It’s NOT okay and I’m sick of it.

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:

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.14.40 PM

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:

 

IMG_7094

 

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:

IMG_7095

 

RAPEFUGEES.

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.

I’m stunned.

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 virginia@thatschurch.com. 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?





95 Comments


  1. Twinmamateb
    March 21, 2016 1:06 pm

    Sadly, yes. It keeps happening. But there are those small flickers of light – remember the bartender I told you about, years ago? Who overheard some d-bag making comments about your BIL and THREW HIS ASS OUT.

    Burghers: start throwing more of their asses out. It doesn’t belong here.



  2. Kris
    March 21, 2016 1:06 pm

    Thank you!



  3. Kaylee
    March 21, 2016 1:08 pm

    I am so disgusted by some Pittsburghers I am surrounded by lately. In addition the the overt racism that Donald Trump has emboldened others to spew I was disheartened by a coworkers view on the recent Wilkinsburg tragedy. We were discussing the updates and the victims had just been identified. Her first question was whether they were black. I asked her if it made a difference in how much sympathy she would have for any of them. She was dumbfounded. I wish I was brave enough to say more but I was afraid since I was at work.



  4. Sue
    March 21, 2016 1:13 pm

    Preach it, sister!!!! Very well said!



  5. AngryMongo
    March 21, 2016 1:15 pm

    Can we still say “Suck it, Portland”, though?

    Sorry, levity is how I’m choosing to deal with this election cycle and the kind of stuff that makes my blood seethe about us as a country.



  6. jann
    March 21, 2016 1:20 pm

    I have never felt so much dislike for a political candidate before this election. Donald Trump is a bad person. I continue to be shocked at the people who vote for him and would love to hear the reason why.

    And now this. It makes me incredibly sad that hatred is becoming politically correct.



    • bucdaddy
      March 24, 2016 1:15 am

      Jesus Christ, I come here to see what you make of the Wendy bell firestorm (goddamnit, Wendy, you don’t have to have a goddamn opinion about EVERYdamnthing) and find out another shitstorm has broken out.

      The only thing I can think to do is leave “Covered in Bees” here, and maybe help ease the tension.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-tl6GBOBo



    • bucdaddy
      March 24, 2016 1:19 am

      Oh hell, that wasn’t the reply I meant to leave there (it was supposed to post down below, and did) but the system seems to be weirding out. What I meant to tell jann was this:

      “would love to hear the reason why.”

      Because, as some woman said on the news the other day, “He’s not afraid to say … whatever.”

      That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?



      • MattDC
        March 24, 2016 2:49 pm

        When the Trump phenomenon started, I was interested in the same thing. I asked people why they liked him. The most common answer was “because he says what everyone is thinking but is afraid to say.” I wondered who this “everyone” was. It certainly wasn’t me. It didn’t include any of my friends, family, acquaintances, business colleagues. I know there are some people in that collective “everyone” who think that way, but I would never choose to associate with them. And as time passed, it has become clearer that “everyone” is not exactly the entirety of the electorate, but it does include a deeply disturbing number of people. If we can’t control what “everyone thinks”, and least we can try to get them to go back to being “afraid to say it.” What the elusive “everyone” now condemns as “political correctness” used to be referred to as “being civilized.”



  7. Lesley
    March 21, 2016 1:27 pm

    Bravo!!! I have found myself realizing for the first time that I am genuinely afraid for my personal safety based on who gets elected. I’m very liberal, so I have worried about conservative politician’s policies before, but I was never worried that I might be harmed or killed because of them.



  8. Loranna Sayre-Nath
    March 21, 2016 1:28 pm

    Is that the guy’s real name? The reason I ask is that when you sound it out it comes out like “Huge A**hole.” Just an observation.



    • kathleen Ash
      March 21, 2016 5:41 pm

      Loranna…. I didn’t even repeat his name in my mind until you posted that, but I must say, I would think that he would have been bullied or made fun of with the pronunciation of that name, or maybe he was raised around people who are kind and respectful like the majority of Burghers. I don’t know what makes people so hateful, and I’m glad I am not one of them. And shame on the ones who are.small minded, mean little people. Shame !



    • wolfie
      March 22, 2016 11:09 pm

      I’m sure it is not his actual name…but I do think it’s an excellent description of his character.



  9. Joe
    March 21, 2016 1:31 pm

    I think most of the hate is directed towards illegal immigrants. This is what is likely behind the ‘always sneaking out of everywhere’ line. Trump has tapped into the somewhat justifiable belief that the ‘welfare’ costs associated with illegal immigration are hurting lower middle-income Americans the most – tax dollars, jobs. And liberals want to implement a policy that will lead to citizenship for people that came here illegally, not to mention the (Tea Party?) establishment GOP candidate who just ended his campaign.



    • Lin
      March 21, 2016 1:51 pm

      John Kasich does not propose a path to citizenship, but rather toward legalization if no crimes have been committed by an individual who is here illegally. This position could be fair to the vast majority of illegals who are already here.

