Today is Twitter’s 10th birthday. I’m conflicted about that.
This post isn’t meant to be political because as I’ve written many times before, I’d sooner coat myself in pollen, cover myself in bees then fling myself into an active volcano than write about politics because when you write about politics, shit hits the fan in the most shitty fannest way it has ever shit fanned.
That’s a solid sentence. I’m not editing it.
So, listen, I’m not a fan of Donald Trump’s. Maybe you are and that’s cool. Keep reading. Or maybe you’ve hitched your wagon to another political candidate. That’s all good. Me? I’m a registered Republican (this election might change that) and I’m not too fond of Trump as a person, or at least of the person he has made himself out to be publicly. His “persona.” Not a fan.
And I don’t hide my dislike for him. Instead, I use humor to show my Twitter followers at times how I feel about him, because the only way I won’t lose my mind about politics and show up at places with tables just so I can flip those tables (watch out, Ikea), is to approach it with good humor. Laugh instead of scream. Chuckle instead of cry.
So after I saw a headline that started with “Donald Trump leading the movement …”, I stopped. I didn’t want to read any more about any movement he would lead. I tweeted this:
That is indeed a hilarious fire tweet. I can’t believe it didn’t get 7,000 RTs and a fave from Barack Obama himself. Anyway, that was weeks ago. On Saturday, a Burgher tweeted this at me:
Wow. First, a simple scroll down his timeline will show you he is indeed a Burgher, tweeting and following local accounts and local media peeps.
Second, after I called him out on Twitter for being such a giant racist doucheface, he deleted his tweet.
BUT THE INTERNET IS FOREVER AND I WAS SURE TO SCREENCAP THAT SHIT, YOU JAG.
Can you wrap your head around this? The racism? The immediate assumption that I must be hispanic and therefore must be illegal and therefore must have anchor babies (ugh) and YAY DONALD TRUMP IS SHIPPING YOU BACK IF HE WINS, YOU PUTA!
I was stunned. How assured must you be of your racism, how comfortable must you feel with the validity and righteousness of that racism that you find it perfectly okay to tweet that to me simply because I’m married to a Mexican?
Look, he can sit there on twitter and tweet hateful tweet after hateful tweet about large swaths of people, fine. But when you DIRECT your hate to a PERSON and you say it TO THEM, that’s hate speech. That’s not okay, regardless of what Twitter’s complete inaction on addressing people who use their service to spread vicious prejudice to anyone they choose would have you believe. That’s an awkward, convoluted sentence. I’m not editing it.
Now, you will say, he’s a troll. Ignore him. No. NO NO NO NO. I am not ignoring this hate any longer! I will blast it and write it and cut and paste it if by doing so I can stop JUST ONE ASSHOLE from thinking it is okay to speak this way simply because you’ve got a presidential candidate who has somehow emboldened you enough to spew your bile in anyone’s face you don’t like the color of. That is a terribly worded sentence. I’m not editing it.
This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten racial hate aimed at me DESPITE THE FACT THAT I WAS BORN IN PITTSBURGH. Many times people assume I am Mexican because I’m married to a Mexican. Usually those who say awful things to me on Twitter are professional trolls located throughout the world who are simply looking for attention. I ignore those people.
But this guy who I used Google Reverse Image search to make sure he didn’t grab his profile pic from somewhere else on the web?
He’s a BURGHER. I might see him in my restaurant. I might hold an elevator for him. I might pass him at a ball game. He might stand in line in Kennywood in front of my children. You might know him. You might work with him. YOU MIGHT EMPLOY HIM.
And he called my children, my innocent children who could never wrap their brains around this hate … ANCHOR BABIES. My mother yesterday said, “It’s so crazy! You’re as AMERICAN AS THEY COME.”
And I, two glasses of wine deep, said, “IT SHOULDN’T MATTER!”
So what if I’m American. So what if I wasn’t. So what if my husband is a naturalized citizen. IT. SHOULDN’T. MATTER.
Here’s another tweet by this user:
He calls every single man, woman and child trying to escape the violence and death and doom of Syria a RAPEFUGEE.
