I think it’s pretty safe to say that racism is one of the most unaccepted immoral failings in our society. In America, racism is largely viewed as one of the shallowest forms of hatred reserved for people with low intelligence or ignorance of history. To be sure, racists are real and do find ways to express their racism, but they’re not exactly highly common, even if you count the open racists who hate white people.
But what society has done with racism is make it so evil that it became a way to make people uncomfortable for comedic reasons. In the time of the information age, no one appreciates making others feel uncomfortable more than the garden variety internet troll.
Trolls are a species of internet denizen that spends a lot of their time saying and doing things to make people experience negative emotion for their own entertainment. While some are far more nuanced and clever about it, the most basic ones reach for the bluest comedy they can think of and spam that. Usually, you can see this being done by kids or idiots.
If you’re an internet troll looking to make people angry or uncomfortable, the first thing you’d do is think of something that you’ve been told is the darkest of the dark. Society has spent a lot of time and effort telling us that racism is pretty much the lowest you can go, and there’s no form of racism lower than racism against black people. it even has a word you can’t say at any time or any place unless you’re black.
So, they do that. They spam “the N-word” giggling to themselves the entire time as they await the pearl clutches and angry responses.
There are a variety of flavors for this. Some just take Hitler’s route and begin spamming slurs and nasty things about Jewish people. Some are more topical and begin spamming horrible things about shooting victims, even if they’re children.
The kicker here is that most people see trolls and know better than to interact with them at all. Angry responses or well-reasoned arguments are only going to be met with more trolling. As such, most don’t “feed the trolls.”
But that doesn’t mean they’re not useful. No one loves a troll more than a leftist activist because these people allow the activist to claim there really is a wide swath of racists ready to bring our country to a place where people of color are hunted and have no rights.
Am I downplaying the racism in this country? No, I still think racism is horrific, but what I am going to downplay is the overblown idea that America is a deeply racist country where white people work tirelessly to bring about the death and destruction of anyone who doesn’t look like them. Moreover, I’m throwing cold water on the idea that online racists are somehow a grave threat to this country. They’re not.
What is a threat to this country are the people who want you to believe that online racists are a true threat to us all, not simply because they’re selling the idea that racists are far more common than they actually are, but because they’re doing that in order to distract you from the very real evil they’re doing.
The same people who threw tantrums and encouraged corporations to stop advertising on Twitter are the same people who defend transgendered dancers exposing themselves to children at “kid-friendly drag shows.” These are the same people who want these same kids to undergo life-altering and irreversible procedures to turn them into little foot soldiers for their cause.
These are the same people who view your taxpayer dollars as their personal piggy bank and use it to pay for things that keep themselves in power as well as vanity projects.
These are the same people who applaud destructive movements that burn communities to the ground and do billions of dollars worth of damage. They fling open the border and do nothing as horrific crimes rise within American communities.
These are the same people who want your rights curtailed, whether it be your right to bear arms or your right to speak freely.
These people are real threats to our society. Internet trolls are going to spew nonsense but at the end of the day, their words will fall largely fall on deaf ears. The focus doesn’t need to be on the kid spamming slurs, but on the grown adult who thinks their mission in life is to force hardship and immorality on you.