Hasn’t criticising Twitter activism and other forms of online campaigning become the easy target of the day? And doesn’t it say so much about the critic?
A very good post from IndigenousX on the topic:
Unlike a group of Aboriginal people so small I could give them all a ride in my car at the same time, most of us don’t have the PMs ear; we don’t get to directly influence which Indigenous programs live or die; and we don’t get to have our opinion pieces published in whatever paper we choose to publish them in whenever we feel like it.We don’t even always get asked to comment about stories that we personally instigate on Twitter (with a couple of exceptions as mentioned earlier).We don’t even get asked or notified when they publish our tweets.If you want to get fired up about something, get fired up at the way the media misrepresent Aboriginal people and issues, and don’t publicly chastise us over what the media choose to quote us on. It’s twitter. People talk about what they are eating for lunch, post pics of sunsets and kittens, and talk about whatever else grabs their attention. You are very active on Twitter, or your approved account is at the very least. And you should know better. You know full well that the media avoid us like the plague when we do get fired up (which we do more often than not) about education, employment, incarceration, youth suicide, health, mental health, racism masked as patriotism, media misrepresentation, leadership, government advisory committees, and a whole range of other issues that matter far more than a dodgy T-shirt for sale. Most media only refer to us purely to generate the idea that all we get upset about is trivial matters. There was no ‘Twitter storm’ as reported, and Aaron handled himself like a champion throughout the whole ordeal, managed it as best he could, got a great outcome, and should be applauded for how competently he navigated it. Not contemptuously spat on from one of the less than a dozen Aboriginal people who can get any issue raised in the media whenever they want to, and maintain a strong voice within the media through to its conclusion.
And a great article from Sarah Burnside in The Overland:
There might, in short, be a great deal more going on in the tampon protest and other such actions than a simple desire to feel good: what is taken for narcissism or exhibitionism may in truth reflect despair. Further, viewing the tampon missives against this broader context, we might observe that this is a protest rather different in character from the archetypes of ‘hashtag activism’. This is not a twibbon or a Fuck Abbott t-shirt. Instead, whatever one may think of the wisdom of the endeavour, it is an attempt to communicate directly with someone who wields actual power. The action is individual, yet is taken in concert with others: a kind of fragile collectiveness.
There is arguably among many Australians a strong wish to help improve our country and in so doing to be part of something bigger than the self. The question is how this desire can be harnessed, how we can work together to craft a politics rooted in solidarity and care.
Like I was mentioning here, there’s a lot of criticism of the left happening at the moment, sometimes by the left, and much of it is fairly nonconstructive and disengaged and also pretty uninformed. Tiresome.