Who Are These Internet Racists? No, Seriously, We Should Know

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FAIL
I've been on the Internet since American Online was introduced. I got my first dialup connection in the early '90s. So, I've seen more than my fair share of jackasses online. Most of them are trolls. They like to rile people up and cause a stir, probably because they have nothing better to do. This is commonplace on message boards and sites like YouTube where handles and privacy settings afford people the kind of anonymity required to say stupid crap over and over and manage to get away with it.

In the real world (or IRL as the Internet acronym goes), the types of things people say online would get them punched or shot or worse. They are the kind of things drunk people say late at night when bars close right before the cops arrive. In most instances, I just write them off as trolls or morons. But, when you go to Twitter, where people are often more closely associated with their real lives, or Facebook, where you are who your profile says you are most of the time, that tells me this is something you really believe.

Case in point, Sebastian de la Cruz. Cruz is 10. He's a singing prodigy who has been on America's Got Talent and was asked to sing the National Anthem at the Spurs playoff game against the Heat on Tuesday night. Cruz is native to San Antonio and his father is a Navy sailor. These are all-American folks in the truest sense of the word. But then you have this.

That's right, a bunch of racist assholes took to Twitter to decry Cruz singing the anthem dropping racial slurs and demanding he go home. Of course, he was home when he was singing, but that really isn't the point.

"This lil Mexican snuck in the country like 4 hours ago now he singing the anthem" -@A2daO

"This kid is Mexican why is he singing the national anthem #yournotamerican #gohome" -@Gordon_Bombay24

"Who dat lil #Wetback sangin the national anthem at the #Heat game????" -@Tj_Tha_Dj

"Can't believe they had the nerve to have a beaner sing the national anthem of AMERICA #smh" -@bdub597

Public Shaming has more complete with photos of the offenders. Not surprisingly, most of these accounts are now gone. A couple continue to fight the whatever fight, at least one by threatening essentially everyone who tweets at him to meet him in person. I'm sure he wouldn't say the same to the kid's soldier father, but then again, maybe he would.

Whatever the case, it's good that people do this. I'm glad they put a public face on their private feelings. It gives them a chance to be outed for their ignorance. Maybe it even gives them a chance to see that they are way off base. If not, it tells the rest of us who to avoid.



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11 comments
m1.3hzj
m1.3hzj

I admit I am racist. I live in the UK and dislike most other races, is it a bad thing? We are all allowed to have differing opinions.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

it's quite a bit different, as we can choose to live outside the beltway but can't choose our race. but i agree with you, the anti-suburb bias gets a little annoying sometimes.

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

Kinda how one of your writers was quick to judge and label everyone that lives outs

Ray Hadfield
Ray Hadfield

If you expose them,you will be exposing about 80% of the World.

facebookjunk_15
facebookjunk_15

First off, I think, while inappropriate, tasteless and often racist, the reaction Sebastian received was due to his Mariachi outfit.  If he'd had on the Spurs jersey he wore to the tv interviews he did the day after the drama, everyone would have seen an "American kid."  The mariachi costume is an outfit associated with a very specific Mexican music and, due to the mariachi costume's use in pop culture (film), many Americans associate it with Mexican people.  Unfortunately, anything you would blurt out as a gut response in your living room while watching tv, can now be amplified by twitter, and most people using twitter aren't exercising strategic communications judgement, so you're gonna get what you get.  That said, I had a friend on Facebook make an interesting point that, while he was disappointed in the racist tone of comments, he believes Americans are rightly upset about immigration policy and our government's failure to do anything worthwhile to stop illegal immigration. He said the comments were a manifestation of that frustration and I found that to be an interesting and thoughtful perspective.  Also-- to your question  "who are these internet racists?"  I think the answer to that is-- insulated middle America.  Get outside of diverse cities and this country is pretty white and black.  I had another Facebook friend, from Alabama, who recently went to NYC and was stunned and disturbed at the number of different languages he heard being spoken while walking the streets.  That is troubling because there are millions like him and those are the parts of the country that hate immigration the most and really see diversity as a threat to "the American way of life".  I don't know who lives in a bubble, us or them.

H_e_x
H_e_x

@Eric Dellafave Please won't someone think of the white men? God only knows it must be hard enough being a bald white man in this country.

Texano78704
Texano78704

Wow, this sounds like an apology for racism/bigotry.

maxatomic
maxatomic

@Texano78704 Agreed.  The rationale reminds me of the scene in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, when the Klan speaker recites all of the grievances facing insecure, southern white men, then announce, "So now, we'll hang us a ..."

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