I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Some of my pet peeves have already been addressed in a previous post. However, after the barbaric slaughter of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, I have noticed that the social media priority police are out in full force again.
As expected, Cecil’s death sparked widespread outrage in the media and on social networking sites. While many of us may not have known about Cecil’s history prior to his death, stories about the manner in which he was lured away from a sanctuary, shot with an arrow, stalked while in suffering, killed with a rifle, and then beheaded went viral.
Consequently, there was outrage about the outrage mainly because the Cecil’s death received more attention than stories about Sandra Bland- an African American woman whose death while in police custody was ruled a suicide.
Now my timelines are filled with so much outrage and sometimes I can’t keep up. There’s outrage about Sandra Bland’s death, outrage about Cecil’s death, outrage about the outrage about Cecil’s death, and outrage about the lack of outrage about the investigation into Sandra Bland’s arrest and death. Confusing isn’t it?
What folks need to understand is that highlighting the killing of an endangered animal does not trivialize the brutality involved in the arrest of Sandra Bland. People are quite capable of caring about more than one issue at any given time. I care about Sandra Bland, Cecil the lion, if Douglas is really going to stay at FC Barcelona, and the weak attempts at dissing by Drake and Meek Mill. You get my drift?
Why are people so inclined to tell others what should be priorities in their minds? Obviously, it is impossible to sound off on every possible ill in society. Or would the social media priority police prefer if people stay quiet in general? You don’t have to pit one issue against the other for relevance. Yes, I understand that more retweets, hashtags, reblogs etc. creates more visibility, and, to some, more legitimacy. However, at the end of the day people will unite on some causes and not others. I will never expect everyone to fight the same battles.
Additionally, if people choose not to discuss an issue on social media, it does not necessarily mean that they don’t care. Maybe their data plan has expired. Maybe they’re away from Wi-Fi coverage. Or maybe they’re just not in the mood. Just saying….
There is enough outrage to go around. If a cause does not matter to you then so be it. However, attempting to compare the two forms of injustice is counterproductive. Both are important, albeit for different reasons.
Why dictate what people should be talking about? At the end of the day Black Lives Matter, Sandra Bland matters, and Cecil the lion matters.