      Additionally, the hate that is directed at the illegal immigrants has its genesis from within. People who hate themselves, but cannot bear it, find some solace at redirecting the hate towards others. The easiest target group is illegal immigrants, since they have no political power to wield to protect themselves. They are at the mercy of haters.



      • Ajene Farrar
        March 21, 2016 8:19 pm

        FYI “Illegals” is dehumanizing language that really should be done away with. In addition, how can a person be illegal? If you’re searching for a description, “undocumented workers” is a better, more accepted alternative.



    • Annie D.
      March 21, 2016 3:54 pm

      That’s not the point of this post. It’s not about policy. What is “behind the ‘always sneaking out of everywhere’ line” is assumptions about people based on the color of their skin. If that hatred stems from a genuine concern for policy surrounding illegal immigrants, then the person in question would have cleared his target’s citizenship status before hurling that at him. He lumped into a group based on the way he looks. If your concern is illegal immigrants, then it’s worth noting that the person in question here has as much right to be living and working here as the Trump supporter. Hell, he may have strong feelings against illegal immigrants too.



  10. Jim Connors
    March 21, 2016 1:32 pm

    Is this what our country has come to indeed! These racist a-holes obviously do not realize that all of our ancestors where immigrants at some point. If Mr. Trump truly believes this is progress then it only stresses his ignorance. I applaud you Virginia for being a voice for anyone who has been subjected to such degrading comments. We have made much progress in the USA with regards to racism, but these people are helping us revert to the opinions of the previous century where this behavior was considered acceptable. I say to all never be afraid to stand up to those who do not deserve to be citizens of this great country!!!



  11. hello haha narf
    March 21, 2016 1:39 pm

    this hurts my heart.
    racism is NOT ok.



  12. Lin
    March 21, 2016 1:42 pm

    There are plenty of people out there who feel like complete zeroes. Some accept this and others struggle with the condition. The ones who struggle don’t want to feel like zeroes. Rather than try to elevate themselves, they choose to put others down and look at them as beneath zero. Hey, that is a negative number, less than zero. So they go with the negative and wrap their lowly lives around it. It becomes their banner, their mantra, and by shouting it from the relative anonymity (oops! kind of goofed up on that, Hugh Jassle) of the internet, they feel “better”. They feel bigger. They feel validated. And finally, they have found a leader of their pathetic movement.

    As long as we let people get away with this vitriolic rhetoric, they will be emboldened to spew it as far as their spew will reach. We cannot stop all of them, but we can stand together in favor of loving our neighbors to the best of our abilities and point out to each spewing individual who crosses our paths that despite their sub-par outlook on humanity, we will still treat him or her with the respect that every person deserves. BUT these spewing folks should know that it is really hard for the rest of us NOT to look down on them when they have positioned themselves down on the ground thrashing around in the mud. While they are flinging mud at others whom they have decided are less worthy than themselves, they end up covering themselves with the filth and becoming far more “unsightly” than the people they choose to attack.

    Our country has a lot of problems and a lot of theories about how to fix them. Maybe when we all start thinking and acting like Americans before any other affiliation or “movement”, we will be able to join together to make our country whole again.

    Ginny’s fearlessness combined with a sense of fairness can go a long way to helping us get on the right track.



  13. Maureen Ciampaglia
    March 21, 2016 1:56 pm

    SHARED. Thank you for this, PittGirl. Your anger is palpable and I feel it in my bones and I am with you 100%. This is not who we are. This is not what we should become. It’s sad and it’s scary and I don’t want to take it anymore. I hope you hug your babies and your husband tight tonight (I know you do every night) and tell them that not everyone feels this way. I am sorry that you and your family have experienced this hate. We need to be the change.



  14. blueandorangemetsies
    March 21, 2016 2:13 pm

    Bravo, Virginia! But take heart, your beloved ‘Burgh is not alone, and I suspect that much like it is here in the northeast, it’s a loud minority that think the key to winning an argument is saying it louder than the next guy. And as much as I personally loathe the orange comb-over, the truth is this has been coming ever since Obama won in ’08. When the heads of the other party made it their “agenda” to basically stop governing, and used all sorts of racist remarks to try an besmirch him. Drumpf only changed in that his racism is not subtle, no longer folks constantly reminding us the difference between them and us.



  15. Jess
    March 21, 2016 2:22 pm

    I love this post so very much. I cannot possibly agree more that the philosophy of ‘ignore bullies and they’ll go away’ is severely damaging on individual and societal levels. I’m very much in favor of the idea that all trolls be called out for who and what they are: sad, angry, lonely people.

    FWIW; as I’m sure you’re aware, this issue extends well beyond the Pittsburgh area. The sad fact is that I grew up in rural Ohio and these types of statements and sentiments were (and possibly still are) commonplace. At recess I’d hear weekly jokes from 9 year olds such as “a group of lions is called a pride, a group of pigeons is called a flock, and a group of dead n*****s is called a ‘good start'”. I should mention that I’m 34 years old, so it’s not as if these instances were taking place during the height of the civil rights movement.