And again, he’s so assured, so confident, so comfortably racist that he has no problems showing the world. Remember before social media when racists sat on their porches and said their racist bullshit only to the unfortunate few who had the bad luck to find themselves sharing air with them? Gone are those days. These days, and it seems with Trump’s encouragement, racists are standing on their porches shooting their racist bullets into the air, whooping with glee for all to see and hear. They’re setting off firecrackers of hate. They’re dropping NUCLEAR BOMBS OF HATE.
As a good friend said, “What have we become?”
My brother-in-law, a legal permanent resident of the US and an immigrant from Mexico, recently wrote this on his Facebook page about an incident in Market Square on March 4:
Last night I opened the side door at Las Velas, maybe a little too fast, and almost hit a guy with the door as he was walking on the sidewalk. His first reaction was a strange look at me and said, “All you people are always sneaking out of everywhere!” I look at him like excuse me? Immediately he says, “That’s why I’m voting for Trump. I can’t wait for all of you people to go back to your country!” I was so mad but no words were coming out because I was so shocked. So I just smiled and his response was, “I can’t wait to wipe that smile off your face when you have to go back to your country,” and then walked away! In the 11 years that I have been living in the States, I have had a few racial issues, maybe once or twice before, but I have never seen someone looking at me with that much anger! I guess it’s something Mr Trump is causing out there! I don’t care if Trump wins to be honest, I just really hope Trump supporters get that anger out in a different way (like workout, running, etc) not insulting people that you don’t even know who are they or what they are! And please please please remember we are all humans.
This is what hispanics IN PITTSBURGH are dealing with. Right in our city. This upfront hate. This in-your-face “I AM BETTER THAN YOU BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF MY SKIN AND I WILL TELL YOU TO YOUR FACE HOW INFERIOR YOU ARE AND HOW MUCH I HOPE YOU GET SENT BACK TO MEXICO WHEN TRUMP WINS” hate.
And his “always sneaking out of everywhere” line? What the hell does that even mean? Are all the Mexicans hiding behind doors and chairs and walls and jumping out at the non-Mexicans and screaming “SURPRISE!” and giving them all heart attacks?
These are the straws that have broken this camel’s back. I’m not staying quiet. I’m calling these jagoffs out now and I hope you’ll join me in exposing them.
It’s not okay and I’m sick of it.
It’s not okay for you to say things to people like this simply because you somehow have come to believe you had ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THE HELL COLOR AND IN WHAT THE HELL COUNTRY YOU WERE BORN.
This public, proud, loud hate is not what Pittsburgh is about and I will be damned if I’ll let Donald Trump let ANY Burgher think this whitewashed version of our city is what Pittsburgh should BECOME. Or to think it’s perfectly fine to SPEAK TO OTHER HUMANS THIS WAY.
Ignoring racism is like walking away from embers smoking on a dry forest floor. We have to at least TRY to stomp it out here, not sit back or walk away or say, “Ignore it” and let the flames grow and grow until it takes over and does real, lasting damage.
Racist Pittsburghers should literally sit down at a computer and research their family history. What country and under what circumstances did your ancestors arrive here? What the hell language did they speak when their toes first touched American soil? Then all you effing racists email me and let me know if any of you can come back with, “100% of my ancestry can be traced to the Pilgrims and there is literally no other blood or color or ethnicity or language to be found anywhere in any part of my family tree so help me God.”
You can send that email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll sit here with my “anchor babies” and wait for it with bated breath.
Stop being jagoffs. Stop believing the color of your skin has somehow elevated you above ANYONE. Start trying to nurture just one percent of Fred Rogers in your soul so that maybe, just maybe, when your head hits the pillow at night you’ll have a tiny bit of love in your heart for someone other than your awful awful self. And if you don’t want your face plastered on my blog, stop spreading your hate on Twitter.
And the rest of us, start letting racists know IT IS NOT OKAY AND YOU ARE SICK OF IT. Be loud. Be proud of inclusion. Be proud of equality. Be proud that YOU at least recognize that we are humans and for that reason, all deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t ignore, but rather stomp out any ember of racism you encounter in Pittsburgh the moment you see it flicker up.
I guess that got a bit political.
Anyone know where I can get a swarm of bees?