John Palermo and Seven Stages of Internet Bigotry
Sooo, this has been a long and interesting week in social media. A lot of awful things happening out there, including a respected X-Men producer and friend of Hugh Jackman exposing himself as a racist and classist piece of human trash. Yep, old John Palermo was so bothered by Kanye West and Kim Kardashian buying a property in Bel Air, that he took to his Facebook page and wrote a rant that would make Professor Xavier cringe in its intolerance and frothing hatred.
I started to air him out, personally, for his idiotic behavior, but then I thought about it. This is an opportunity for Keeping it 140 to shed some light on a dang epidemic. I present you with the Seven Stages of Internet Bigotry, very likely the framework by which Palermo and his fellow no-longer-closeted racists live by. And here we go.
So, sure, you have the Confederate flag poster in your den, make racially charged jokes and grab your purse/smartphone harder when someone different walks your way, but it’s cool. This is America and you are entitled to your own opinions. Plus, the kinds of peeps you roll with don’t mind your issues with THE Blacks, THE Mexicans, THE Gays, THE (fill-in-the-minority). And yes, they are always, always a “THE.” But one day you get fired up about some news, an interaction you had in a convenience store, or a conversation with a friend and decide to go on ahead and take your views straight to your Facebook wall, Twitter feed, or Instagram account because man…you’re not the ONLY one sick of your rights as a White man/woman being trampled on, right?
Wow! That felt good. Why didn’t you ever share these thoughts before! So articulate. So powerful. So true. Hey, maybe it isn’t en vogue to feel like the only reason President Barack Obama won is because he is Black or like your jobs are being snatched by unseen illegal immigrants and affirmative action candidates, but man, does it feel right to just let that on out. Whooo sahhhh! Time to wait for the “likes” and “hell yeahs!”
Wait a minute. Did that one guy or gal you thought was totally on the same page with you just haul off and call you a bigot or a racist? Did they really ask you to take that statement off YOUR social media platform?! The nerve! You have never seen one person of color at any of their parties. And for all their self-righteousness, how would they feel if their son or daughter brought home one of THOSE PEOPLE? Exactly.
Uh oh. Another person calling you a bigot, troll, or other offensive name. And this person has a little blog or something, a healthy number of Twitter followers, might even know some reporters. Oh well, maybe you could delete the status/post. But then again, THEY would win. Nah, just leave it up. It’s cool. Post about something else…the weather, maybe. Moving on.
You’re caught up, and it’s getting real. You better start coming up with some excuses! Your computer was hacked. You were hung over and mad because a (Fill-in-the-Minority) cut you in the grocery store line. You were framed. You were doing an experiment to test humanity. You might lose your job/cooking show/product endorsement gig behind this. You realize now, it wasn’t worth it.
Well, that you got caught anyway. You meant what you said or you wouldn’t have taken the time to say it. But now it’s time for a half-ass apology and a declaration that you will take a sabbatical/do some self exploration/undergo sensitivity training in order to be a better person. All these angry e-mails and negative attention by PC police like Keeping it 140 are messing with you. Now just might be the time for that cruise you’ve been planning—to Alaska. Heck, you might be able to see Russia from your hotel.
Hmmmm…this feels familiar. Some minority is ticking you off AGAIN, and clearly needs to get checked. And you haven’t logged onto Facebook/Twitter/Instagram in a while. Should you say what you’re really thinking about the “THE” of the hour? Risk that type of ire and ousting again? Ah, what the hell…**starts typing**