Hate Lives Here

Yesterday a local Vancouver paper asked a question on its Facebook page: “Do you think more could be done to combat homophobia?”
In the ensuing comments, a White Pride freak — who I’m really fucking wanting to identify by name here but don’t feel like dealing with the legal hassle as a little blogger girl — put some very, very hateful anti-gay comments.
I wouldn’t call his statements “homophobia” because it was too hate-fuelled to be a mere ambivalence toward gays. White Pride Freak would rather live in a world where they didn’t exist, and it sounded like “by any means necessary”.
The aftermath of WPF’s comments were pretty routine — a few people like me distancing themselves from the “white” part of his comments that smears us by inclusion — and a lot of people laughing it off with “This guy can’t be real” reactions.

The fencepost upon which gay man Matthew Shepard was beaten & left to die.

YES, he can be real. YES, he can be dangerous. YES, he can be in the house next door.
Someone commented to me that it didn’t seem possible a dude like that could live north of Raleigh or west of Calgary.
YES. It’s not only possible, but it’s real.
We’ve had gay-bashing incidents of late here in uber-liberal Vancouver — by other minorities!
Hey, let’s keep the wagon wheel of hate rolling.
By saying these guys can’t be real, we’re avoiding truth. We’re ducking the reality that hatred fuels much of what goes on in our world — whether it’s women’s centres being bombed, Middle Eastern women being stoned for adultery, gays being bashed for holding hands on the street, or prejudices rising everywhere daily, never mind national strife like Palestine-v-Israel, or Iran spouting rhetoric.
Hatred’s out there, man. Don’t think otherwise.
The Georgia Straight’s Facebook moderator decided it prudent to delete the offensive comments on this particular thread. I disagree. My reply comment:

I’m sort of disappointed that [skinhead motherfucker]’s homophobic, hate-filled rants were deleted.
By a) responding with “haw-haw, he can’t be real” and b) knee-jerk “how dare you” replies, then deleting his words, we’re pulling the wool over allour eyes.
We say “HEY, THERE’S A REAL PROBLEM OUT THERE” about hatred or racism, but then we sanitize the web so no feelings get hurt.
Let’s hurt some feelings! Let’s see these bastards for who they are! Let their names be known! Let their evidence stay up so we can point and say THAT IS NOT RIGHT, LET’S FIGHT THAT, LET’S PROVE HIM WRONG.
Sure, a bunch of people got all bent outta shape reading that kind of hate speech — but the mentality of “Well, if it’d been worded more politely, it’d be okay and we could ‘dialogue’ ” is just ridiculous!
IT’S HATE. Let’s see it for what it is.
Let the world see that it’s still out there, regardless of our pretty little fast-food metrosexual ever-so-aesthetic iPoddy 21st century.
Then let’s fight back and end that hate where it lives. END it, not delete it.

From Wikipedia's "lynching" page. The lynching of Laura Nelson in Okemah, Oklahoma in 1911; she had tried to protect her son, who was lynched together with her.

Deleting the thread has all the brilliance of when a Canadian bookstore chain decided it would never, ever stock nor order Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Right, because ignoring the book the first time worked out so well for us.
If we want to overcome hatred, racism, homophobia, elitism, all of it, then we need to know exactly what their thoughts are so we can break those down.
This is the internet — the home of anonymity, the tool of free speech, the widest platform for idea-expressing ever invented.
But every motherfucking site has a moderator who goes and deletes the hate, hiding the nasty fuckers that we need exposed.
Deep down inside, we all know cruel people are out there, and we know they’re cowards who hide real, real good.
Thus it’s become easier when we hide them too, and go on with our lovely little domesticated modern lives. God forbid our routines get injected with realism.
These people are real.
They live where you are.
They’re more marginalized and angrier than ever.
And we’re giving them a pass by letting them say what they say, then deleting it. So, then they run back to their little web microcosms and fester with their continuing hate spiel, palling with their little hatin’ buddies, all the while leaving us blissfully ignorant that hate-filled fucks like them are more prevalent than we’d like to think.
Stop protecting us, website moderators.
Our ignorance will not inspire their change. We need all the good peoples in on this fight.

6 thoughts on “Hate Lives Here

  1. Sam

    I wonder if the Georgia Straight, or any moderator of a Facebook fan page, has a responsibility to delete those types of comments or face repercussion from Facebook, as they violate Facebook’s terms of service.
    I agree that deleting the comments is ignoring the problem (and makes for some very disjointed threads), but they might just be doing what they have to do.
    Facebook’s Terms, under Safety:
    6. You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
    7. You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
    I think it might be difficult to allow free speech without creating an open forum that manifests hate. That racism and homophobia are still this prevalent breaks my heart.

  2. A Scribe Called Steff Post author

    Great questions, Sam. I wonder.
    I get the argument that allowing too much of it to be around would be counterintuitive, too. It’s a tough problem to solve. I just don’t think the way we’ve been dealing with it has been working, so another tack might be wise at this point.
    It may be a rallying cry for the bastards if we open the gates, but it might go the other way too. Strength in numbers? Keep burying our heads and I wonder if we’ll ever really know.

  3. anoop

    very smart…i’m totally emotional and just reacted but this is clever and well though out….inspiring, thanks
    i wanna follow you on FB!!

  4. steven schwartz

    Both my parents were Gay, we faced homophobia all the time, mostly it was just ignorance and fear without any malice. Other times it was pure hate, like this white pride freak. Just take a step into Craigslist Rants and Raves to see this vitriol, it makes me sick when I read it but to delete a thread is saying, at least to me, ” These People Do Not Exist Here” and that is wrong on so many levels. If I can see the darkness I know where to shine the light. If I can hear the ignorant bogeyman I can speak out against him or her. It has been through time much easier for people to sweep hate under a rug than expose it’s ugliness. Thank you for turning on the light.
    .-= steven schwartz´s last blog ..Type B Personality With Type A Issues When Nurture &amp Nurture Collide =-.

  5. Andrew Legge

    It’s actually crazy to think they walk among us. Scary to know that we can’t tell. I networked with a fellow who is a Financial Advisor. One day I am surfing through Facebook and saw on a name that struck a bell. I did a little googling to find that this fellow who I saw regularly was in fact a serious anti-gay hatemonger. Once upon a time anyway. Truly startling.

  6. Zoeyjane

    Yes. I agree with you 100%.
    Personal story: the birthday post I wrote for Z the other day included mention of her ‘marriage plans’ and someone that I thought was more open, caring and frankly, intelligent, ended up emailing me to suggest that I start telling Z that she will marry a boy, ‘just like every other little girl should be told’. I lost my shit for multiple reasons, and basically asked what was wrong with the possibility of Z not marrying at all, or marrying a girl. And got a carefully PC-crafted response about how there was nothing wrong with it [per se], it was just assumed that I was a good mother, and as such, wouldn’t encourage ‘a deviant, challenging lifestyle’. This was someone I’ve known since ’05 online. My heart broke.
    Point being? They’re even our friends, sometimes.
    .-= Zoeyjane´s last blog ..You came in with a bang =-.

Comments are closed.