    While I’m 100% in opposition of Trump getting elected to, appointed or bestowed any level of power, I’m reticent to blame the perceived prevalence of racism on his ascension into the spotlight. While there’s nothing disproving the theory that people feel more emboldened in their own xenophobia due to Donald Trump’s close minded stump speeches, it’s important to remember that these people have always existed. I’d be more inclined to argue the advent of social media has provided a small, angry group of people an amplifier with which to spew their uniformed hatred. It disgusts me to see the volume of n-bombs dropped in reply to any Twitter post from the POTUS. And this was well before Trump began his campaign.

    I think it’s easier to put a face or figurehead on an entire philosophy than to try to be angry with a faceless, nameless, undefined group of people. Trump represents, sadly, a mild example of some the worst of humanity. It is this group, however, that’s actually in a minority, despite what the poll numbers say. Good people, informed people, or people who at least meet the bare minimum requirement of what it means to be human, their votes are being split across good candidates like Cruz, Kasich and the now defunct Rubio.

    Or at least this is what I have to tell myself. If I can’t have at least a shred of faith in humanity, I feel myself succumbing to some of that aforementioned hatred.

    Keep fighting the good fight. Love this blog. Or whatever the kids are calling these things.

    In summary, fuck Donald Trump, but more importantly, fuck intolerance.



  16. Dean Jackson
    March 21, 2016 2:34 pm

    You might want to also report the dude here:
    https://support.twitter.com/forms/abusiveuser



  17. Jennifer Trimbee
    March 21, 2016 2:38 pm

    I think the saddest thing for me about Trump is that he’s not starting this hate. This hate has always been there, this is just shining a light on something that’s been hiding a long time. He’s making people comfortable with their racism and bigotry because he “speaks his mind” and “says what he means.” So now they think their racism is validated. It’s disgusting and I’m honestly afraid of what’s going to happen in November.

    My husband is also an immigrant, only he came from the UK. He’s told me that people have been commenting in support of deporting immigrants and he has to remind them that he, too, is an immigrant. But because he’s white, that thought never occurs to them. It’s purely about the color of their skin. And it’s so sad that in 2016, we’re still here.



  18. K
    March 21, 2016 2:42 pm

    Recon cut.

    Likely a Ranger or Special Forces…but they tend to have more class than this.



  19. Former Burgher
    March 21, 2016 2:49 pm

    You really didn’t know the city was so racist? I’ve known it my whole life. The day I missed school and my Grandmother refused to let my classmate on the porch when she brought me my homework because she is black was the most embarrassing thing I’d ever endured. Pittsburgh is a wonderful city but it still has a lot to learn. http://fox2now.com/2015/04/28/most-racist-places-in-america-according-to-google/



  20. Jess
    March 21, 2016 3:01 pm

    This is disgusting. I may not know this man, but on behalf of a fellow Pittsburgher, I apologize for him.



  21. Butcher's Dog
    March 21, 2016 3:27 pm

    Stupid white people being manipulated by rich white people whose prime desire is to break every union so barely-live able wages prevail. Make America Great Again? Seriously?! Like when we had Dubya letting Wall Street run wild while launching a war against weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist and wondering where, oh where that Bin Laden guy was? Setting up No Child Left Behind while asking “Is our children learning?” Puh-leaze!



  22. Jen M
    March 21, 2016 3:50 pm

    Have you tried to read that dude’s name out loud?



  23. Pa-pop
    March 21, 2016 3:55 pm

    I will share this early and often. And let these words of Robert Kennedy, delivered to South African students during the days of apartheid, be of some inspiration in your – our – effort to stamp out racism snd hate:

    “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”



  24. Pa-pop
    March 21, 2016 3:55 pm

    I will share this early and often. And let these words of Robert Kennedy, delivered to South African students during the days of apartheid, be of some inspiration in your – our – effort to stamp out racism and hate:

    “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”



  25. Carrie
    March 21, 2016 4:19 pm

    Racists didn’t become racist because of Trump. They were racist on their own, before anyone knew what Trump supported. Racism, much to my dismay, is alive and well in Pgh as it is in the whole country. I don’t support Trump. Period. But whether he wins or loses, we have a boiling racial problem in this country. Simply turn on any news channel to hear about black lives matter, Syrian refugees and illegal immigration. Our melting pot has become a boiling pot…



  26. Kathy
    March 21, 2016 4:27 pm

    I feel you for the comment expressed to you, but I have to tell you it has nothing to do with Trump. Replace dislike towards immigrants with dislike towards police and try being married to a hard-working cop. Have people shooting at police for literally no reason whatsoever, and screaming “Black lives matter” and wanting to scream to the world “don’t all lives matter?!?!?” It is a new world we live in where everyone is a victim — “I can’t get a job — it must be because immigrants took my job” – not because I’m a lazy asshole; “I was arrested and now I’m in jail — the system is out to get me” — not that I broke the law. Using Trump is too easy a way to excuse the choice every individual is making to behave like a victim.



