On Thursday, as Trump signed his executive order and his press secretary fielded questions about the COVID-19 milestone, it seemed those stories might dominate American news.

But social media, in large part, ensured that the world couldn’t look away from the ongoing toll of another plague, which has preyed on Americans for generations.

“Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed,” the actor Will Smith told Stephen Colbert in 2016. Colbert responded, “The revolution is not being televised, but it’s being tweeted.” Four years later, both remain. true.

Early in the week, bird-watcher Christian Cooper shared a video on Facebook of a white woman calling police and falsely claiming that Cooper — who she referred to as an “African-American man” — was threatening her in New York’s Central Park. The video went viral. So did one posted Wednesday of a man in Minneapolis calling security on a group of Black entrepreneurs, who he refused to believe were allowed to use the gym in the building where all present were commercial tenants.

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