Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric against Mexicans during his U.S. Presidential bid announcement has sparked the wrath of Latinos everywhere.
“When Mexico sends its people,...they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people"
While a few immigrant rights organizations advocating have released statements against Trump’s comments, it has been the indignation of individuals offended and affected by his tirade that might achieve some change in tone, even if not genuine deed by Mr. Trump.
Social impact campaigning has traditionally been associated with well established entities within the non-profit sector. However, the reality is that individuals no longer wait on organizations to raise awareness on their behalf, instead opting to seek social change online within their networks. This is especially true when cultural issues emerge and the need to drown out the negative narrative against one particular segment of society is dire.
The internet is incredibly powerful for pointing out social injustices. All it takes is one catchy hashtag, a couple of friends to support and share your cause, maybe a video and anyone with internet access can become a campaigner. Just yesterday, a friend on Facebook suggested the hashtag campaign #TrumpTheTrump, where Latinos in the U.S. record 15 second videos debunking Mr. Trump's stereotypes and explaining our positive contributions to American society. I am working on my video as we speak.
The problem with internet justice is that it's not sustainable over a long period of time. New hashtags are generated daily. The trending topic today, won't be the trending topic tomorrow. Nevertheless, the underlying cultural issues remain the same. Issues with racism, discrimination, and prejudice will continue to re-emerge. Individuals will light the spark, but organizations hold the key to educating the masses on how real social change is created and sustained.
During the 2012 U.S. Presidential debate, GOP candidate Mitt Romney, used the phrase “binders full of women” in a response to a question on gender pay inequality. Viewers quickly reacted by creating a movement on social media. The morning after the remarks, the Binders Full Of Women Facebook page had nearly 300,000 supporters. The non-profit organization, Ultraviolet, collected even more support for the movement, which organically resulted in shifting the election's tone towards women.
In order to turn outrage into impact, non-profits must face up to the challenge of amplifying the message of the campaigns selected by the people. Non-profits have the opportunity to free up staff from procedure and sign off, and build support for user sparked campaigns into the organization's larger plans. The people are already telling organizations what campaigns will resonate. Our job is to amplify their voice and enhance their impact.