Give us our rights.

Human rights has been fought to have in stone for centuries, but even when worldwide human rights are finally placed, there are still discrimination’s against people happening every day and in our media as well. In chapter one of Media and Social Justice, discusses using media as a tool to promote social justice and human rights, but looking at the mainstream media’s track record it seems like they are more worried about finding issues to report about than promoting a simple right. Looking deeper into the article, it suggests using different subdivisions that fall under human rights, but in each scenario the media has been shown to fall on the opposite and unfavorable end of the spectrum.

“Black Lives Matter” image by Johnny Silvercloud  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

For example, when the “Black Life Matters” movement started up after multiple police brutalities against black people, the media had a frenzy claiming that black people were discriminating against other races. The media began to create the hashtag “all lives matter” in opposed to the black lives matter movement which therefore defeated the movement’s purpose. Human rights are supposed to mean that no one will be discriminated, harmed, or be controlled based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. If there is an obvious discrimination and harm of a specific race then people should not have to be shamed for protesting and using their voice to spread awareness of this. The violation of human rights was overlooked by the media because the movement was “dividing races” displaying the oxymoron of the situation since the purpose of it was to join races equally. This begs the question of what media do we trust if most of the mainstream media cannot even stand up for human rights?Our democracy relies on the information given my media, but if basic rights upheld in our constitutions are not conveyed then blogs, and activist media becomes the framework for our democracy. The framework of  activism media uses many techniques to engage true democratic concepts and social justice.

“Black Lives Matter” image by Johnny Silvercloud (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Many writers try to influence readers by emphasizing the concept of civic engagement and public space for all. They do this by reflecting on events through multiple viewpoints as if that one writer was on both sides of an argument. For example, in Sarah Jaffe’s Necessary Trouble, she talks about her experience at activist rallies which consisted of interviewing people to find out the history of the movement, and why people are fighting for the cause. She goes on to describe movements that actually conflict with each other’s values to show how people find groups that coincide with their values. Jaffe gave her readers the experience to place their own biases and opinions since the descriptions of the movements were purely factual in all perspectives of movements. This technique allows for civic engagement meaning that we can learn about other communities in order to make a difference and it also ties into the concept of our democracy. Democracy was founded on the morals of human rights and the ability to have freedom which is exactly how Jaffe writes; she gives all the perspectives of people making a difference so others can have the freedom to decide if they are with or against it. To refer back to mainstream media, their goal is not to coincide media and democracy, but to control what the population should think and do which in a sense is a violation of human rights.


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