When Popularity Breeds Contempt

My blog officially blew up today. My hits are up ten-fold overnight. I guess that post on Hillary Clinton‘s 3AM ad got picked up by Yahoo’s site called “The Buzz” and now every Jackass, Dick and Harry are posting a bunch of ludicrous and hateful comments. In addition, guest blogger Tamara Nopper’s piece on her incident on Southwest Airlines has also brought a lot of new readers to my blog. My usual readers who have some sense have been overrun by people I really never intended to read–much less comment on–my work. But I guess that’s how it goes.

What’s interesting is the utter hostility towards me, for even suggesting that Hillary’s 3AM ad is an act of covert racism, playing on the fears of white people of racialized “criminals” or “terrorists” lurking out there waiting to disturb their sleep. Somehow, my calling attention to racism, makes me a racist.

Similarly, Nopper’s analysis of the racial and gendered dynamics of her experience while flying have been somehow interpreted as her “fault” for not taking on the airline (when at this time, she could have been quite easily arrested or subject to worse assaults by TSA). That kind of thinking is the height of white male heterosexist supremacist thinking–having no sense of the powerlessness women and people of color and queers are made to feel. No idea what it is like to be intentionally and systematically made to feel that in one personal interaction, the power of the state can be on your neck in a split second, snapping it.

From this point on, the one’s I find just so hateful, I am simply going to delete. Fuck it. It’s my blog and anything posted that I feel like is threatening or doesn’t actually foster debate or conversation I can simply get rid of. There are enough spaces on the net for that. Moreover people with email addresses like “wm4amerika” I could really give less than a damn about what they think or have to say. Period.

I am not looking for adoration or ass-kissing. But if you are gonna have the nerve to post something, actually know what it is you’re speaking about. I don’t intend for this blog to be a free-for-all for anybody and everybody. If you can’t (with some level of intelligible acumen) make a well-formed argument, even if we disagree, keep it movin. Just calling me a reverse racist or some other hostile (and inaccurate!) shit, simply won’t cut it.

9 thoughts on “When Popularity Breeds Contempt

  1. I’ll confess that I’m new to this blog via the Southwest airlines piece. That sucks that obnoxious commenters decided to share their obnoxiousness and obviously you can do whatever you want with their comments.

    It always the craziest thing when people who point out racism are accused of being racist. I guess people are really defensive in general. Also, I think that many white people don’t think about race on a regular basis, so they get upset when it’s brought up because they don’t know how to talk about it intelligently and they don’t want to accused of anything.

  2. As I always like to remind people, the NY Times doesn’t print every letter to the editor they receive either.

  3. Quite right.

    I was brought here by Nopper’s post, and was also looking at Jasmyne Cannick’s response to being defamed by the Shirley T Liquor guy. I’ve noticed that certain people respond to being called out by retaliating with childish insults, and think that is engaging in intelligent debate.

    Debate means thinking through a response and not throwing in idiotic nonsense for the sake of it, and you have every right – as bloggers, we all do – to demand that anyone who cannot rub 2 thoughts together to do this does not deserve to take up precious comment space.

  4. I subscribe to your blog via Bloglines and have been reading for a while. I found your post on the 3am ad interesting, as I too noted the covert xenophobia (I’d expand it from racism to full-on all encompassing xenophobia because it’s really just not about being scared of black folks, but brown and “yellow” ones too.) in the Hillary last minute Rovian effort. Then I saw all the comments and was astounded. I thought, he almost never has comments. Crazy. Glad to hear you’ll be deleting the nutbombs. They’re why I had to stop reading Huffington Post (in addition to some of the insanity they’ve been spouting over there.)

  5. i feel you, Kenyon. someone recently left a piece of hatefulness on my site. i thought long and hard about engaging in dialogue (gays vis a vis the church, and the book, Spirited), and finally decided that i don’t want that hateful stuff anywhere around me or my site. take control. DELETE!

  6. I was brought here via the southwest essay, and even though I don’t agree 100% with every opinion you’ve stated, I really do like how it’s an open forum for debate about things people normally are too sensitive to talk about candidly. Thanks for giving people a place to communicate honestly!

  7. Some white folks are feeling like their America is being taken away, so they are acting out, hiding behind their Dell computers, spewing hate. You keep doing you and writing intellectual content that matters to us.

    Let the toothless wonders keep popping shit.

  8. I’m another who came here via Nopper’s essay, and I’m sorry we’ve overrun your blog! I do want to thank you, though, for letting that discussion go on — it’s an explosive topic, but an important one, as long as there are people who are still blind to the racial dynamics at work in American culture. I’m white, but I can’t imagine being so willfully unaware of white privilege, nor being personally offended by the notion that it exists, as so many other whites seem to be.

  9. There is a really good joke floating around the internet about blogging. It goes: “Normal person + anonymity + audience = total fuckwad!” The internet, while having the potential to inspire debate, conversation, and connections among people who may otherwise never talk, it also is the space for savagery.

    Do what you need to do to keep this a positive space.

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