I’d like to introduce you to a couple of friends of mine. Actually, I wouldn’t exactly call them friends and I don’t know them at all. But I can bet at this point, they can use a friend or two right about now (of course, these young ladies are probably pretty popular with a certain group of neanderthal knuckleheads by now). Anyway, these youngsters – with a chip on their shoulders roughly the size of the national debt – decided to make a name for themselves by invading the internets with a long and drawn out rant about black people. Check it:
Boy, oh boy. Where to start?
First, I should point out that the video above does not belong to the young ladies in question. Their original video has apparently been removed, but not before it was copied by several other YouTube users. So if you feel compelled to visit this video, remember you won’t be addressing them directly. Some people – like me – have posted this video for informational purposes.
Secondly, I freely admit something: I’m actually on board with at least a small part of their rant. Anybody who has frequented my blog, followed me on Twitter (if you haven’t yet, you need to! LOL!), or friended me Facebook would know that I am often very critical of black Americans and many of their socially destructive pathologies. People abuse systems of social welfare all the time. Many black people engage in certain embarrassing and socially awkward behaviors, often motivating my tongue-in-cheek “Reasons Why I Hate Being Black…” commentary. So one would be too hard pressed to say these girls weren’t at least partially correct.
Also, I freely admit that I, along with many middle class folks I know, grow quite frustrated with a system that does very little to benefit people who are doing their best to make ends meet. I can’t count the number of times I’ve winced at the final total of my grocery bill, only to watch the person ahead of me whip out their magical bridge card. I can’t count how many times the fact that I somehow “made too much money” locked me out of services that would be extremely beneficial to me (earning a Pell Grant, for instance). I think it’s for this same reason I understood exactly where Mitt Romney was coming from when he made his comments about poor people (as a side note, there are some fundamental issues with how he perceives poorness and “safety nets.” But that’s a conversation for another day).
For the sake of this argument though, it’s entirely unfair to juxtapose Romney’s comments about the poor and these girls’ commentary. The girls in the video don’t stop at issues of class status; instead they also dedicate a considerable amount of their rant to the way black people speak and their lack of intelligence.
Thing is: I have nothing to say about their comments. I think the video speaks for itself. These girls clearly have some type of repressed and racially motivated sentiments brewing deep down and this was their opportunity to vent. Added to that, their tirade – repugnant as it is – is still protected by free speech. So we’ll leave all of that where it is. But if there was ever a cautionary tale about the dangers of the Internet, this would be it. I can’t begin to imagine how damaging this video might be to these young girls down the road. Immediate consequences have already been felt, not only through expulsion from school, but also from the scores of threats they and their family have received. But from a long-term perspective these girls also face the very real possibility that they have damaged some of their college admissions opportunities, scholarships, internship prospects, or even job opportunities. As I’ve stated before, even when a person is protected by free speech, they are NOT protected from the consequences of their speech/actions.
To be sure, these girls are not a celebrities or some other public figures. So I don’t except them to get thrown into the spotlight over this (one can hope, for their well-being). But they – and indeed all of us – must take away an important lesson from all of this: the Internet should be seen as a permanent entity. The effects of what we broadcast to the world can have a longer lasting impact than the few minutes it took us to become fixtures on the Internet. Use caution when posting. Please.
One thing’s for certain. This experience will definitely served as a learning tool for other youngsters regarding the dangers of the internet. Oh, wait. Scratch that.