My friends often wonder why I loathe Facebook. Aside from the near-constant vanity and narcissism which so many members of my generation are so committed to displaying, Facebook serves not merely as an annoyance, but a threat to the dissemination of ideas and beliefs.
Though other social media outlets have their niches, Facebook is nearly the only game in town for comprehensive social media activity. As such, it serves as a dangerous gatekeeper of what is and what is not “acceptable” speech.
To be clear, this is not a First Amendment issue; the First Amendment protects citizens against governmental intrusion. Facebook is not the government and thus we have no right to free expression on their pages.
That does not, however, make their restriction of speech ethical.
Recently, amidst the wave of black supremacy infecting universities across the country, a student union formed at the University of California- Berkeley. This student union was meant to represent the interests of white students who have now become targets of the race-obsessed left who have mixed their radical brand of social justice with good ol’ fashioned political extortion and threats.
However, after several news outlets (including PolitiStick) reported on the brave stance by the white students, the page was removed by Facebook.
Apparently, blacks bullying and abusing students is acceptable forms of advocacy but maintaining a student union to represent the plights of white students is, somehow, unacceptable.
Reactions to the white student union’s formation has not been kind. Though some have maintained that the formation of the student union has been a hoax or a designed stunt to troll political activists, the reaction to the perfectly-legitimate idea has highlighted a noxious strand of racism against whites that must be remedied.
CBS reports on the reactions to the formation of the union:
Students first spotted the page Friday. The site claimed the goal was to “unapologetically provide a safe space for white students to air their true feelings…” about the “challenges European-American students on college campuses face.”
“I think it’s just people who are racist, or don’t realize they are racist,” said Nikola Kendis, a student at UC Berkeley.
Kendis said minority student unions provide support for students facing systemic oppressions, something she says white students do not face.
“That’s not a thing. There’s no oppression. Like, what?” Kendis said. “No, I don’t need protection from a white student union.”
And yet the pages have been popping up all over Facebook, at least 30 pages for several universities in the past few days alone.
Students said the pages make a mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’m not gonna lie. I was a little pissed off at first. But I’m not surprised,” said Ridwin Mohamednur, also a student at UC Berkeley. “I mean, a lot of folks are tired of hearing about black issues, the Black Lives Matter problems.”
Chancellor Nicholas Dirks responded with a statement on Monday, saying, “While UC Berkeley honors First Amendment rights, we do not endorse this attempt to create conflict and make light of the efforts of activists locally and nationally.”
It is true that the history of America is intertwined with a sad history of racism with whites persecuting blacks. However, white students in their 20’s who have never seen a segregated lunch counter are now the targets of rampant harassment, intimidation, threats and racial slurs and yes, even a return of segregation with black students barring whites from “their” area.
Facebook is a danger to the free expression of ideas and while they are within their rights to operate as they wish, users should be mindful of their manipulations if they intend to rely upon social media for their news and information and should make their voices heard to Facebook that they have a moral obligation to restrict all controversial speech or none at all.
My two cents? A free society has never been harmed from having an abundance of information and viewpoints available to the people.