As the world awaits the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, the threat of a race riot simmers in the background. The authorities in Sanford, Fla., have even been going door to door to warn people not to become unruly after the verdict in this highly publicized trial, according to a July 13 report on USA Today. Out-of-control crowd protests have become quite common and easy to organize in a short period of time thanks to social media.
The role of government has always been to keep things in our society organized. As the world has become more civilized, it has seemed that governments around the world have refined their legal processes to create an orderly society, although not always a democratic society.
Now, there is a worldwide trend where massive street protest is a form of participation in government. It started in parts of the world where people don’t always have a voice any other way. This article on Peace Magazine from Canada discusses the evolution of social media as a means of political change starting with Mubarak’s ouster in Egypt.
It now appears that civilized society has deteriorated toward mob rule during any time of political dissent. It may be something as simple as an unpopular verdict in a trial such as in the George Zimmerman case.
The fact that it is so easy to organize a hostile assembly through social media adds to the unexpected, explosive nature of these street protests. The very vehicle that could promote peaceful public interaction is being used to signal movements of frightening civil unrest.