The Dark Underbelly of Social Media

F'n Scary Scarecrow

A few hours ago I stumbled onto a bunch of white supremacists on Twitter. I read their tweets and some of their blogs. They spoke longingly of throwing Jews into the ovens again and sending the wetbacks, spicks and micks back to where they came from.

I won’t share their tweets here or provide links to their websites. If you want to find them you can but they aren’t getting any traffic from me.

Instead you’ll get to hear some of my thoughts and I’ll ask you to think about these things too. You see I am torn about giving them free reign online. I am torn about providing a venue for them to spout their hate and an opportunity to make “friends.”

Part of me appreciates having the monsters come out from the closets and under the beds. I like knowing where they are. But not all of the creepy-crawlers show themselves. Some remain in the shadows and among those who come out there is still secrecy.

Take It Seriously

When someone says they want to murder my family and myself I take it very seriously. You don’t get a pass on this. A five-year-old would get a pass from me, but not adults. When you say you want to kill me I take it seriously. I believe you and I make a point to take precautions.

It makes me angry. They are part of the reason why we have security at school. They are part of the reason why so many synagogues have security. I won’t not send my kids to school and I won’t not to go synagogue because they might show up. I won’t give them that power but it doesn’t mean that I can’t be pissed off about it.

But there are degrees of anger and you don’t have to respond by acting crazy. I could have responded to their tweets or posted on their blogs. I didn’t do it because I didn’t see the benefit in it.

I didn’t do it because I don’t believe that they are going to engage in dialogue. We are not going to hug it out.  It is far more likely that insults will fly and I’ll tell them to go fuck themselves and remind them that they always lose.

But what is the point. I don’t need to wave my dick around and show them that I can piss harder, faster and farther. So you’ll see me vent just a little here and that will be that.

In between I’ll think about this and maybe make contact with organizations that deal with these douchebags.  In my mind the goal is out think and out maneuver them. But I would by lying if I said that I don’t want to see them get their asses handed to them.

 

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19 Comments

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  2. Bill Dorman February 9, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I hear ya, bro. It’s somewhat scary we still have so much of that close-minded thinking going on. When you talk of killing someone because of their race, religion or sexual preference; that is just intolerable. There is absolutely no place for it; zero tolerance in my book.

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  4. Annie Andre February 8, 2012 at 10:09 am

    when i read, see or hear of things like this i find it unbelievable. I believe it has happened but HOW and WHY? Like serial killers and swindlers, do they lack some sort of gene that tells them how to behave or have empathy or ….. just have human decency? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. You were so right not to give them traffic by linking to them. I can only feel sorry for them and their families and their future children. It takes a lot of energy to hate other people for no reason at that.

    • Jack February 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Hi Annie,

      I think that some of the are taught to hate at an early age and that this corrupts their way of thinking

      If some of them open their eyes and are given a chance I think things can change, but that is a big “if.”

  5. Gina February 8, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Pure evil and scary.

    This makes me think…who raised such idiots?

  6. Betsy Cross February 8, 2012 at 6:09 am

    This morning as I sat in the church paring lot at 6am, waiting for my 2 children to finish their early-morning religion class I thought about light and love and influence. And I prayed to remember who I am and to be able to resist that darkness that you talk about that is such a huge distraction and waste of time.
    That’s all I want: to remember that one at a time we can make a difference.
    Thanks,Jack.

  7. Eli February 8, 2012 at 5:18 am

    I adore you 🙂

  8. Bell February 8, 2012 at 3:36 am

    There used to be a long-running slogan in the punk rock community: “Don’t give fascists freedom of speech, because they won’t give you yours.”

    Freedom of speech means that people will say all kinds of unsavory things. That doesn’t mean it can’t be regulated. In Germany, pro-Nazi speech is outlawed. Understandably.

    The thing about Nazis is that they lost. They lost, irrevocably. And they will go on losing because their aspirations make no sense and their thinking is illogical and groundless. They will go on losing because hate is their guiding light.

