Monday, November 7, 2011

Surviving race-troll arguments on the internet [race]

The days of your friendly neighborhood race-troll claiming black friends as an infallible excuse for not being a racist are long gone. These days, when a white person makes an insesnitive, inflammatory, or otherwise stupid racial comment on the internet, they pull from a tried and true arsenal of passive aggressive 2520 debate tactics. I've seen many a fellow well-meaning negro get caught up in the web of internet racial debate, and it makes me sad, y'all. It really does. 

Fortunately, I'm here to help. After extensive research, I've come up with what are perhaps the top 3 "Now why would you misconstrue my calling you a porch-monkey as racism?" arguments that white people (especially those really thoughtful, non-racist ones) use on the internet, and how to combat them. (I don't cover straw men and other hallmarks of bad debating, and you shouldn't either. Also, "I have a black friend/s" has been used to death, and I ain't talking about it no more.

That being said, put on your marchin' shoes, friends.

1. Racism is over. This isn't [insert Civil Rights Era year here]

  This is probably the most frequently used argument by the internet race-troll. It's the go-to. Take any situation even remotely racially charged, have a stance on its wrongness, then defend that stance, and watch 6 out of 10 white (or fake internet black people) people throw this at you.

What to do: 
  • The Rational Choice: Ignore the statement with class. Don't waste your energy and bandwidth trying to explain something to a person that has already made up their mind. or.... 
  • The Irrational Choice: Just point out to them the most racially-charged story that you can find. Whenever they reply, post the link or specific sections from that story that shows how racially motivated it was. Repeat until the person stops replying or until real life becomes interesting to you again.
See, these folks aren't really saying that racism isn't over because they actually believe it. They're saying that dumb ass mess because they want you to see that they can deny the presence of racism even when it has one foot up their ass. They're also showing you that they can marginalize the day-to-day struggles of an entire group of people. Why argue with somebody who can conveniently forget or ignore something that's so in their face?

2. "I get stopped by the police all the time too, and I'm as white as the driven snow", A.K.A the "Mr. Me Too" argument. 

White people like to trivialize racial experiences by saying that they experienced a similar situation than you, O negro one, and their experience wasn't tainted by that many-headed elephant, racism. This argument is one of the premier weapons of the race-troll, as it derails you and serves to more often than not make you go off on a "This trick can't be serious." tangent. It also shows the white person's utter and total refusal to acknowledge that racism can (and often does) negatively color the experiences of POC.

What to do: 
  •  In this case, stooping to troll behavior can cause you more problems than it solves. Pointing out blatant racism will only cause the white commenter to brush off the stories as extreme or situational examples. Instead, you can go for the tried and true method: Ignore them until they go away. 

If you elect not to do that, you could assure them that you understand how difficult it is living with white privilege. Or you could just laugh. That's what I do. However, under no circumstances should you engage the white commenter in debating this foolish ass rhetoric. It only makes them feel like their suffering is, indeed, equal to your suffering as a result of your color/race/weight/sexual orientation etc.

The third racial argument oft used by the fairer race is quickly gaining in popularity. It's also, in my opinion, the dumbest sh*t i've ever heard in my life. To (incorrectly) my undergraduate Af-Am Philosophy professor: This don't make black sense.

3. "Black people are racist too!"

*gasp* Really? You don't say?

I'm going to quote some points from an interesting blog post that I read:

Nearly everyone who spends more than five years in America becomes racist. I am no different.
 My racism is not particularly worse or better than that of most Americans. But two things make it different: First, it goes in the opposite direction from that of most Americans – it favours blacks, not whites; it is a black racism, not a white racism. Second, I am honest about being racist.
 I do not hate white people in general, though some  things they do or allow to go on does make my blood boil. I am on my guard with them because I know that their interests are not always my interests, that their experiences and ways of thinking are different than mine. And, because some of them have made it clear what they think of me, I wonder if others think that way too but are just better at hiding it.
 Couldn't have said it better myself.

  • What to do: Well, when a white person calls me a racist, I agree with them. Wholeheartedly. Vehemently. And then I explain exactly how my racism differs from theirs. And I challenge them to prove me wrong. If you're too thug for this, you could say: You g*ddamn right I'm racist, you puddin' head crackernugget!  

Crackernugget gets em every time.

I've given you guys a few options for dealing with race-trolls on the internet, and some options on derailing their well-worn arguments. It's always better to make these mofos turn colors than lose any sleep on em. Remember: the most effective method for dealing with any kind of troll is to walk away. 

Now I want to hear from you.

A Breh wants to Know: What's the dumbest, saddest, or most irrelevant argument that a white person in a message board or comments section has ever used on you? How did you handle it?


  1. are arguments used in the comments section of pr0n streaming site videos fair game, breh?

  2. Double fair game. TBH tho, people on the porn streaming sites are the worst, not that I have a lot of experience with spankwire. *cough*

  3. This wasn't an argument and it came from a friend, white female. She said thinks Affirmative Action is dumb. *blank stare*

  4. i think i should make one about being a black gamer and hearing this shite online

  5. Mike: It's a lot harder to troll cats in online games, because they can just tune you out.

    UndividedAttn: it's not racist per se for her to be anti-affirmative action, imo. It's the reasoning behind her stance. The thing is, most of those reasons are really racist and stupid.