In less than 24 hours, social media has erupted in response to the Charlottesville protests.
A state of emergency has been declared for the state of Virginia, and protesters have been ordered to evacuate the entire Charlottesville area. This news came following the initial reports of violence at the hands of white supremacists who gathered for the Unite The Right rally, which was scheduled to take place earlier today. Counter-protestors have gathered in the Charlottesville area to meet these white supremacists directly, and the resulting violence — including the news of one dead and multiple people injured when an unidentified driver drove a car through a crowd of protestors — have left many feeling overwhelmed and powerless on what to do next.
Needless to say, what is happening in Charlottesville is not an isolated incident. Violence against people of color and other marginalized people have only increased following Donald Trump's election. With all of this in mind, it can be easy to feel helpless or overwhelmed by the cultural climate of what is happening in the news. But that doesn't have to be true.
Social media — and Twitter in particular — have heavily impacted the ways that education, information, and resources are shared across different communities and demographics around the world. Often, for Black and other people of color, social media can be one of the few spaces where our voices can be heard. Many activists utilize social media to spread information on current events, how it affects particular communities, and what kind of action should follow to put a stop to that violence.
Here are a few tweets from people on Twitter who are using their anger to education, vent, and share information on the importance of what is happening in Charlottesville.
For those who are looking for further action to take, calling your representatives is of the utmost importance. Now more than ever, your voice is needed to send a message to elected officials that what is happening in Charlottesville is not acceptable. White supremacy will not end overnight, but the actions that we take today can help to begin the process of ending it, one step at a time.