    • Kaylee
      March 21, 2016 7:08 pm

      It absolutely has to do with Trump. He, as a man in power, is emboldening those that agree with the hate he spews. He is encouraging and approving. With each outburst of vitriol and violence he is inciting his mobs of followers are getting more and more outrageous. Trump knows exactly what he is doing what he plays puppetier (i.e. “there will be riots if I don’t get the nomination”).

      The Black Lives Matter movement is a completely separate issue and I don’t believe is a fair comparison to “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter”. The former is in response to systematic racism, the latter is failing to give black Americans’ experiences the thought that they deserve. I am no way saying that your husband deserves to be shot at and I respect and am grateful for the sacrifice he makes every time he puts his uniform on.



    • Kaylee
      March 21, 2016 7:08 pm

      It absolutely has to do with Trump. He, as a man in power, is emboldening those that agree with the hate he spews. He is encouraging and approving. With each outburst of vitriol and violence he is inciting his mobs of followers are getting more and more outrageous. Trump knows exactly what he is doing what he plays puppeteer (i.e. “there will be riots if I don’t get the nomination”).

      The Black Lives Matter movement is a completely separate issue and I don’t believe is a fair comparison to “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter”. The former is in response to systematic racism, the latter is failing to give black Americans’ experiences the thought that they deserve. I am no way saying that your husband deserves to be shot at and I respect and am grateful for the sacrifice he makes every time he puts his uniform on.



    • Kim
      March 22, 2016 10:49 am

      I believe you have missed the entire point of her post and, per your comment, the point of the Black Lives Matter movement. The BLM movement doesn’t take anything away from the work your husband does. Not one damn thing. OF COURSE all lives matter, but to respond to a movement that has never been regarded as equal or even *worthy* of being equal with a plea of “But ALL LIVES MATTER” is ignorant and dismissive. It is just as ignorant as the comment made by the tweeter that he couldn’t wait for her and her anchor babies to be deported.

      Lastly, if you don’t think Trump has emboldened this hateful rhetoric at his rallies, on his Twitter feed, and in his speeches, you aren’t paying attention. And, sadly, you’re probably a Trump supporter. You have my sympathies.



      • Julia
        March 22, 2016 4:58 pm

        And I would argue that you missed the point of this person’s comment. Instead of acknowledging someone else’s feelings and opinions, all you do is point out what you think is wrong. What a person feels or believes in is not inherently wrong just because you don’t agree with it. Assuming she’s a Trump supporter? Now you’re just being childish.

        And it is that very same attitude that perpetuates the divisiveness between people today. So you have *my* sympathies.

        Do I think comments like the idiot Twitter user made are ok? Absolutely not. Is Trump creating a whole new generation of racist, intolerant people? No again. They were always there and always causing problems. It’s just easier to blame one person than deal with the fact that there are always going to be small-minded assholes.



  27. Sherris Moreira
    March 21, 2016 4:38 pm

    I’m not sure if this was addressed, but this person is not only racist – he is sexist. Puta is ‘Hispanic’ slang for the lovely word meaning “Prostitute” or the not to be typed out in full – horrific derivative – “sl#t”. I am sure that any employer of his (and co-workers) would have problems not only with his racist tweets but also his women-abusive tweets as well. It is time to call out the hate-speech and I’m thankful you utilized your platform to do so. I am also sorry this happened to you (and your family.) Having visited it many times in the past couple of years, your family-owned restaurant Las Velas is a wonderful addition to Market Square and our city!



  28. David
    March 21, 2016 5:01 pm

    The thing that sucks about this account is how much it seems fabricated. I absolutely believe the person on the other end is a huge bigoted asshole, but this account is YOUNG. It was created in Nov 2015 almost as if it serves the purpose of fueling fiery hate, sorta like when GamerGate was a thing. Fake twitter accounts are unfortunately very common in the use for harassment and though, yeah the guy in this picture looks like he might say things with that sort of look, all we have is a picture that could have been stolen from some facebook page. We don’t know for sure, and that sucks.



    • David
      March 21, 2016 5:05 pm

      In case it’s not clear: I’m not in support of this behavior; I’m aware that Pittsburgh is super shitty to people of color; and I’m working to be anti-that sort of behavior instead of just sharing that view but not doing anything about it.



