Your Facebook Friend Said Something Racist. Now What?

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In this week's show, we offer a humble helping hand through a messy digital dilemma. 

Your Facebook feed has become the new town square. The new water cooler. The new [insert your analogy of choice]. Sometimes your far off "friends" and relatives share views far out of step with your values. It can get ugly. 

“One of my elementary school friends who I grew up with posted a story about hair salons accepting EBT cards," listener Tamika Cody tells us. "Some of her friends started to chime in. They poked fun at how African Americans spoke and how they were 'gonna get their hair did.' By the time they got to the whole 'Chinamen' and doing nails, I just said, 'you know what, this is just too much for me.'”

Tamika quit Facebook. 

Before you go that far, scroll down (or click play). We've called in the experts. We've commissioned a survey; consulted a psychologist about how racism on Facebook slips by; collected some personal examples; and we've adapted a tool for healthy dialogue into this handy flow chart for you to pin on your wall, physical or digital.


Some Data for You

We commissioned a survey from the market research company Survata. Of the nearly 300 Facebook users polled, 46 percent have seen a discussion about race show up in their newsfeed in the past month. Almost a third of them say they've considered blocking or unfriending someone over offensive comments about the news.

The Bottom of the Barrel

Among those numbers are listeners like Vishavjit Singh, who wrote to tell us about the reaction to his 28-second Facebook video, which has been viewed over four million times. Singh, who has a beard and wears a turban, shared what people said to him:


We've included a few other examples, and some smart, thoughtful, constructive ways to respond, in this week's episode.

What are you seeing out there, New Tech City listeners? Please tell us (and like us!) on our newly-created... you guessed it... Facebook page. 

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