Information is liquid; hate speech is not
By Beatrice E. Rangel
The horrific shooting spree that left 46 devoted muslins dead in Christchurch, New Zealand seems to herald the arrival of waves of social wrath targeting innocent civilians. The fact that the perpetrator not only carefully prepared his manifesto but also streamed the dreadful event with a view for it to become viral gives the world a glance into what is to come as societies continue to be polarized around religion, race and gender. The New Zealand massacre as it is already being dubbed by local media demonstrates how far violence can go when ignited by hate speech. And hate speech has had a renaissance through globalization. Given that globalization is not precisely about to end all societies will be exposed to the consequences of hate speech.
This development strikes directly in the nose of those analysts and talking heads that have surmised the precept that globalization is the modern good fairy spreading benefits all over the world . Truth is that globalization brings benefits to some while severely and negatively impacting many. People negatively impacted by globalization include hose that derive their incomes from tasks that are being automatized. This includes clerks; attendants; customer service ; travel reservations; hotel bookings etc. And given the very limited resources to launch a reinvention, these people become alienated, poor and angry. In the US many of these individuals have become addicted to opioids as means to escape a reality that they fail to understand , let alone master . Others take refuge in religious groups that find in sin the explanation for the ordeal. Others simply float through cities with carry-ons engrossing the homeless population. For these people reality is incomprehensible and thus are fertile field for the seed of hate speech to take ground.
Hate speech expresses and incites hatred toward other human beings on account of some aspect of their identity. And as people tend to search for a culprit different from themselves when it comes to failure, hate speech facilitates solving the riddle. To an unemployed male worker, the entry of women into the labor force is the reason for their predicament. To white men and women, the ascent of black families into the middle classes has taken away their development opportunities. For radical Christians, the presence of Jewish, Catholic and Muslins in the country attract the wrath of god. And as rage brews into the global vagabonds hate speech penetrates society through the broken window of ill managed change.
The sad and murderous incident also brings into the forefront the notion of liquid modernity espoused by Zygmunt Bauman to describe our world which to his mind as a result from globalization and advances in stocking, processing and distributing information is in a permanent flux. This hinders the establishment of references that can guide people through change. People according to Bauman become rootless and bereft in their own reality. And this removal of references leads people to desperation and desperation invites hate. Thus while information becomes liquid because the abundance of information makes it very difficult for most human beings to process and absorb it or to create references, hate speech fills the gap creating logics to bereft and disconcerted people who cling to hate speech induced ideas as a shipwrecked person clings to a lifesaver.
Thus, while the world does not come to grips with the fact that global left behinds need to be retrained to become part of the digital world and that hate speech has higher destruction capacity than a neutron bomb we will be mourning, school children; muslins, blacks; women and all kinds of minority groups every other month.
Published by LAHT.com on Monday, March 18th, 2019
*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*
Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O’Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.