All Eyes on You


When everyone’s phone is also an HD camera, racists have far fewer places to hide. Worldstarhiphop.com is a video blog that features rap music, but more relevantly, public fights caught on tape. Most of these fights involve racism, sexism, or anti-gay slurs and a disturbing view of America that the major news organizations don’t want to publicize. Worldstar was founded by Lee O’Denat, a hip hop fan from Cleveland, he refers to his website as the, “CNN of the ghetto.” Similar to websites such as LiveLeak, WorldStar does not have any of the content restrictions that keep YouTube relatively clean. Because of this, the website is now the online hub for street fights, acts of vandalism, and public sex acts, averaging 1.1 unique visitors a day. All of the videos that are uploaded are stamped with a Worldstarhiphop.com watermark, and not only just one logo, but five or six that bounce around the screen while people in the video throw plates at one another in the middle of an Oakland Denny’s. This site is so integral the public fighting culture, the bystanders to fights now frequently shout “Worldstarhiphop.com” while they film those involved. I find it kind of disturbing that these people had become so dissociated with the violence they are witnessing, that their first thought is about how many views they will get on Worldstar.

 

“Because of its African-American identity, it has the potential to be sued by some viewers to create or fueled stereotypes of urban America as an out-of-control, chaotic space dominated by young, violent, african american men.” – David Zurawick, The Baltimore Sun

What David says is somewhat true, people associate Worldstar with black youth and culture. However, this is mainly because of the website’s name. If you actually look at the site, you will find videos of people from all races acting like idiots. Ironically, despite its reputation, Worldstar shows no signs of discrimination. Now, I can’t defend the comments on these videos that spout racism, but it seems like everyone on the internet turns into a racist when they have the protection of anonymity, regardless of what site they are on.

I agree that there isn’t as much racism in America as there was in the past, but to be honest, it’s not like past generations set the bar too high. There is still much work to be done, not just in America, but worldwide. The explosion of social media and prominence of cameras everywhere now allow for violent acts of racism to be caught on tape and shared publicly. Last week an Australian man berated a French woman on a bus for speaking in French. Other people on the bus heard what he said and vocalized their support for his racism. Any other time in history, these people would have suffered no consequences for their actions. But now, their faces have been seen by millions and I imagine that will have some effect on their lives. While this wasn’t a case of vigilante justice, it is the sign of the changing times. In the past, the Klan had their hoods to hide behind, but today racists have fewer places to hide in the ever shrinking shadows.

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3 responses to “All Eyes on You

  1. I thought this was a very interesting post. I like it how, instead of discussing the overall amount racism increasing or decreasing over time, you discuss the increasing evidence of racist or prejudice activity due to the development of technology. This is very interesting to think about because in the past there was certainly a lot of racism that takes place, but there is such a large percentage of this activity that is completely lost over time due to the lack of documentation. I am undecided on the matter. On one hand it is good that racist activity is readily available because society can know about this activity and attempt to decrease it. On the other hand, it is frankly sad to see all of this activity because its too bad how much racist activity goes on these days in America.

  2. You make a very interesting point regarding the evolution of racism by way of the internet. I never thought about how detrimental the internet can be. People have the freedom to post practically anything that they want, it is often revelled for its freedom; but it really can be a weapon.
    Your post reminded me of Dave Chappelle and his decision to end his show on comedy central despite its success. He ended it because he felt he was promoting black stereotypes and making fun of his own people. It seems that World Star Hip Hop which was started by a black person should take a lesson from Mr. Chappelle and reflect on its website.

  3. You make a very good point about how it’s hard to get away with anything nowadays. I’ve seen some pretty disturbing videos on that website and it ruins the images of people. If your getting caught on camera fighting someone for example, this could prevent you from getting jobs down the line. If your dumb enough to fight then you’re probably dumb enough to post a video of it online. There are a lot of stupid people out there and World Star Hip Hop exposes many of them.

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