    • Paul H
      March 22, 2016 2:13 pm

      >> I absolutely believe the person on the other end is a huge bigoted asshole

      He sure does, too. Look at the name on his account:

      HughJ ass**le



      • Matt
        March 22, 2016 6:31 pm

        Immediately noticed the twitter handle. Can’t expect someone who thinks that’s a good username to behave any better… sad, but true…



  29. Annie
    March 21, 2016 5:32 pm

    I find this a little one sided. I don’t like the “racist” term thrown around so loosely. I do not think Trump is a racist. He has pointed out some very legitimate problems in a way that is very blunt. Obviously, people on the left don’t like it and try to lump it in a category of being “racist”. The anger that is out there is a result of the current administration and the environment they support…anti-police, anti-Christian, and to an extent, anti-white. Where was the uproar when Obama and his crew were supporting offensive rhetoric towards this group? People are tired of being treated like they don’t matter and tired of seeing this president push his socialist agenda and his weakening of our country. I am certainly not excusing this man’s behavior, but the “bowel movement” comment was meant to antagonize. The right is tired of the hypocrisy of the left. If you don’t get that, then there is no meeting in the middle. And please remember that not all racist our white…I’ve encountered a few black and Hispanic people that were racist…it works both ways.



    • michelle b
      March 21, 2016 5:50 pm

      When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.



    • S.
      March 21, 2016 6:12 pm

      Did you read the piece Annie? If you did then you would know Virginia is not “the left”. But thanks for the excuses about no one is racist because everyone is racist! Oh, and that people are allowed to be vile because 1) they have no sense of humor when a humor columnist tweets a joke re: a public figure and 2)Obama. Hypocrisy thy name is …



    • Pam
      March 21, 2016 6:18 pm

      I’m sorry….. bowel movement was meant to antagonize? Antagonize who? Anyone with a difference of opinion? Anyone without a sense of humor? I’m confused. We are talking about a man who calls women dumb, idiots, fat, morons, and stupid. I feel a little antagonized about that tbh.



    • Jon Law
      March 21, 2016 6:41 pm

      Hahaha. OK. I hope I’m not at the same Zone as your “hard working husband”. Because you sound like a douche, which I imagine is you just parroting his views. I’m glad I never subscribed to the thin blue line bullshit they try to tell these easily manipulated cadets. If someone is shooting at you, you did something to warrant it. But keep playing the victim sweetheart, it’s a good look for you.



    • Annie Needs Her Safe Space
      March 21, 2016 6:47 pm

      Sit down and shut up. You are exactly the problem with this country. I’m ashamed of you. To think this administration is anti- Christian just proves you aren’t a true Christian. But I’d rather your a mommy made me go to church type that barely listened while yiu got fingered the fkrst time in the choir loft and can’t quite any scripture. You are everything Trumo wants, white, poorly educated, easily manipulated and clearly full of hate and self loathing. To defend that monster on Twitter with made up facts and personal opinions NOT supported by any documentation makes you look like a moron. Enjoy the Kool- Aid.



    • Brad
      March 22, 2016 3:14 am

      You do realize Virginia is lily white and a registered republican? You’re diatribe is sad. I’m a lily white gun owning Republican and not 1 bad thing has happened to me during the last updated years under this President. Stop falling for the bullshit rhetoric, you’re smarter than that.



    • Emily
      March 22, 2016 9:07 am

      You are confusing racism with racial discrimination. A white person can not be the victim of racism. simply by being born white, we are given a privilege that those born brown are not. we are given the benefit of the doubt in nearly all situations. We can lack privilege on other ways, like being poor, being disabled, being LGBT, but even within those we have a leg up on people of color in those same people groups.

      The right is tired of the hypocrisy on the left? How so? That’s the pot calling the kettle a filthy negro. The right: We’re for small government, except, you know these things that we believe in, then those are American Values.

      If we’re going to make this left vs. right, let’s do a through job. I can talk at length about what the right is doing to this country. Let’s not tout what “this administration” is doing to this country without remembering that Republicans control the House and Senate. Without remembering that there have been measures, motions, meetings from these same Republicans about blocking anything that comes from Obama.
      Let’s talk about the right’s movements to take away basic medical rights of women. Lest anyone think that John Kasich is a moderate, he started removing funding from women’s health centers, abortion providers or not, LONG before the trumped up PP controversy. He’s diverted funds to “pregnancy resource centers” that are not medical facilities or even have doctors. The right is promising to remove the legal right to abortion that women have had since the 70s. The right is responsible for abstinence only sex ed programs in schools. So, those children learn NO birth control methods at all, then go to these PRCs and learn no more and then are pregnant. They’re then yelled at by people on the right about “keeping their legs closed” when they need the government benefits (that have been cut by the right).
      Let’s talk about what they right is doing to the LGBT community. I have a transgender child, so I’ll focus on the T. Bathroom bills? Little more than fearmongering and a little more the a bit of perversion. Yes, let’s offer what is little more than a bounty on people who may have different genatalia using the women’s bathroom. Let’s also pretend that women are inherantly at risk from trans women. Oh, we’ll cover that up with saying that men can now pretent to be women to have access to rape women. If we do a good job of that, the people who aren’t very well educated, well informed, have good reasoning skills, will believe that’s the left’s plan all along. We can pretned the left WANTS women raped.

