Racism is far from being dead, and the last four years have proven that. The relentless Republican Tea Party attacks didn’t stop President Obama from winning a second term, but his victory spawned outrage among a unique demographic: young Twitter users.
These kids are mostly high school-aged, and not even able to vote, but their disgust at an Obama victory is clear. It’s also obvious that their parents and environment have had a major influence in their racist opinions. Some of those, unfortunately, were adults. Take, for example, the woman from Memphis, TN, who wrote, “Everybody go out and vote so we can get this n***er out of office!” The backlash against her tweet as a result of it being displayed on Jezebel.com, was so great, the woman was forced to make an apology. She called her tweet “inappropriate,” and a “mistake.” That’s all well and good, but how do you mistakenly call the President of the United States a n***er? How is it merely inappropriate?
Words like that express hatred and intolerance, and in this day and age, such words are not only unacceptable, on a public social network, they can kill your chances of landing a good job, or even a college scholarship. How about the young soccer player from Wichita Falls, TX, who wrote, “Yay for the money I’m gunna lose that I already don’t have because of the n***er in office.” First of all, how can one lose money they’ve never had? If this girl wants to get into a good school, that one tweet just might squash any chance she has because she has been revealed as not only a racist, but someone who lacks a fundamental understanding of how government works.
Jezebel users who read these tweets were quite naturally outraged, and one person made it her personal mission to dig up as much information about them as possible and encouraged others to send emails to their high school principals, employers, and even colleges to inform them of these offensive tweets. Some felt that was taking the vendetta too far, but one user from the UK, who goes by the name ‘thespiral’ felt differently. She wrote that in the UK, making such tweets, would possibly be grounds for arrest. Job applicants who used social media for abusive language would have their applications immediately shredded.
The “freedom” to publicly spout hate speech and violent threats without repercussion is hardly a universally recognized civil liberty. Nobody has an expectation of privacy, let alone a right, when speaking in a public forum to which they’ve attached their own names and faces. That’s a personal choice, and like any other choice, it carries real world repercussions.
Other tweets referred to President Obama as a monkey, while others wished for his death. More than one user expressed a willingness to spill blood and attack the North to “take back America,” which has been one of the most idiotic, xenophobic, and hateful things one could say.
The fact that people are using racial epithets to describe the president is indicative that their beef with him runs much more deeply than mere politics. Not even Bill Clinton, who was impeached for getting a blow job and lying about it, was the butt of such hateful spite.
The Civil Rights Movement may have ended more than 40 years ago, but people are still being dragged kicking and screaming into an era where they are expected to display a bit more restraint, respect, and racial tolerance. Many, especially in the southern states, fully believe that their attitudes are fine, but the bigger world is telling them quite resoundingly, “No, it’s not.”
It’s time for America to grow up and accept the fact that opportunities extend to everyone, not just to the people you prefer. The USA is, indeed, moving forward, and even those with backward thinking ways will need to start rethinking their beliefs.