*A group of Black scholars and activists have banded together to rebuke misinformation, alternative facts, and other means of dissuading African Americans from voting in the 2020 presidential election.
The National Black Cultural Information Trust, a Pan-African initiative led by Washington, D.C.-based cultural communications specialist Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor, aims to counter fake social media accounts that often discourage Black voters from participating in elections.
“The disinformation used to target Black communities is cultural,” Aiwuyor said, according to blackpressusa.com. “It’s cultural disinformation, which uses cultural issues to infuse false information and cause confusion.”
Aiwuyor, who holds a bachelor’s degree in African World Studies, a Master of Arts in Pan African Studies, and a Master of Science, noted that fake or covert social media accounts that purport to be behind the American Descendants of Slavery – or ADOS – movement had prodded voters of color to skip the 2020 election. Aiwuyor pointed out one example of the misinformation: how social media used the ADOS hashtag to claim that immigrants, not police officers, were to blame for George Floyd’s death. Four police officers face murder, manslaughter, and aiding and abetting charges in the death of Floyd in May in Minneapolis.
The scholars and activists have pledged to monitor social media posts and flag those spreading misleading and fake stories.
“Black voters continue to face enormous hurdles in the U.S. electoral process. Voter disenfranchisement and suppression are at an all-time high, and this includes poll taxes, polling station closures in Black neighborhoods, voters abruptly removed from the rolls, gerrymandering, strict voter-id and registration laws, and much more,” said Aiwuyor.
Watch a report about The National Black Cultural Information Trust and an interview with Aiwuyor below: