There is an interesting phenomenon going on in our society. It is a phenomenon that most have heard of, the vast majority never use or pay attention to it specifically yet it is being used to drive the hysteria that is currently exploding across our country.
It is “Twitter”.
Probably the most self absorbed talking group imaginable.
For the people who are wrapped up in it, Twitter is all important. It is where most of the mainstream media goes to get leads for stories. But more than that – they read tweets in the effort to get to what they think are the concerns and state of mind of “The man on the Clapham Omnibus” . (That reference is to a metaphor describing a reasonably well educated man, ordinary and reasonable that was used by a judge in England to give a picture of “ordinary people” as guidance for a jury). Rather than getting outside of their bubble of comfort, they “research” on Twitter.
But Twitter is not representative of anything other than a place where people fire off short pithy (sometimes mildly interesting) messages, or to snark at others. It is, in short, the place where gossips gather. And nobody else. The main consumers of the Twitter Brand are consultants (PR and political), politicians and a whole layer of people who dabble and scrabble. There are also many many accounts called ‘bots’ these are accounts set up to auto generate tweets whenever certain key words are used – in this way a large amount of tweets are generated and it all looks like an angry blizzard when it is. For the most part it is “sound and fury signifying nothing” to quote Shakespeare. So what we have are algorithms being triggered by keywords in some tweets which unleashes a storm of bot driven traffic. This storm then generates fear in the hearts of the PR people who have bought into the “Oh Twitter is the voice of the people” and they encourage their principals to follow the suggestions of the triggered bot mob.
The problem then becomes that many organizations, concerned over their “image” and wanting to be “out in front” of things use the impressions that their PR people have gathered from their exhaustive work on Twitter (cough, ahem) and then take what they think is remedial action. This leads to ludicrous examples of virtue signaling – the CEO of Chik-Fil-A washing the feet of black people – not sure what he thought he was making up for with that. Or the Police Chief that kneels in response to a crowd. All the kinds of things that make most people go “what on earth????”
The truth is that most people that I have met in the USA are just not racist. They either do not care enough to be racist, or they are too busy working on the exact same issues that all races are working on – how to hold a good job, make a good marriage, bring up good children and have a great life. IN my 67 years of living in Europe, the UK and the USA I have never bumped into anyone who even mentioned “white supremacy” – ever. I have met people who had generalized bad impressions of different nationalities but race was not the common denominator causing the dislikes.
I fear we have come to a point in the USA – and possibly in the West where the collapse of trust and credit in the media is irreversible. For too long the media has seen itself as being above the people it is supposed to inform, the media itself has been beholden to groups of partisans who wish to see an agenda advanced and not a populace informed.
As for the corporations that jump and shy at everything that doesn’t reek of rainbows and unicorns – there is a Darwinian force at work, I think, which will, eventually work itself out and not to the advantage of the virtue signaling prone. Again I have yet to talk to or with any friends who are impressed with the likes of Amazon, Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea, the Premier League in the UK, Facebook et al and their seemingly endless desires to impress upon us that we are sadly in need of educating by the woke businessmen. Time will tell. I think the companies that will come to the fore will be those who prove that they stand for themselves and are content to let their customers do as they wish.