It's easier to come up with reasons why racism is still a huge American reality than it is to try and cite evidence to the contrary. Every time this whole 'Black president' thing happens, overly-optimistic (or willfully naiive) people are quick to claim that everything is okay, or very close to it. "My country can't be racist! Our president is a Black!" Alas, the moments that find President Obama shining the brightest are also the same ones during which the country's many bigots boldly reveal themselves.
Just as they did in 2008, racist goons took to the internet to vent their frustration at having four more years of a POTUS with a Black face and a Black wife and two Black children running around the White House. All the visible Blackity Blackness makes a 'real American' go mad, you know? It's hard out here for these White folks. After 43 consecutive White presidents, the country has clearly become a place of no standards. A place where some guy can just come in out of nowhere and just take over for no other reason other than the fact that he's Black. This reverse racism is killing us all!
A quick search for the word 'n*gger' on Twitter during election night turned up a motley crew of the country's best and brightest thinkers, who choose profound ways to express their malcontent at the outcome of the election. Buzzfeed and Jezebel both compiled lists of some of the worst offenders; my favorite has to be "F*ck you Obama you cocky sucking sand n*gger."
If that wasn't bad enough, there were also a few people bright enough to Tweet their desire to see or have President Obama assassinated. Because that is what that n*gger CLEARLY deserves for his radically anti-American policies such as opening 24-hour mosques on every corner, forcing public school children to memorize Gil Scott Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" and encouraging all citizens to exercise. That crazy Mooslim!
The greatest comedy came from the "R.I.P America" tweets. It's as if these poor children were all Bone, Thugs and Harmony and the United States was Uncle Charles, y'all. They eulogized the country with such poetic remembrances: "We (America) has only lasted from July, 4, 1776-November 6, 2012 R.I.P." We has only lasted but for so few years! And now, alas, we has died. WE HAS DIED.
All jokes aside, the fact that there are so many people willing to publicly express these views on a social media network with their faces (and in some instances, their names) revealed is troubling. It's one thing to hide behind an fake picture and alias to post on Stormfront or troll liberal sites; it's another to boldly stand behind your bigotry. Where do these people study (poorly), work and live that they can behave in such a way without any fear of repercussions? Are their bosses, teachers and neighbors just as wrought with hatred? What happens when these people are working in hospitals, entrusted with police badges, allowed to teach children?
One of the most infuriating things at hand is the fact that so many of these people are lower or working class folks who have so much to gain from the second Obama term and stood to lose greatly if Mitt Romney had been elected. They are more likely to be in the failed GOP candidate's despised "47 percent" than not, yet they are angry with the current POTUS as if he stole something, which he did: the sense of total and complete White entitlement. The idea that a Black man who is certainly brighter, more accomplished and more capable than they could ever hope to be won something on his own merits cannot even compute in their tiny little racism-addled brains. Thus, the best response they can come up with is "The n*gger won."
Whether the racist Tweets (or Facebook posts, or blog comments…) make you want to laugh, scream or cry, do note that if you report these people for offensive content or spam enough, they will likely lose access to the social media platform in question. Will that stop them for good? No, but it's always worth reminding folks that there can be consequences for their actions and that there are many of us out here of all creeds and colors who take offense to this sort of behavior. Plus, losing your Twitter following of 145 and having to start all over is probably a bit annoying.
Wonder how much they'll be complaining when they accept Pell Grants (well, those who can actually fill out a college application), health care benefits and access to jobs that were created by "the n*gger." In the meantime, I guess we can just laugh in the face of their disappointment to keep from crying at the reality of the state of the nation.
Jamilah Lemieux is the News and Lifestyle Editor for EBONY.com