not to be this way, men ought to be higher animals, rational beings. Capable of distinguishing moral from immoral actions but most often than not the reverse is the case. What is popular is immediately declared as moral, truths are determined by the number of retweets, beauty by number of likes, facts by a random search appearing in the first page on google, an incredibly terrible reality.
Technology which supposedly have brought more information to our finger tips have exorcised the ability to verify the authenticity of any information before we swallow it. As long as it is online, as long as it is a trending hash tag, as long as it is reported on CNN then it can never be wrong.
We fail to see that there are several sides to a story. We fail to see the different shades of grey that exist between black and white. We fall to step back, wipe our tainted glasses and try to view things from another perspective devoid of sentiment and that is morbidly inhumane.
That singular act of those Chelsea fans will certainly pan out several reverberations and it will keep hogging the headlines for a while before something else will arise. Another horrendous act giving birth to another sacrificial lamb to be led to the slaughter, swallowing the collective rage of humanity.
These things must stop but as individuals the mettle is on us to be more discrete in our daily routine and most especially our use of social media. Because just a single click of a button can ruin your live just as it has ruined the life of countless others. The Internet is meant for our use, not the other way round and as The Book of Ecclesiastics says; “wisdom is profitable to direct.”
In conclusion, I finalise with a facebook status I posted when I shared the link to the NewYork Times Article;
“A deep deep insightful read about the dark side of social media; online bullying, hash tags, thoughtless comments, mindless post, public shaming and the lots.
I so much savour every second I spent reading this, when next you want to join an online tirade to mock someone for a (suppossedly) silly/stupid/brainless mistake, think twice.
Take a step back and have a second thought.
Don’t just click send, don’t just post that picture, don’t just retweet, don’t just share that hilarious video, think twice. You just might be interpreting things out of context and starting a horrendous trend.
The link to the aforementioned article is provided below http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=0&post_id=100001304356699_805019472884857#_=_
PS: for inquiries please email X43writes@gmail.com