I’ve received several phone calls and texts from friends wanting to share their frustration and talk about the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman ruling. A consistent question in these conversations was, “what now?” and my response was, “the same as always.”
Angry and looking for answers, many have taken to Facebook and Twitter to vent, while marches and protests have been organized in cities across the country.
We know that a working and just democracy requires informed and consistently involved citizens. We also know that brief emotional responses AFTER tragedies and injustices like these do very little. In our efforts to build a better culture and more just institutions the question must no longer be, “What now?” but rather, “What, from now on?”
I’m dismayed by the Zimmerman verdict but always excited about the positive potential that tech holds, in helping us create a more just society, even with its obvious limitations. Here are 4 ways you can use today’s technology to support your long term political awareness and action.
Not bad. Download the app, confirm your political commitments and use “Buycott” as you shop, everyday.
My mother called me immediately after the Zimmerman verdict to talk about her fears and feelings about our justice system [sic]. We could have had a similar text or video conversation on Skype or any of the other chat programs currently in use. The Google+ hangout can connect up to ten friends on the same video call. That’s ten voices overcoming the challenge of distance to connect, share thoughts and ideas and even plan action steps. Just be careful, because it’s very likely that the NSA is on the call also.
4. Organize to meet in person
Until message and email encryption become mainstream practice, the internet is a proven,compromised medium for privacy. Even then, there is no substitute for “in-person” organizing and involvement. Period. We can use phone, email, and even sites like meetup.com to find like minds and then get together OFFLINE, in person. We must never lose our capacity for real personal interactions; to look directly into the eyes of a friend/comrade to plan an action, protest, hug and create, together.