      So, seriously, before you talk about what white Christian Americans are dealing with, learn something. Learn something that the right didn’t teach you, didn’t spew at you. The only thing that the right is afraid of is loss of that white, Christian privilege. They’re worried that they’ll begin to be treatede the way they’ve treated the since the first time the gave the injuns their small pox blankets (which, yes, I know didn’t actually happen). They’re afraid that all of the bigotry, hate, greed, and terrible Christian-ing will come back full force.



      • Rita
        March 24, 2016 11:46 am

        Gotta stop you at that first sentence. WHITE PEOPLE CAN BE VICTIMS OF RACISM. For example, if there is a power structure that EXCLUDES white people BECAUSE they are white people, that is racism. Racism is race neutral by definition.

        If you need an example, sororities or ethnic clubs that don’t allow persons outside of the ethnic group to join or exclude them based on their race. I.e. a Black sorority or a Polish ethnic club.

        Also, please explain to me how a white man in poverty at a minimum wage part-time job has a leg up on a black man in poverty at a minimum wage part-time job? The white person isn’t any better if he was born under the same socio-economic circumstances as the black person just because he was born lighter. If you’re saying the white person has more opportunities of upward mobility… maybe. Again, only maybe because it would come down to individual effort and other life-specific factors to overcome the equal barrier of poverty (i.e. quality of education, home or family values, community structure, etc.) Also, as we see a disregard for public education, the degradation of unions and, in turn, middle class jobs, I’d argue that poverty would mask completely any barrier of racism.

        This dovetails into another point: “White” can change. For years, Irish, Italians, Eastern Europeans were discriminated against as not “white”. So it is more a social construct and time changes how we perceive who is white or who is “white enough”



  30. Cindy McGovern
    March 21, 2016 5:34 pm

    These comments are so eloquent. and heartwrenching. I am sorry that you had this experience as I am sorry that so many have. We will repost your words, not because we will necessarily change minds, but because it helps to cement OUR humanity. Thank you.



  31. TJ
    March 21, 2016 6:45 pm

    First….Ginny, this is why I always dig your stuff. You get right up in there and throw some right hooks after some well placed jabs. Oh, and you knocked Hugh Jassle (come on now, lets all say that quickly. cause it rhythms with……), or should I say reamed him a new one. Poor sentence structure and all.

    Second, if he only knew how Pittsburgh you are. (not that that should matter at all, but…) Your entire social persona is Pitt Girl. Not, Cancun Girl. Not that you wouldn’t make a fabulous Cancun Girl. I’m sure you kick that ass too. But, PITT GIRL. Jesus (the savior. not the name with an ‘H’ sound at the beginning).

    Finally, and frighteningly, none of this is new. It’s always been. Has a particular presidential nominee made it ‘ok’ to spew? maybe. The scary part? It looks like neither side will have anyone worth mentioning. But, hey, just think of the material you will have!! I mean, if you were ever to get political.



  32. LJ
    March 21, 2016 8:58 pm

    As much as I love and miss Pittsburgh, I can hear those tweets in Pittsburghese. It’s an ugly truth about an otherwise great town. I hate that you’ve had this kind of ugliness directed at you, and I most recently hate that Donald Trump is making bold, personal crudeness of this kind somehow fashionable among a certain part of the population. Good for you for going after this jagoff.



  33. CJ
    March 21, 2016 9:10 pm

    While his response was very crude, I do agree that you and others who post non-stop about how terrible trump is antagonizing others. It is non-stop, and often filled with the same hate that you are supposed to be against. Its not just you – its the MSM, the Huffington Post, non-stop, bashing this man and his supporters. I feel that the continued bashing causes backlash.

    Again, sorry the comments were so crude but I am not surprised given the one sided narrative taking place on twitter and everywhere else.



    • Emily
      March 22, 2016 9:15 am

      When bullies are responded to, they usually feel bullied themselves. It’s OK to talk about shooting people oin 5th ave, to talk about deporting illegals, to make fun of the disabled, to talk about the size of your penis on stage, to slut shame women, but damn. When people respond with aggression, that’s just the same isn’t it?



  34. Grh
    March 21, 2016 9:27 pm

    Afte a quick look I can see that tweet still visible on his timeline. Immediately makes me question your whole article.



    • wolfie
      March 22, 2016 11:03 pm

      Consider this possibility. He probably blocked this author, and thus she was not able to see the post any longer. Seems completely reasonable, and hardly a reason to dismiss an entire article. Unless you’re looking for a reason…then any reason will do.



  35. Pingback: It’s NOT okay and I’m sick of it. | That’s Church – Caylee's Catches

  36. Suzie-Q
    March 21, 2016 9:51 pm

    Well said…well said…well said….Not much else to say except we cannot stop calling out this this type of hatred.



  37. Melissa
    March 21, 2016 10:24 pm

    I love the part about having to look up your ancestry. My husband has been working on our family trees since last summer. It’s been fascinating. I said to him that if EVERYONE dug back in their ancestry as far as possible, we’d all be nicer to each other. And not just because you find out that you have ancestors from all different kinds of places, but you can often find some stories on some that turn them into REAL people – with stories & struggles. It makes you appreciate how you got here, what others went through, sacrificed, etc. it really helps put the human condition into perspective.



