Strange Fruit: N-Words and Buzz Sumo

The use of the N word is alive and well.  Using Buzz Sumo (http://buzzsumo.com/), a company that has developed an algorithm that uses bots to comb the net searching for relevant content.  The user inputs a search term and Buzz Sumo then tallies all of the mentions, video, posts, and comments across social media sites.  I was surprised to learn…excuse me but I have to say it so you can check for yourself, nigger garnered a lots of hits.  The most shared content was a 1916 you tube video of a record called, Nigger love a watermelon HA! HA! HA! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebh6x6Bze_0).   This video was shared 14,675 times in total with the majority of sharings within Facebook (13,205), 3 times on Linked In, 276 times on Twitter, and 1191 Google plus. On you tube, the video of a record garnered close to a million views, with those who cared to click the likes and dislikes evenly divided.

Racism lives on the internet just as it does in society.  This is my major point.

My second point is that there is a connected theme relating to how racism develops. Searching for terms like the despicable N word provided a twisted window into the often repressed, secretive, exploits, and psyche of others. Any white person I have ever met, and those in my life, do not use the word in my presence and many of them say they despise it.

I have argued about the persistence of racist thought and its proliferation; the use of mammy images, stop and frisk laws, and the underlying racist rationales supporting stand your ground.  A recent 2012 FBI report confirms that the majority of single-bias hate crimes are experienced by African Americans. (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2012/topic-pages/victims/victims_final). To be black in America means a whole host of living with social, economic, and psychological disparities, and there are lots of statistics to prove it.

Understanding racism is like trying to solve the clues and riddle of blood at a crime scene.  We know that something bad is happening to African Americans and people of color but we often get to the crime scene after the fact.  I am interested in the blows before they come as well as the splatter on the walls.  Lyrics from the popular song sung by Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit, seems to fit; “Blood on the leaves, and blood on the root.”

 

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