The Problem with Twitter Activism...


I love Twitter. I really do. I've met so many fascinating, ratchet, interesting, out-of-pocket, classy, ignant, unforgettable people there. It is definitely a quick and painfree way to reach a lot people in a short amount of time. Twitter can open your world to people and ideas that you may not have been exposed to anywhere else.

With one glance through my columns on TweetDeck, I can know the weather worldwide. Sports scores, the latest Obama sighting, who said what in Congress, what's up on Wall Street and what celeb just did something regrettable. Who died, who got pregnant, who started dating, who just broke up - it's all there to see. I also know who is reading what, watching what, eating what. And I know what the latest soapbox issue of the day is as well as ongoing causes and campaigns.

Never was this more apparent than with the case of Troy Davis. I can tell you who is for and against the death penalty, who believes the justice system in America is fatally flawed and who is still an eternal optimist. I can tell you who had never heard of Troy Davis before Monday and who has been blogging and tweeting his cause for years. 

Either way, it doesn't matter. We are able to (finally) get our issues heard by driving trending topics that news organizations pay attention to. Whether or not Twitter manipulated the trending lists to "shut down" the Troy Davis discussion will be hotly debated for months. What we do know is that by attempting to shut down a topic, they actually drew more attention to it. And that's great... though not good enough. 

I need folks to understand something fundamental about activism... it still requires action. It's awesome to draw attention to the wrongs of the world by tweeting about them but at some point, you have to get up from behind your keyboard and stand up for what you believe in.

I say this right now with less than fourteen months to the 2012 elections. If no one else sees the direction this country is heading in, I'm happy to be the one to tell you - it's not good. Tweeting, Facebooking, and blogging are great vehicles to share opinions and disseminate information. But I'm going to need folks to do a bit more than rant in 140 characters or less.

Ranting in tweet after tweet about how the Supreme Court ain't sh*t does very little. Putting people in office who can shape the judicial system and fight for what you believe in? It's everything. Everything.

Quite simply, I ask this of you:

Vote. Take others to vote. Join a phone bank. Learn who your representatives are and how to contact them. Buy a t-shirt, write a check, support a candidate, go to a debate, get into it. No one is going to do this for you. Get yo' tweet on, find like minded individuals and mobilize. Your tweet is only as good as the action behind it. It's going to take more than keyboard bravery to get this country on the right track. Vote.

And before you ask, well what are you doing Ms. Michele? Don't worry about me. I'm all knee deep up in Organizing for America. Plus I've got some covert ops style ideas I'm running with. (If Rick Perry disappears, he may or may not be wrapped in purple satin and locked in the trunk of a German sedan while being forced to listen to R&B hits of the 90s. But you didn't hear it from me)

The revolution will not be tweeted, people. (You can count on somebody to shut that down) it will be in the streets and at the polls. See you there. Thoughts?