Blog Post #8
“Have We Become Postracial Yet? Race and Media Technologies in the Age of President Obama.”
I truly believe that Barak Obama earned the title of the first Internet Presidency. He has been the only president who has been able to cater to social media users and in a sense turn them into voters. He made politics and voting sexy and appealing to the young voters and people of color. Aside from becoming the first black president I think that Obama gave the young people hope which is why they took to the internet to make his campaign successful, they did their own type of campaigning. This campaigning made politics understandable for those who don’t speak the politic language.
So what does this have to do with digital social activism? I think the fastest way to make movements go viral now a days is through the use of digital campaigning, but I also think this is the fastest way to get nothing done. For example lets take into consideration Kony 2012. All it took to have thousands of people buy into their social movement was a powerful moving, well edited video go viral. Their movement was a great idea but was it fake? To this date I do not know but I what I do know is that I fell for it myself (I’m glad I wasn’t dumb enough to buy what they were selling) but I was too young to actually participate in it.
Kony 2012 Video
The reason why this works for Obama and it continues to work for Obama is because he continues to use digital campaigning through his appearances on TV something that no president hadn’t done before. He has social media accounts which politicians didn’t participate in before, but then again twitter became popular around 08 which coincided with his campaign. He also strategically uses the voices of powerful Youtubers who have a following, to gain voters interest and vote. Example of this would be Alphacat who impersonates him and is an advocate to Obama’s presidency. His videos are made for an audience that is young, like the older voters would say “this is what the kids are listening to nowadays?” The reality is that the videos make a lot of good points in a comical and to a catchy tune. This can mean people will possibly go out and do research and vote or just vote becuase of what they heard in a spoof like this.
Alphacat Spoof of Obama’s re-election campaign:
I want to point out “how race and ethnicity get re-represented, remixed, recoded, redeployed, known and understood generally in digital media interactions, such as in game play online databases, friendship/ social networks, blogs grassroots community organizing, listservs, IMs or SMS (short message systems), hate speech, etc. This is especially the case where online activism around the phenomenon of the Obama campaign obtained.” This brings me to my next question, was Obama capable of attaining the title of the first Internet Presidency because of his culture? This is not to say that all the social media attention he received was positive because they did make fun of his race with stereotypical things and a lot of voters regretted voting for him because he didn’t accomplish what he promised. Whether you agree or disagree that his success was due to his ethnicity one this is for sure, Obama was the trendsetter that made it possible for other politicians to really use social media to launch successful campaigning.