by Jesse Muhammad for FinalCall.com
With the widespread use of small video cameras, sophisticated smartphones and popular social networking sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, injustices are being exposed, global movements are growing and the people are expected to continuing rising up in 2012.
“Social media enables us to connect directly to like-minded people and get our message out quickly and without censorship. It enabled us to expose and reveal many facts that have been kept from us, and once people get the truth they demand change,” said Jasiri X, a popular hip-hop artist based in Pittsburgh, told The Final Call.
These digital tools have become weapons in the hands of the people, also called citizen journalists, seeking to spread relevant information instead the last celebrity gossip. Coupled with on the grounds mobilizations in 2011, Twitter and Facebook served as go-to vehicles by which people stayed abreast of, supported and disseminated updates on major headlines such as the Arab Spring uprisings, Occupy Wall Street, brutal military crackdowns on protesters in foreign nations, the execution of former Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, rioting in London, police brutality in U.S. cities, earthquakes and more.
“Social media has been invaluable because mainstream media has been co-opted and is bought and paid for by corporations intent on maintaining the status quo. People in power use the information or the lack of it to control the masses,” said Jasiri X, who uses his music to address social justice issues via his YouTube page that has garnered over one million upload views.
“First and foremost, information must be viewed from a different perspective in the modern context. As the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has stated, “We are at war” and the greatest weapon in this battle is information—it is truly a battle in the sky,” said Traci C. Muhammad, a library director for a liberal arts college in Arizona, told The Final Call. “When viewed from that stand point, then one can see that information is a strategic resource that enables the holder to remain in a position of optimum tactical advantage. It's no longer about the haves and have-nots from a wealth perspective, it is the haves and have-nots from a strategic resource management perspective,” she said.
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