To turn a phrase from President Obama: Let me be clear.
I’m all for freedom of speech. I recognize that social media allows us unprecedented access to said speech 24/7—or as some folk seem to do it, 24/8.
I find it refreshing that instead of having to rely on the standard channels—news media, billboards, graffiti, bullhorn—the ways you can express yourself to the world are limited only by your own creativity.
But I would be lying to you if I denied wishing that certain people would experience a personal Y2K that kept them from going online for a very, very long time. In fact, there is a subset of these individuals I wouldn’t mind seeing chained to two old Commodore computers with a Twitter bird coming to nibble on their innards periodically, Prometheus style.
That might sound medieval, but hear me out. I am still incensed at the online treatment of an adorable Black boy whose mother’s stuck-on-stupid co-worker decided to make the subject of a racial roast. This cretin, identified as Gerod Roth, though his FB profile was “Geris Hilton” took a mocking selfie with little Cayden in the background, posted it on Facebook and then lorded over responses in which the tyke was called a litany of things, including a Sambo, a slave and a “pour” child. (Apparently, that lack of moral compass is compounded by lack of access to a grammar and spelling guide.)
The man who made a joke of this innocent child (and I am using the term “man” loosely here) has apparently been dealt with, at least according to a Facebook page reported to be the property of the company where he works. Or at least, did work. Polaris Management Group is being credited with this valiant and moving defense of young Cayden and his mother. Unfortunately, as of Oct. 6, Mr. Roth has still not gotten a clue and had the audacity to call himself a victim in the situation.
Good luck with the it’s-my-friends’-fault defense, sir.
I hope to see similar headlines stemming from the companies, organizations and troll bridges where these other race-baiting beasts worked, including a seemingly unrepentant commenter who goes by “Baron O’Malley.”
This latter louse went straight up Rudyard Kipling and addressed “Dark Twitter” on his Facebook page with cringe-inducing words that essentially prove he is a 100% fool: “These malicious allegations that are being brought against me are completely and incontrovertibly untrue. Despite what you may have been led to believe, I can honestly assure all of you that I dindu nuffin. Sincerely, Barón”
Sincerely, though? I feel my blood pressure rising as I re-read that. It also gives me Post Traumatic Stupid Disorder in remembering similar feats of online awfulness, including a dollar store owner’s evil spawn who decided that Black patrons were fodder for ridiculous and bigoted captions he shared with equally mentally feeble friends.
The cycle of stupid continues.
Yet let’s end this Social Studies examination on a hopeful note. The bright side to emerge from this most recent Facebook fool’s action is that it offered the world an opportunity to meet a cute child and his awesome mom who set the record all the way straight with this uplifting statement and birthed a supportive trend on Twitter.
— ☥ Ife Johari ☥ (@IfeJohari) October 4, 2015
Also I am grateful that Cayden most likely has little understanding of what transpired between his mother’s former co-worker and the insane clown posse he calls friends. I’m willing to bet on it because I am a thirty-something struggling to understand the logic of those who are this cruel and morally misguided, both online and in life. I highly doubt they will ever get a clue, or a proper dose of humanity, but perhaps as they spend their days scouring the Web for new employment, they’ll have much less time to act like characters from Quentin Tarantino’s Candieland plantation.
YOUR TURN: What do you make of these brazen online racists? Are they really this dumb or do you think they are emboldened by friends who support and add to their actions?
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VP, Head of Digital Editorial