  38. Dennis Roddy
    March 21, 2016 10:42 pm

    What Pitt Girl said.



    • bucdaddy
      March 24, 2016 1:32 am

      Hey, Dennis, good to know you’re still around.

      – Mark, from the old cat-tipping Trib days, circa 1983.



  39. Matt Fisher
    March 21, 2016 11:36 pm

    Well said. And shared on Facebook so that other friends in the Pittsburgh area can see your post and respond to your call to action.



  40. Melissa Ferraro
    March 22, 2016 4:59 am

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. #burgersagainstracism



  41. Rita
    March 22, 2016 9:13 am

    I’m sorry that there is this hatred, and you’re right, it’s become more politically acceptable. Trump is certainly moving the conversation backward.
    However, Pittsburgh is an entire city based on racism… that’s right. This 4th generation yinzer is ready to admit that. I grew up in “Little Italy” because that’s where my mom grew up. Her parents grew up there because that’s where her parents could live in safety. They couldn’t walk alone north of Liberty Avenue for fear of the Germans beating them back with baseball bats. As my father, a Virginian who remembers segregated schools and public places, pointed out, “I’ve never seen a city where white people didn’t like other white people!” There you have it, the Polish didn’t trust the Slovaks, who didn’t like the Jews, who hated the Irish, who detested African-Americans, etc. However, the real beauty of Pittsburgh is that through mutual work, strife, love and life, those groups started coming together and bringing out the best in all cultures. Ethnic clubs retained cultural identities and unionized workplaces treated workers the same and not based on race. THOSE STEPS ARE THE STEPS FORWARD. Over time, yinzers don’t think twice about the neighborhood name of “Polish Hill” or having a half-Jewish, half-Irish effective councilman.
    Trump is moving the conversation backwards, but this is where Pittsburghers (i.e. ‘Burghers and Yinzers) need to unite — we need to tell the nation our story, we’ve gone through lots of racist bouts — I remember being told stories when Hazelwood and the Hill District were ablaze over school integration and the “White flight” that followed. But more and more, we’ve shown that all voices can be heard without regard to race, especially when we see each other as working peers or when a common goal or good unites us.
    Again Virginia, I am truly sorry that you experienced this, but let’s work together to take back the conversation and move it forward.



  42. Christina
    March 22, 2016 11:35 am

    “Not okay” is the biggest understatement.

    It is completely wrong and should be illegal action that is treated like this. America is in danger and that danger is from inside.



  43. Cat
    March 22, 2016 1:38 pm

    Virginia, you are a wonderful human and I am proud as hell to share this city with you and your husband and your children and the rest of your family. Racism has no place in Pittsburgh.



  44. Mike Potter
    March 22, 2016 1:39 pm

    Great post Jane, although it is sad you had to write it. What really concerns me is the hatred that your brother-in-law posted about on FB. It’s out there, it’s ugly and it’s reaching a boiling point. It’s also an embarrassment to this country and the principles it was founded on.



  45. Paul H
    March 22, 2016 2:07 pm

    I don’t think that he cares what you think about him. He’s even hiding behind a fake name. Look at it:

    HughJ ass–le



  46. LISA
    March 22, 2016 3:26 pm

    Absolutely disgusting especially against a women and her kids. Do you think that kind of people is a MAN? Really? Of course not. The only one thing you can do is to ignore this kind of people who has in his heart more hatred than happiness. He seems to be so frustating….!



    • wolfie
      March 22, 2016 10:55 pm

      Ignoring him doesn’t seem like enough. Saying nothing allows his stance to remain unchallenged, and that’s insufficient, and is often interpreted as silent consent. It often seems like the only white people who are discussing race are saying ugly racist things, either very explicitly or in weak transparent euphemisms. As a person of good conscience and a commitment to anti-racism, I want to use my privilege more effectively, to challenge the status quo. Saying plainly as the title states, it’s NOT okay and I’m sick of it, may not change HIS mind in particular, anytime soon. However, this bigot is not the only one who is going to hear it when we speak up, verbally or in writing. I’m learning to use my voice to speak about what I know is true and good. I hope it interrupts the hatefulness.



    • Lisa
      March 23, 2016 10:01 am

      Sorry..I mean so frustrated..Between hatred and “vengeance” I choose indifference.



  47. theresa
    March 22, 2016 10:29 pm

    Brilliant post. I am sick of it too. I have always been republican but there is no way I could vote for Trump or Cruz. I knew that but especially after the remarks they made today after Belgium. I am so scared that if either of those knuckleheads is elected we will be in a war, right here on American soil. Our problem is not Muslims or Mexicans or any other religious or ethnic group. It is a few hateful people using their religion or politics to spread hate. This makes me so sad.



