A new kind of racism…..or not?

With the boom of technology a new genre of racism has occurred, and that is racism in the comment sections. Before the onset of social-media sites like Facebook, YouTube, racism still existed but now it has a new platform.  Here is an example of YouTube video that shows how racism in the comment sections works. 

One specific example of a YouTube video that generated a lot of racist comments in the comment section was a video entitled “Can You Lend a Niggah a Pencil”.  In this particular post you can begin to see a pattern of racists’ comments that emerge.  The first pattern of comments that I noticed that had been generated from the posts were remarks that repeated the most controversial part of the YouTube or what seemed to be the most shocking part of the video.  The first set of comments related directly to use of the teacher using the word “nigga” in a rather mockingly way.  Here are comments that have been taken directly from the post, “Niggah”, “get away from the door NYIGGAH”, “NiggAH LOL”, “LMAO can you lend a nigga a pencil”.  Comments of this nature had no specific thought behind the comment.  There was no opinion given but just a repeated use of a racist slur.  These kinds of posts also showed humor along with the racist slur, to show that the use of the word nigga had some type of funny connotation along with it, many viewers added “lol”,and  “lmao” attached to their posts.  Viewers tried to make a very serious subject into to something that seemed humorous or something that was suppose to be taken lightly. Many of these kinds of posts did not generate a lot of conversation with other viewers. These kinds of posts operated more in isolation. 

The second kinds of topi that I was able to identify from this video were posts that blamed the victim.  Many posts in this video placed blame on the child whom the teacher called a nigga.  Here are some direct examples of this “Keyseans a bitch”, “this kid is such a little faggot”,”the teacher should still have his job”, “The Black kid was the one being a jerk”, and  “Sure, the teacher used that word….but someone should punish that kid for not sitting back down. Little bastard!” There were a lot of comments that not only referred to the victim not only as a nigga/er but also used many other derogative terms when referring to him.  Many post referred to Keysean as a “bitch”, “pussy” or other insults.  These kinds of comments you can begin to see many people agree with one another.  The types of comments that emerged from these racist comments were comments where people had similar thought patterns.  Tony Manfred identifies this as a common type of topoi that emerges from racist comments on the internet.  He suggests that group polarization is one reason why people post racist comments on the internet.  People share racist comments with people that might share similar thinking.  Although this particular video is uploaded to YouTube and anyone can have access to the video, you can still see this same type of affirmation among the comments. 

One specific pattern of posts that I began to see as a reoccurring them was the debate over the use of the “nigger/a”.   Many posts that received replies had to do with who should be able to say the N word.  These kinds of posts had a wide range of opinions and generated the most responses and you can even begin to see this kind of ongoing debate that has been going on long before this video even emerged, and that is context of the word nigger.  There was one side of comments that felt that only Blacks should be able to use the word.  There were many comments who felt that anyone should be able to use the word regardless of your race.  Then there were the same kind of argument about the use of the word “Nigger” as oppose to “Nigga”.  There is still subtle racism that can be seen in those types of comments as well.  When looking at this type of writing one should be aware that posts that generate lots of feedback are posts that already have a lot of controversy outside the scope of this YouTube video.  These posts only represent a fraction of the ideas and opinions that people have on a much larger scope.  You can view the video here   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYY3g95Uy6E

 

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