The Casual Racism of the Internet, How It Eases Its Way Into Real Life

Something happens to people on the Internet, they get brave, especially when a little anonymity is thrown in the mix. They say things online they would never endeavor to say to someone face to face. But it’s a lot more than calling someone the N-word, or whatever words deemed the most demeaning to whatever group they don’t like. It’s the casual expressions of racists beliefs that when unchallenged, become part of the consensus in the safe zones where people gather online.

Once upon a time, people were ashamed to be called racist and would govern themselves accordingly. Two things have changed. Anonymous screen names let people say whatever they like without fear of recrimination is one. A chorus of people backing them up, making their racism a badge of honor instead of a bad thing is another. Racism has become a favorite excuse to explain away everything that doesn’t go the way it always has.

Recently, some Federal Judges of color have made rulings that stood in the way of some of the government’s Unconstitutional efforts to fight immigration. Opponents cried out, “Affirmative Action!” as the reason blacks and Hispanics were ever in a position to make those decisions in the first place. They believe that the only way a person of color ever attained high placement was to fill a quota, displacing a more deserving white person in the process. In response, of the 87 Federal judges appointed by the current administration. One has been black and one Hispanic, 80 of the remaining were white. Kristen Clarke, President of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said, “It turns the clock back on years of work and effort that went into promoting judicial diversity.”

Beyond the machinations of the administration who blatantly are unconcerned about anyone outside their base. The general public has found racism more acceptable, redefining it almost out of official existence. The same people who casually rail against Affirmative Action on the Internet, are the same ones that are making hiring decisions and promotions, ever wary that they don’t respond to the pressure of “political correctness.” There’s more support now to do the wrong thing than the right one.

It would be nice to believe that our friends and neighbors aren’t the ones filling up the comments section of blogs and articles with nasty remarks espousing their hatred. Would that it be a Russian in a Saint Petersburg troll farm than the person teaching your children or coaching their teams. The racism prevalent across the Internet isn’t primarily bots and trolls, rather your co-workers and neighbors who “smile in your face” while revealing their true nature when tweeting and commenting.

The Internet didn’t create racism, though racists have certainly embraced it. It give them an audience, let them find others with similar thoughts and values. And for the most part, there’s little recourse, free speech and all that. Even worse it’s way cool in some circles to be as racist as you like, Reddit anyone? Maybe the best thing about the Internet when it comes to racism is when people get videoed taking their online behavior to the real world, are identified, then punished or fired. While some of you wear your racism like a badge of honor. Employers can’t afford to appear to feel the same way.

📝 Read this story later in Journal.

🗞 Wake up every Sunday morning to the week’s most noteworthy Tech stories, opinions, and news waiting in your inbox: Get the noteworthy newsletter >

Bribery And Fraud: Affirmative Action For Rich, White People

American Colleges and Universities have often struggled with the issue of race. Primary White Institutions (PWI’s) initially in almost every instance, failed to admit most minorities at all. When they did, it was often as a result of legislation requiring minority admissions and/or affirmative action programs establishing goals for minority students. There has been a long term backlash to affirmative action students, most suggesting that deserving white students were denied admission in lieu of less qualified minorities.

Some have disingenuously taken up the cause of highly qualified Asian students who have suffered because of limits imposed by Affirmative Action programs. They place blame, typically on black students that were admitted rather than recognizing that these programs have made all minorities, crabs in a barrel, fighting for a limited number of spaces while white students enjoy the rest.

A still-developing scandal has revealed that rich people, almost all rich, white people, have been using other tools to ensure their children got into good colleges and universities and buy their way in. These schemes included having other people take their ACT and SAT tests, faking medical disabilities to allow extra time on standardized tests, and “earning” athletic scholarships in sports their children didn’t play. They faked honors earned in high school and staged photo’s of the children on rowing machines or playing water polo. One example had the parents paying from $15–75K to get a rigged test score with $10K going to the person who actually took the test. Money was routed through a mostly fake charity, apparently aspiring to keep up with the Trump family.

Among the schools known to be involved are; Georgetown, Stanford, Yale, the University of Texas, and the University of Southern Califonia. People have been quick to suggest the schools had no idea this was going on and the students were unaware the fix was in. People at the schools getting paid include athletic coaches and administrators. One would think a student might notice if someone else took their SAT and got an excellent score?

Thus far, 33 parents have been charged by the FBI as part of, Operation Varsity Blues. Several executives of firms have been charged as well with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. A couple of the parents arrested were Hollywood celebrities. I omit their names because it would distract from my main points:

1 When it’s all said and done, what will be the penalty for these crimes? Depriving better-qualified students of getting into the best schools. What are the odds one of those rich parents will go to jail? Or will they pay a small fine or see the cases dropped? Maybe the actors involved can play themselves in the movie?

2. Will we see the outrage about rich, white people, cheating the system in ways different than usual like legacy students, making huge donations, or adding a wing to a building?

The problem is not now nor has it ever been affirmative action. The existing programs have served more like a cap on minorities, significantly less than their percentage of the population. Some people have condemned the admission of minority students while readily accepting that the advantaged often take advantage. Let’s see if they even make the effort to get upset?