  48. Katie Redling
    March 23, 2016 10:32 am

    Speaking of racists, did you happen to catch what Wendy Bell WTAE posted on her Facebook page yesterday? A bunch of white-privilege racist crap in which she used the tragedy in Wilkinsburg to make herself feel better about complimenting a black busboy. After getting negative reactions to it, she edited the post, and is now blocking anyone who makes dissenting comments on it.

    This is supposed to be one of Pittsburgh’s JOURNALISTS. But racism and white privilege run deep around here. WTAE has not made any comments about it. Because she changed the post, here is a transcript of the original (there are screenshots but I can’t post pictures here):

    ” Next to “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times,” I remember my mom most often saying to my sister and me when we were young and constantly fighting, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ I’ve really had nothing nice to say these past 11 days and so this page has been quiet. There’s no nice words to write when a coward holding an AK-47 hoses down a family and their friends sharing laughs and a mind evening on a back porch in Wilkinsburg. There’s no kind words when 6 people are murdered. When their children have to hide for cover and then emerge from the frightened shadows to find their mother’s face blown off or their father’s twisted body leaking blood into the dirt from all the bullet holes. There’s just been nothing nice to say. And I’ve been dragging around this feeling like a cold I can’t shake that rattles in my chest each time I breathe and makes my temples throb. I don’t want to hurt anymore. I’m tired of hurting.
    You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday. I will tell you they live within 5 miles of Franklin Avenue and Ardmore Boulevard and have been hiding out since in a home likely much closer to that backyard patio than anyone thinks. They are young black men, likely teens or in their early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested. They’ve made the circuit and nothing has scared them enough. Now they are lost. Once you kill a neighbor’s three children, two nieces and her unborn grandson, there’s no coming back. There’s nothing nice to say about that.
    But there is HOPE. And Joe and I caught a glimpse of it Saturday night. A young, African American teen hustling like nobody’s business at a restaurant we took the boys to over at the Southside Works. This child stacked heavy glass glasses 10 high and carried three teetering towers of them in one hand with plates piled high in the other. he wiped off the tables. Tended to the chairs. Got down on his hands and knees to pick up the scraps that had fallen to the floor. And he did all this with a rhythm and a step that gushes positivity. He moved like a dancer with a satisfied smile on his face. And I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He’s going to Make It.
    When Joe paid the bill, I asked to see the manager. he came over to our table apprehensively and I told him that that young man was the best thing his restaurant had going. The manager beamed and agreed that his young employee was special. As the boys and we put on our coats and started walking out — I saw the manager put his arm around that child’s shoulder and pat him on the back in congratulation. It will be some time before I forget the smile that beamed across that young worker’s face — or the look in his eyes as we caught each other’s gaze. I wonder how long it had been since someone told him he was special.
    There’s someone in your life today — a stranger you’re going to come across — who could really use that. A hand up. A warm word. Encouragement. Direction. Kindness. A Chance. We can’t change what’s already happened, but we can be a part of what’s on the way. Speak up. Reach out. Dare to care. Give part of You to someone else. That, my friends, can change someone’s course. And then — just maybe THEN — I’ll start feeling again like there’s something nice to say.”



    • Me
      March 26, 2016 11:57 am

      Thanks for posting that. I had no idea what the apology from WTAE was about. I have never been a fan of Wendy Bell’s so I certainly do not pay attention to her social media. That post reeks of privilege and condescension. And total a obliviousness that it is a shame someone in her profession would have.



  49. Donald Durdan
    March 23, 2016 4:48 pm

    Anti muslim has nothing to do with race. Muslim/islam is not a race. It is religion, unfortunately not as peaceful as progressives, democrats and obama would have you believe.

    In the past few months many readers, I assume Pittsburgh residents, came out in favor of increased muslim immigration for the city and region. Perhaps that was due to their belief that muslims will assimilate peacefully and help create a safer, more economically favorable situation for the city. Just like they have in Detroit, Minnesota, Paris, Brussels, London and just about any other area in Europe where the gates have been opened.

    I suggest anti muslim really means pro National security and public safety. If that’s difficult to understand or appreciate think about the litany of terrorist actions over the past few years and open your media source to the airport in Brussels. That might, if you are so inclined and open minded, clarify the point.



    • LISA
      March 23, 2016 5:17 pm

      I never read a such stupid and ridiculous thing about muslim and islam!!! Hey Donald, can I ask you if you have one muslim friend, just one muslim friend or neighbor to say Islam is not a peaceful religion? What exactly do you know about this religion?? It seems NOTHING! You seem to be a fan of TRUMP, am I wrong?? OMG!!!!!



      • Donald Durdan
        March 29, 2016 1:42 pm

        I posted my background and reasoning. Still waiting for you to share why you think muslims are peaceful.



  50. bucdaddy
    March 24, 2016 1:13 am

    Jesus Christ, I come here to see what you make of the Wendy bell firestorm (goddamnit, Wendy, you don’t have to have a goddamn opinion about EVERYdamnthing) and find out another shitstorm has broken out.

    The only thing I can think to do is leave “Covered in Bees” here, and maybe help ease the tension.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-tl6GBOBo