How could we possibly become one world? Without the presence of some kind of magic or a supernatural force? Well, even though we may not be able to fully understand it, this has in fact occurred. Technology has rained down on us like an unprecedented hail storm that suddenly appears as you make your way home after a beach day. And while it’s true that technology has facilitated a lot for our society, amid all the newness that surrounds us, the way we interact has also changed. From this, we have all become acquainted with globalization, which can be malleable enough to spread the good, the bad, and the in between. Though globalization has had a significant impact on our society, let’s focus on its effect on racism. If globalization sheds light all around, then racism is also subjected to that spotlight.
Globalization is nothing more than the extension of things (food, point of views, music, etc) in our world and their accessibility to everyone. However, it is important to note that globalization is not a concept that was recently introduced to our world. In actuality, globalization has its roots embedded deeply since The Silk Road, which was created around 130 BCE, was a road that allowed China to trade with the west. This road allowed for trade goods, such as spices and silk, to flow through within these regions, making it one of the most ancient forms of globalization. Of course, now in our present day, the way globalization is expressed is a bit more different. Our globalization now utilizes technology as its vehicle, so influencing others is no difficult feat. Furthermore, globalization has branched out in various subcategories. From all the several subsections that have surged into existence, I principally want to accentuate the one called cultural globalization.
Cultural globalization focuses more on the phenomenon of our instant communication and how reachable information is due to the internet. Technology really has connected the world. A retweet here, a shared page over there, the unanswered phone call, and the text message you’re waiting for, are all part of cultural globalization. This particular subsection of globalization concentrates on the cultural differences and customs of other regions of the world and how conveniently it can all circulate among various societies. Of course, having this type of technology allows people to become influenced by whatever screen stares back at them. And while positive impacts have derived from cultural globalization, it is not always the case.
In an unforeseen manner, the gravity of racism around our entire world is being highlighted. Social media and messaging platforms are vehicles of the distribution of any messages that may want to exist out in the world. The reality is that these messages or any social media-based content can potentially be harmful. This is exactly what transpired with racism. The internet made space for hatred, and it somehow gained popularity. When I speak of spaces of hatred, I mean blogs, videos, and sites that have gotten together to exercise their hate towards a particular group for no apparent reason, but there will never be an excuse for racism. And unsurprisingly, violence as hate becomes more prominent.
To go back to basics, the foundation of globalization lies in the ability to communicate freely for the purpose of gaining something in return, be it goods, ideas, or a different cultural aspect. Nevertheless, what is communicated does not always have the best effect, which brings me to the prominence of violence that has been imposed onto the world — thanks in large part to cultural globalization. One of the reasons that ]violence is something that has been developing at a more rapid pace could very well be due to the ill-natured content that has become so easily attainable. Being that the web now houses plenty hate sites, such platforms have fostered other behaviors to emerge aside from their irrational dislike towards any specific group.
It should not be so surprising to learn that violence can (and does) derive from anything that focuses on so much hatred. This includes but it is not limited to hate crimes, in which people are physically and emotionally assaulted. A prime example of the portrayal of hate crimes is the way official authoritative figures are reacting towards certain types of groups and/or races. It keeps happening and there is little room to deny the statistics that state how not all groups of people are affected by this.
With all this happening, it is almost impossible not to realize how alive racism still is. What is even more mind-boggling is that history books have taught us that racism ended several years ago, but this does not seem to be true. Perhaps we simply did not have access to instant information as we do today, which allowed discrimination to be silenced easier. It would make sense, especially with how much importance we, as a society, place on the documentation of facts. Can you imagine how much significant information has been omitted from the world because it was purposely undocumented? Scary, right?
However, writers, artists, and even lay citizens have always spoken about the constant inequalities towards already marginalized groups. Let’s take a quick look at the National Woman Suffrage Association, for instance. This association was established by Susan B. Anthony, who as many know, was one of the more influential pioneers to urge the United State’s government to allow women to vote. While Susan B. Anthony did pave the road for this basic human right for women, this does not mean that the movement was all-inclusive. Instead, it was inspired by other women of the times during which they along with Susan B. Anthony often chanted angrily at government officials for allowing men of color to vote before her kind. It is preposterous for this to have occurred, but what is even more baffling is how blatant racism was used to promote women’s voting rights.Yet many didn’t blink an eye at the idea of this type of attitude. Instead, the world stepped over racism to avoid shedding light on it.
Currently, despite all our cultural progress, it is no secret that hate crimes due to racism and other types of discriminations have increased. With one click, anyone can view the next trending topic, even if said topic relates to modern-day racism.
Thankfully, the flip side of this scary reality is that globalization is now slowly but surely also being applied to help the world. The same clicks are now being used to inform people of the right actions to take when racism or any sort of discrimination is expressed. It truly is up to us to teach one another to use their access to technology properly. To report hateful or discriminatory content. To spread love and empowerment for others.To be empathetic. To share positive experiences to which others can identify. To comment back to somebody who seems to be having a hard time. You never know what a single sentence may mean to someone else. Be the change with the changes that have been imposed upon us.