Our reading of Wael Ghonim’s ‘Revolution 2.0’ felt particularly timely to me. While reading through his book, I couldn’t help but see the many ways in which the protests he organized against the death of Khaled Saeed had a direct influence on the way in which the Black Lives Matter movement has evolved. Like Ghonim’s movement, BLM has spread rapidly in viral spaces, and is able to connect supporters from across the country for the organization of protests, rallies, and other events. But what’s vitally important about these movements is the way in which each used the internet to engage individuals in their respective protests who may otherwise have remained silent. While having bodies present at events is undoubtedly far more important than a number of likes on a Facebook page, these viral spaces give individuals a chance to think critically about a situation they may have otherwise ignored. I feel that as online protests continue to gain popularity, we cannot downplay the importance of reaching a wider audience, of having the chance to educate those who may later become strong allies. It’s worth mentioning that this responsibility of education does not (and should not) fall on PoC and marginalized groups alone; privileged groups (read: white people) must take it upon themselves to educate those around them on these matters in order to act as a true ally (so long as said white individuals are not speaking over PoC, but instead sharing their experiences and stories).
*Post for week 13