Clarke Forum The New Culture Wars: Social Media Use & Racial Discourse


I found the The New Culture Wars: Social Media Use & Racial Discourse Clarke Forum event to be rather interesting. I also found one notable parallel to class, that being what defines a good citizen and how that narrative is shaped. In the Clarke Forum, the idea of how “whiteness” influences what it means to create a “good ,white ,central identity about what it means to be America and a racist.” This made me think of what I define as key characteristics of what it means to be a good citizen from an American perspective. I broke my definition into 3 key parts.

First and foremost, American citizens are responsible for obeying the law. This includes both federal and state laws. It is our duty to respect the authority of the government and to follow the rules that have been put in place. Additionally, we must also uphold the United States Constitution. This document protects our rights as Americans and sets forth the basic principles of our government.

Second, American citizens have a responsibility to participate in their democracy. This means voting in elections, staying informed about the issues that affect our country, and being involved in the political process. We must work to create a more perfect union by working together to solve problems and improve our communities.

Lastly, good citizens need to be active participants in their government. This means staying informed about what’s going on in government and taking part in the political process.

After attending the Clark Forum event, it is clear that many racial elements can hinder American citizens of certain backgrounds from being able to as easily or fully exercise my criteria of what it means to be a good citizen.
However, in the case of Yemen it seems that achieving my criteria is near impossible.
My first point for instance is difficult in the case of Yemen, due to the ongoing power struggle within the country. While the incumbent powers at be and the Houthi opposition have varying agendas and policies, especially with regards to what media is allowed and prohibited. Something as minor as criticizing the military could land you in jail for years! Whereas in America this is not the case. An interesting connection to the Clarke Forum event; the idea of the internet being a free domain for people to say as they wish does not apply for Yemen. In my time studying the state, I’ve read numerous articles of people being jailed for facebook posts negatively talking about the state of Yemen.
Regarding my second and third points, while Yemen is a republic on paper. It is not a function democracy, a select few control the army, the air force, the Presidential Guard, the counterterrorism unit, and the National Security Bureau. With this, being a true participant is incredibly limited.

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