    Author Peter Levenda studied neo-Nazis in some depth. In his book, “Unholy Alliance,” he writes about hitching a ride with fascist skinheads and getting lost because “the master race couldn’t read a map.”

    History has moved on, and they cling to fantasies of power. That’s all they have. Useless, violent, mind-warping fantasies. These fantasies need to be confronted and exploded.

    • Jack February 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Hi John,

      I tend to operate from a marketplace of ideas perspective meaning that you give voice to many and the best will rise to the top.

      When we limit speech it creates a slippery slope so I am always cautious about it.

      While I want to believe that we will never have to deal with these jerkoffs again I don’t have enough faith in mankind to say it is impossible.

      There are too many examples of people giving in and allowing horrific things to happen.

      That is why I support reminding and remembering. It was the Cossacks who chased my great-grandparents through the fields.

      And it was Joe Somebody who called me a kike and discovered that I know how to dislocate a shoulder and move your nose.

      Not very comforting words, but like you said we need to confront their fantasies and help them find a different perspective to look out upon the world with.

  9. Stan Faryna February 8, 2012 at 1:57 am

    It’s out there. It’s here with us. Can you feel it breathing on you neck? Hate. Confusion. Misguided anger and misdirected pain. In short, evil. It exists. It’s real. It’s like cockroaches. If you see one, you know there’s a thousand out of sight but near by just the same.

    I think about our children and any children for that matter, wow, I hope they don’t stumble upon that.

    This is not a problem we can solve easily or once and for all. The existence and contagion of evil, the problem of pain and anger, and the evil use to which dark intelligence plots with cunning ambition.

    Somewhat reluctantly, I am coming round to an understanding that MLK Jr was right about hate.

    He said:

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

    Though, I don’t think he meant for us to love up the hater. I suppose he meant for us to hold on to our love for our shared humanity, our common good, and our highest hopes and dreams. And not just hold on, but to feed it, fuel it, and to let this love shine far and wide.

    Perhaps, the truth will set us free. Not the kind of ever-more devastating shock and awe that thrills the stormtrooper mentality.

    In yesterday’s blog soup (Wednesday’s Women), I write about Bonnie Greer. She confronts lies and confusion with certain savvy and warmth. I think we can learn some things from her. And others.

    • Jack February 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Hi Stan,

      I don’t think that hate against hate works very well but I do believe that sometimes you have to stomp on some people so hard they don’t dare think to respond in kind.

      When you reach that point sometimes they will actually engage in dialogue. But it certainly isn’t the best way of getting things done.

  10. Hajra February 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Hey Jack,

    I am so sorry you had to go through this. But yes, not giving them the attention makes you the bigger person definitely. But I wonder, why are we surrounded by so much hate.

    When I was new to blogging I was called a terrorist when a person in the blogging world made it a point to attack me being a Muslim. My religion is my area, why does anyone bother coming and attacking it. Just because someone decided to do something outrageous in the name of religion, doesn’t give anyone the right to generalize.

    When they send me hate mail, when they talk about reporting abuse on my blog (for no reason, they just don’t want a Muslim blogging) I get scared; but I think “Barking dogs don’t really bite”.

    • Jack February 8, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Hi Hajra,

      It is not the first time I have been exposed. If you go back a short way into the archives you’ll see a lot of posts on religion/politics.

      Those generated a lot of heat and more than a few emails that were less than friendly.

      I have a very thick skin so most of it slides right off of my back. But that doesn’t mean that I ignore it entirely.

      If something gives me a funny feeling I notice and address it.

      • Hajra February 8, 2012 at 9:56 am

        I will check out the posts.

        What is your take on these issues now? Whether they should be addressed and bought to senses. Or is it better to leave them as ignorant as they are and really don’t bother because they might not really understand?

        I mean, isn’t religion something personal. There are good, bad and gray people everywhere irrespective of religion.

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