If you were a space alien, or maybe just offline for a couple of days, and then logged on you’d wonder what the heck exactly people were talking about online this week! I know I would – hoodies in the House and pink bowling balls!? Has America lost its mind!?
The division and polarization in the United States during this election year would be laughable if it were limited simply to images and tweets of a U.S. Representative wearing a gray hoodie on the House floor or a little boy choosing a pink bowling ball to roll a strike. But these two trending terms this week on our social media networks – “hoodies” and “pink bowling balls” – are code for the ugly racist and homophobic rhetoric that is stemming from the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black teen in Florida who was shot by a white man and the presidential campaign of notoriously homophobic ex-Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
Space aliens and Americans who’ve been offline will be shocked to know that there are people in America who think it’s okay to shoot and kill a black person if he is on or near your property while wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. There are people in America who think it’s okay to tell little boys that having anything to do with the color pink – even a pink bowling ball! – will make them gay. For anyone who thought feminism knocked down gender stereotypes and made it okay for little boys to play with pink, need we remind you that this division and polarization was merely taking a week off from attacking women. While Rush Limbaugh remains on the air, we hear his advertisers really are down, in spite of his protests to the contrary.
Meanwhile, other online buzz this week included:
- Women knitters and crocheters are having the last laugh, sending homemade “ladyparts” crafts to offensive lawmakers who want want to take away rights, health care and force needless invasive procedures upon us.
- Facebook and other social networks are looking into status updates that indicate a user is suicidal and how to get that person help that might save their life.
- Some people in that ideal smartphone demographic (under 40, urban, professional) are still using “dumbphones”; and
- Pinterest users like to buy things.
Read about all these stories and more at our Online Media Roundup. Get up to speed on the stories you may have missed, and join the conversation – especially the ones debating social issues like racism, homophobia and misogyny. Don’t let bullies control these dialogues. Make your voice heard.