By Rachel Benbrook Mason, Regular ContributorDecember 9, 2015
image via webchutney.uk
In today’s globalized society, there are so many ways to spread information and to use tools like social media to be a voice for current events and causes. Sadly, our digital age also provides many people with easy access to tools that can also distribute hate and disparaging remarks.
Susan Carland is an Australian personality who often appears on Australian talk shows wearing her hijab. As a result, she has become subject to a tremendous amount of anti-Islamic rhetoric through social media. She became so tired of seeing hateful comments about her and her religious beliefs on social media that she decided she wanted to push back against the hate.
Susan was inspired to turn hatefulness into something beautiful and wanted to use the platform that was causing pain and destruction to do good in the world.
She asked herself, “If they’re putting ugliness out into the world unanswered, how could I actually push back with something good? “
Susan decided that she would donate $1 Australian dollar to UNICEF for every hateful tweet she received. Unicef is a worldwide relief organization that helps people in times of crisis or poverty. “The idea of Unicef came to me because I thought they do such good work for such deserving people,” Susan said.
Susan Carland’s ability to take many people’s hurtful words and turn them into something beautiful is so admirable to me. I am so pleased to see someone standing up for what is right. Social media can be such a devastating place at times, and it can showcase the best as well as the worst in humanity.
No woman should ever be criticized for her appearance, and rhetoric that is hateful towards any religious or ethnic group should never become socially acceptable. Susan would have every right to be angry about the racism that has been directed towards her, but instead she has not only risen above it, she has used to it help many other people by donating to a relief organization that reaches out to people all around the globe.
Her attitude is inspiring. She claims, “I won’t let hate mold me. I can take back power. And not just power but positivity. “
I wish so many more people could be like Susan Carland. I feel that in today’s current climate it is very easy to often look to stereotypes of groups of people to place blame on them for events that are occurring. Even a racist tweet can have a negative impact, and it’s important that hate be counteracted with love, as that is the only way we will move forward as a society. Susan Carland epitomizes this and showcases what it means to rise above hate and make difference to the lives of others
How do you spread love on social media? Tell us below!
Rachel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Leeds where she studied Political Communications. She is a passionate advocate of strong friendships, caffeine, social justice, current events, travels and adventures, as well as all things peanut butter. She enjoys watching Parks and Recreation, as well as teaching English to new language learners.
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