Trawling Facebook for pages to use for the last post, and for this one, has brought me very close on numerous occasions to deleting my own Facebook. The amount of hatred, ignorance and mockery of serious issues that occurs on there sickens me. Eventually I didn’t delete mine, because I choose not to use it that way and enjoy using it the way I do (socially). I am of course not blaming Facebook for this, but it’s just horrible to see people’s hatred gathered and presented in words on the internet. I am aware it’s all over the internet. The difference with Facebook is that attached to the words is a name, a picture, and a profile, and if you click through to that profile, more often than not the people saying these disgusting things look like normal people. People you could have gone to school with, people you would have a drink with in the pub, people you might be friends with. In an anonymous internet setting, it’s easy to pretend that those making hateful, offensive comments are just ‘trolling’ or characterise them as horrible human beings and nothing else. Seeing it all on Facebook from normal looking people, a lot of which are the same age as me, makes me realise how entrenched these attitudes our in our society, and how acceptable they have become.
Let me begin with a group titled simply ‘Paki Bashing’. This, to the best of my knowledge, is described as a ‘sport’ in which people go around and ‘bash Pakis’. Quite self-explanatory, and utterly vile. It’s unfortunate that I’ve heard this term before I saw this Facebook group. Here is an example of what is said in the comments (leaving out names):
‘fucking muzzzie scum they shud b put in to a gas chamber bfor b in mulistated and b in forced to eat pork‘
Yes, that’s somebody saying that Muslims should be put into a gas chamber. A gas chamber. I can’t figure out if ‘mulistated’ is meant to spell mutilated or molested, but both are things you should not be wishing upon another human being for any reason, let alone their skin colour or religious beliefs. Here’s more:
‘unlike you we don’t fuck our cousins, marry children or stink. You would kill for white skin so fuck you raghead‘
‘You would kill for white skin‘? Wow. Anyone with this attitude needs to have a word with themselves. Your skin colour does not make you any better than anyone else. Your skin colour does not make you any different from anyone else. You are not superior to anyone on the basis that you have white skin. After reading comments like these, it comes as no surprise that 4,927 people ‘like’ the BNP, and 21,320 like the EDL. On the EDL group there is a girl who is either a troll or has multiple personalities, with comments ranging from ‘allah is a pedofile‘ to ‘I would sacrifice my life just to end racism and all of the evilness going on in the world‘. Whether she is unstable or simply making a joke of the whole thing I may never know.
One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings – Franklin Thomas
Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list –Dennis Leary
Moral of the story: People need to stop being disgusting and hateful to each other. People need to stop using Facebook to perpetuate damaging stereotypes. People need to be nice to people.