Screenshots: The Extremely Racist Comments About #Ferguson on Facebook & Twitter

We all knew that there would be this sort of backlash in the aftermath of the Ferguson verdict: a bunch of whiny social conservatives and oblivious white folks making commentary about how they supported Darren Wilson, Ferguson PD, or completely derailing serious discussions about race in the USA so that they can make it all about white people or “black-on-black crime”. I saw it when Zimmerman was freed, I saw it after Oscar Grant and Eric Garner were killed, and yea, I see it now. And it isn’t limited to just shouts of solidarity with Wilson for “doing the right thing” *barf*, but extends to outright threats against people who defend Mike Brown’s honor or racist memes (yes, let’s call it what it is–very racist) floating around making a mockery of people of color for having the AUDACITY to discuss RACE!*gasp*

I want to be clear about something going into this article: I’m white. But even as a white person the comments I’ve seen made me sick to my stomach for the past week and there have been many occasions where I wanted so badly to punch my computer screen. I can’t even begin to imagine how these bigoted statements affect people of color. I’ve had to block and ban people off of my profile and pages for their commentary (yes, I WILL ban people for being racist, because racism doesn’t count as “just having a personal opinion”–it’s freaking BIGOTRY). My friends and political colleagues have had to deal with this sort of political polarization/isolation as well. So I’ve decided to collect their experiences and mine through screenshots and post them online for people to see. I am hoping that the people making comments similar to these will see this mirror image of themselves and think twice before engaging in hooliganism (but I won’t hold my breath).

 

Dear White People: It is about race. Read the comments and you’ll see. The USA is not a post-racial society.

 

I want to make it clear that the commentary you are about to see is unaltered and uncensored (except for the names). This content may even be potentially TRIGGERING because of its very nature (threats, racism, racist apologism, victim blaming, etc) and some posts even utilize the “N” bomb. So please EXERCISE CAUTION if you decide to continue reading.

 

 

First we will start off with the typical “WHAT ABOUT THE WHITE PEOPLE?!?!”/”JUST GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!!!” statements:

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Then on to the pro-police, victim blaming statements:

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Some classist, racist “thug” and “animal” statements:

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Some threats made to Ferguson protest defenders:

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With a dash of miscellaneous psychopathy (not quite threats, but still extremely disconcerting):

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And some commonly posted Facebook memes:

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Some people don’t believe in solidarity I guess…

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Yea, I’m just going to come out and say it: Every single person who posted these statements and memes should be fucking ashamed. I mean seriously. How on earth do you even sleep at night with this sort of mentality fluttering around in your brain? Do you seriously think it’s acceptable to support a police department that has multiple links to the Ku Klux Klan? Are the conversations so upsetting to you that you have to try and derail serious discourse about racial oppression so you can place the spotlight back onto white people or yourself? Do you fear equality so badly that you have to send threats to people that you disagree with? Have any of you even glanced at historical texts since high school? You do realize the US was built on the backs of Blacks, with the blood of Native Americans and Immigrants, and with stolen land from Mexico? Racism is part of the very fabric of this country, and yet you really want to sit here and cry because nobody wants to talk about white people?

The United States isn’t even close to being a post-racial society. I think I’ve proven that fact with this publication alone.

Mental Illness Tips: How to Be An Effective Supporter

Yesterday I spoke with a friend of mine that was having a rough time with personal relationships and finances. She suffers from mental disorders as well, which as many of you know can play into the phenomenon known as suicidal ideation.

Well, I had to do a great deal to make sure she was calmed as a result of someone on a suicide hotline gas lighting her experiences and emotions. She was told that she was working herself up over nothing, that she has options that she’s choosing to ignore, that it’s all in her head and she needs to just get over it, etc. Basically things that no professional working for a suicide prevention hotline should ever say.

And so as a person who has loved ones go through tough times, and as a person who deals with mental illness, I wanted to make a post to raise awareness about what to say and what not to say to someone who is suffering from mental illness of any kind and reaches out for help, especially if they are having thoughts of suicide.

What NOT to say:
(1)–“I know you are going through something, but it doesn’t help the situation if you always dwell on it. You need to just be happy.”
(2)–“Things are not as bad as you are making them out to be.”
(3)–“I think you are remembering things wrong” (often said to people with PTSD, believe it or not).
(4)–“I don’t believe you are actually suffering from XYZ. You look fine to me.”
(5)–“You just need to get over it. You’re bumming everyone out.”
(6)–“The best way to get over XYZ is to just grow up and face your fears.”
(7)–“Stop crying. You’re just making it worse.”
(8)–“I think you’re just taking everything too personal.”
(9)–Don’t just start rattling off all of this advice on how they can make all of their problems go away and get happy quickly. Many mental illnesses are lifelong ailments that need professional treatment. Statements like “just get a different job”, “just cut everybody off”, and “just move on” don’t help at all.
(10)–“You just need to go see a doctor” (understand that a lot of people do not have health insurance, and so many resources that they need are not available to them).

What to say/do:
(1)–When they need to talk, shut up and listen to them. Don’t invalidate their statements. Don’t tell them to buck up and get over it. Don’t start talking about yourself and your problems. People call help lines because they typically need to vent and need someone to hear them out.
(2)–Educate yourself on what it means to actively listen to people when they need someone to talk to.
(3)–Don’t, in any way by any means, start calling them crazy for what they are feeling and going through. Validate their emotions.
(4)–Be there for them when they need someone. You don’t have to give them a bunch of physical resources, but just be a person they can trust when they need an ear or to lead them to professionals who can help them if you are unable to. Usually hotlines are helpful. If one doesn’t work, try to find a different one that will.
(5)–If someone in your life has a mental illness, be actively supportive by educating yourself on what it means to have that illness and what those people go through on a daily basis. Many forums have tips for supporters on what they can do to help their loved ones.
(6)–Follow up with them periodically to see how they are feeling. It’s nice to know people care about what someone is going through.

Quick Thoughts: Comedy and Rape Jokes

TRIGGER WARNING for discussion of rape

You know how all of these comedians seem to be placing the brunt of their shows on making rape victims the butt end of their jokes? I just really don’t understand what they think is so funny about rape? No, seriously. I don’t.

I mean I understand the social dynamics of it (namely, rape culture and patriarchy make the mockery of rape victims, who are predominantly women, acceptable because– well –subjugation of women by men is socially acceptable). But what about on the individual’s level?

I mean what exactly about this heinous crime makes people go, “You know what I think I’ll do? I’ll antagonize people who’ve been raped. I’ll antagonize people who have faced this sort of torture and have had few people believe them when they speak of it.”?

And I really wonder how these comedians come up with some of their rape joke material. Do they all just come into some kind of a pow wow after a breaking story about how yet another rapist got away with it and start brainstorming?

I just imagine someone like Daniel Tosh sitting with all of his buddies bouncing ideas off of each other for the next show:

“Hey guyz! What if we mention how someone got beat up before being raped? That’s, like, super funny!”

“Oh wait! What if we high lighted the fact that no one believes them when they go to the hospital or police when they try to seek out help?!”

“No, dude! GANG rape!”

*the group busts up laughing*

“Oh I know! What if they get diseases from it?! HAHAHAHA!”

“You know what the funniest part about rape is? People fucking get PTSD from it! Watching someone tear themselves apart after trauma is funny because they pretty much were given a life sentence while the perpetrator lives their life happily!”

“Yea, man! That one! PTSD is hilarious!”

I mean seriously?!? What kind of sociopathic asshat genuinely thinks rape is funny?