Outrage Hustlers: the social media moneymaking machine

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pi...

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pizza Margherita taken by Valerio Capello on September 6th 2005 in a pizzeria (“I Decumani”) located on the Via dei Tribunali in Naples. Italiano: Fotografia di un’autentica pizza Margherita napoletana scattata da Valerio Capello il 6 settembre 2005 nella pizzeria “I Decumani” situata in Via dei Tribunali a Napoli. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past, people used the term race hustlers to describe people who profited from stirring up racial fears and anger. In some cases, race hustlers would declare themselves as the spokesperson for an event where racial incident occurred. They would seek the media spotlight and claim to be spokespersons. Unlike a normal spokesperson, the hustler is there to exploit the situation for their own purposes, which overlap with the victim’s case. [1] Often the race hustlers were outsiders who were veterans of such events and would know which media outlets to contact to gain coverage of the event. They used the incident for their political or personal ends while claiming they were helping the victim or trying to “solve” the situation. In some cases, the experienced outsides were needed. They would have the knowledge, ability, or connections to manage the situation and help the locals.

Contrived outrage can make you money time to get rich.

Today the situation has changed. The race hustlers are now overtaken by outrage hustlers. Social media reveals outrage is the new market. We can see this in the contrived situation in Walkerton, Indiana. In a town of less than 2200, an outside reporter asked a local pizza shop owner if they would cater to a hypothetical wedding event involving a homosexual couple. The pizza owner said no and the outrage began. Within hours, the shop owners received death threats and closed the shop. The interview became a web sensation and the various aggrieved parties weighed in stoking their respective outrage.[2] The outrage hustlers started to collect money for the shop and to harvest a political profit from the incident. Both sides, those for the pizza shop and those for the hypothetically aggrieved homosexual couple, have sought to profit from the situation.[3]

The outrage hustlers have arrived. Money and political profit are there to be harvested. Radical Chic is now updated for the social media age.[4]

[1] Race Hustlers can be defined as http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Race+Hustler (accessed 4 April 2015) A closely related term is race baiting. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/race-baiting (accessed 4 April 2015) One way to differentiate is race baiting is an attack mechanism, the event has not occurred while race hustling is a defensive mechanism, the event has happened. A less severe form of race baiting is known as “playing the race card”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_card (Accessed 4 April 2015)

[2] Consider this story that “explains” it. http://freebeacon.com/blog/memories-pizza-or-the-illuminati/

[3] http://news.yahoo.com/indiana-s-memories-pizza-raises-more-than–128-000-after-rfra-fallout-155504355.html (accessed 4 April 2015) Consider this report that states that this is exactly what is happening. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/perez-hilton-to-msnbc-right-wing-extremists-using-memories-pizza-to-deflect-from-real-issues/ (accessed 4 April 2015)

[4] Tom Wolfe wrote about this type of situation in 1970 with two famous essays Radical Chic and Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers. Today, instead of shaking down the government, the outrage hustlers shake down the public by appealing to their political prejudices. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_Chic_%26_Mau-Mauing_the_Flak_Catchers (accessed 4 April 2015)


About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
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