Huffpost Technology

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Evan F. Moore Headshot

Cause Shaming Runs Rampant on Social Media

Posted: Updated:
muharrem öner via Getty Images

Between the Ice Bucket Challenge, the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the continuing problems in the Gaza Strip, along with the amount of violence in Chicago, another trend I've noticed has taken social media by storm.

Cause shaming.

What is with the cause/charity shaming people have been involved with?

Here are some of my favorites:

"You dump a bucket on your head but you haven't said anything about Ferguson!"

"What about black-on-black crime?"

"What about the 80 shootings in Chicago last week?"

"You're a race baiter!"

"You don't know all the facts!"

When I read the aforementioned common shaming practices, I wonder if those people realize that they are doing the very same cherry-picking they, themselves, accuse others of doing.

When confronted with that retort, these people will read from the flash cards given to them by the cable "news" network they subscribe to.

Recently, I was involved in a Facebook debate over someone's perceived "sudden" interest in ALS.

One of the commenters went on to say this: "We never go hard for our own stuff. We are always trying to get a bus pass on their bandwagon."

My response: "Never? When did the outrage scoreboard go up? Are they giving out merit badges? The fact of the matter is that people often care about the things that matter to them. Guilt tripping someone into liking your particular cause appears to miss the mark."

The person I was trading responses with believes that African-Americans don't show the same interest in causes that directly affects them.

The person didn't back off of their stance even when I mentioned that a college friend, who is black, died from the disease last month.

I hope that person knew that ALS doesn't see color.

According to The ALS Association, "Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time."

They also went on to say that "ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries."

Then I saw someone say the Ice Bucket Challenge was a distraction to keep people from focusing on recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Last I checked, the Ice Bucket Challenge had taken off long before Michael Brown was killed.

The fact of the matter is that people often get involved in certain causes because something happened that directly changed their life trajectory. Whether it is fitness, congenital heart defect, being a victim of police brutality or exposing inner-city youth to baseball, someone has to start somewhere.

We should be happy that people are willing to stick their neck out on things that the general public doesn't know about.

I'd love to know why someone would get so worked up about someone they don't even know choice to dump a bucket of ice water on their head?

That doesn't stop them from doing whatever it is that they're doing.

Why should we shame someone for a race to something that doesn't exist?

That might be the true distraction.

From Our Partners