Yesterday, there was an example of the great power of celebrity and social media (the greatest power?) exercising small responsibility.
The story about Trayvon Martin being shot to death by a member of a neighborhood watch patrol is well know. I noticed this morning an article about Spike Lee. He retweeted the address of a family “reported” to be the parents of Mr. Zimmerman, the man who shot Mr. Martin.
Mr. Lee is an internationally known personality. He has great power. He should take great responsibility for his statements. IMHO, retweeting what someone else said on this subject is being an electronic gossip. If he was not in possession of “the facts” he should stay silent. To his credit, Mr. Lee has apologized and paid for the inconvenience to the Zimmermans demonstrating he understands the principle of responsibility. I’m optimisitic he will learn what great responsibility is.
On a similar note, I think President Obama should have considered his great power when asked to comment on this tragedy. No comment would be reasonable from the President of the United States in a local case still under review and investigation by the Justice Department. Instead, bowing to pressure to express his opinion on such matters, he made some comments. He has weighed in on local issues before and it has not worked well for him, lest we forget the “beer in the rose garden” apology and comments about Occupy Wall Street.
Finally, social media is “Great Power” and it transfers to all who use it. The most powerful celebrities and public figures should be examples of how “Great Responsibility” is exercised so the least of us can benefit from their lessons.