Thursday, November 15, 2007

Facebook Users Want Answers about Racist Game

Below is the link to the Ethnic Newswatch article this blog is about.

In this article entitled, Facebook Users Want Answers about Racist Game, students who are part of the Facebook network came across a site that takes a stereotype to the next level by making a game of it. The group was called “How many Indians on the Bridge?” and the basic idea of the game was for people to count the number of Indians or “Aboriginal people walking across the Trans Canada Highway Bridge, also called the Duncan Bridge, as one drives across it.” People score points based on the number of people they count. A person is worth one point but people are able to get bonus points if they count drunken people, pregnant women, and mothers with children. People who are against the group stated that “they take a racial stereotypes of Natives and just think that all Natives are dirty and homeless and poor and drunks, and all reserves are gross, grungy and dirty. The people who were against this group “created an anti-game group called Quit it with Duncan Bridge.” The people within this group made many complaints to the Facebook Administration about the How Many Indians on the Bridge group but it took several weeks before the administrator of the anti group received a response. Within the response a customer service representative stated that the group was no longer up and not appearing on their sites so they believe that either “the creators or a Facebook administrator… removed the content.” After a year of this hate group being in existence it was now finally shut down.

I chose this article because Facebook is a very popular networking site which many people use. Facebook is a site created so people could be able to network and keep in touch with old friends as well as just a site where people could enjoy themselves. But this is not entirely possible if people are being offended by the content of some people’s fun and games. This article reminded me of discussions that took place in class regarding Johnson’s article entitled, Privilege, Oppression and Difference where he talks about privilege and how “the real illusion connected to difference is the popular assumption that people are naturally afraid of what they don’t know or understand.” (13) In other words, based off of stereotypes people think they know about a race but it is their fear of really not knowing that stops them from finding out the truth. It almost made me think about Johnson’s article called, Getting Off the Hook: Denial and Resistance, when he states “dominant groups practice this kind of denial, it rarely seems to occur to them that they’re in a poor position to know what they’re talking.” (109) In other words, people who are more privilege than others, white people in a better choice of words, deny they are doing anything wrong because to them it seems as though they know what they are talking about and it is the people of the accused or talked about race that is confused. I will end by saying this; people need to think about how they would feel if they were put into a situation like the one they put another through. “Do on to others as you want done on to you” is what my mother always says.

I found this article to be interesting because I am a member of the Facebook site and I never knew of a group like this which existed. It is very shocking to me that someone in this day and age would have the nerve to put up a site which puts another race down so they can have some kind of personal enjoyment. I do believe that Facebook should limit certain things or at least monitor the groups to make sure that it doesn’t offend anyone else’s nationality or ethnicity.

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