The New Forum For Hatred: INTERNET COMMENTS

I grew up in the civil rights era of the 60’s & 70’s. I witnessed one of the most powerful movements of non-violent protest and reform ever recorded in the USA and possibly even the world. I saw the emergence of a new breed of freedom fighters who fought hatred with non-violent civil disobedience. As the era of live television news coverage began I saw all the images of MLK and thousands of others who willingly allowed themselves to be beaten, bitten by dogs and jailed in order to make the point that the racist Jim Crow policies of segregation, discrimination and overt racial hatred could not be tolerated by a so called “free” nation any longer.

The effects of the uprising of both Black and White people against the latent remnants of slavery were powerful and long reaching. Because of the sacrifices of these great people who embraced the moral cause of equality for all Americans, I saw many changes take place. The in your face “Racist dogma” was no longer tolerable by the mainstream and the ugliness of racism was exposed for what it truly is. I saw many changes taking place as African Americans began to gain an electoral voice. Suddenly, the inequities of the past became fashionably “just” causes for White politicians and celebrities. It was a long battle and struggle that still continues even to this day. Even now that we have a bi-racial president (notice I didn’t say Black) we still have a constant stream of racist rhetoric being cast upon the masses through radio, TV and the newest medium: the internet. There have been many celebrity and political careers that have been destroyed by having their inert racist beliefs exposed to the public. Many comedians, actors, columnists, sports figures and other public entities have been caught making racist statements and have been punished by being ostracized by their professions and the public.

The result of this has caused the minions of hatred to retreat to more anonymous modes of hate speech. The single most frequent form of racist jargon has become the internet. In particular, racists have found a wealth of opportunity for hate speech through the comment sections on internet articles. This cowardly approach has become widespread due to the expansive nature of the internet as well as the ability to assign ones self an anonymous identity. They then scour the internet looking for any article about people of color and they leave their nasty racist comments for the world to see. I call these folks present day “bathroom stall ranters”. You know? The folks who use to write stuff on the bathroom stalls like “If Black is beautiful I just shi##ed a masterpiece”. They did their business and left their crap in the crapper knowing that some unsuspecting Black person would be forced to read it for a few brief moments. Now, these cowards have found a forum that guarantees they will get the exposure they crave for hatred. They look for any article about any Black, Hispanic, Asian or Arabic person and they write their little racist comments in the comment section. You can find this stuff on almost any web outlet including Yahoo, MSN, AOL and even on BET. A favorite place for racist banter has become sports web outlets. If there is an article about a Black athlete you are sure to find some racist comments beneath the article.

What bothers me most about these comments is the fact that most of these web outlets have clearly written rules about inappropriate posts. Yet, very few of them actually police and delete the racist crap. They will go on record as being non compliant to racist or religious bigotry but they actually have a “do nothing” policy when it comes to their comment pages. It is startling to see how many people of hate there are out there. They are the cyberspace KKK whose sheets are actually an anonymous I. D. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself. Go to any article on the internet about a person of color and you will find them there writing and spreading what they consider to be witty negative comments that are laced with overt racism. No one and nothing is sacred or shielded from these rants. They spread out right lies about public figures and do it knowing that their anonymous identity shields them from facing any adverse penalties for the despicable things they write. These cyber cowards have found a place to vent without having any repercussions.

So who are these people and why are there so many of them? I suspect that they are the racially frustrated folks in every community in America. They are the under mass that has always felt the things that they write but have been scared off by public civility and the possibility of getting their asses kicked if they said their beliefs to a Black mans face. They are the people you see every day in our stores, parks, churches, legislature, social service centers and practically any where you go. In some cases they are the your next door neighbors. They smile at you but are secrety calling you the “N” word under their breath. They are racist cyber bully’s who get immense pleasure by insulting any one who looks or believes anything different from how they look or believe. The internet “sheets” are covering their actions and their identities. The internet has become the new forum for hatred.

So, what can be done about it? Well, all anyone can do that may be effective in stopping them is to complain to the host site about it. Sometimes they will delete these racist rants and ban them from posting on their site. By adding their individual I.S.P.s to the ban they can prevent them from creating a new I.D. and starting all over again. The one thing we should not do is respond to them with a counter post. They love that! It gives them more ammunition and targets to literally attack. Reporting them and ignoring their rants will take away the power they have to incite and intimidate. We must force the web outlets to diligently police themselves. If they fail to do that then we must boycott the articles they write. When they see that their articles are no longer receiving the attention (hits) they have previously received, they will begin to enforce the written policies they have in place.

Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about the hatred that exists within the hearts of some people. Racial hatred has been around for many, many generations. It seems that it is human nature for people to look down on other folks just because they look or believe something different. It’s called ignorance. I believe that the only way we will ever be able to get rid of racial hatred is to breed it out over the course of many generations. When the entire world becomes mixed, there will be no one left to hate because we will all be the same. Of course I could be wrong, I have been before. But that’s how I see it.

Your comments are welcome here, but be aware that I screen them all. Shouldn’t everyone?