Racism, But No Racists?

Under the white hood of online anonymity some propagate their own brand of racism as they breed hatred and intolerance within internet comments.

There is no denying it...no pretending it’s only isolated incidents, racism is alive and well in America.

For those that are not blinded by their own ideology, there are mounting ugly expressions of racism and bigotry around us that are occurring with alarming frequency. Under the white hood of online anonymity some propagate their own brand of racism as they breed hatred and intolerance within internet comments. Instead of taking responsibility for their statements they claim instead to be defending freedom of speech and with that twisted logic they falsely demand that they have the right to voice intolerance.

Their claim that the expression of bigotry is somehow protected by the First Amendment quickly becomes transparent and hollow, leaving them with the meager defense that those that point out their racism are “race baiting”. It is not, nor was it ever “race baiting “to stand against racism and intolerance in this country. Standing against racism, marching against racism, protesting against racism, is part of our legacy to the world. America stands for equality; America protects the dignity of all people regardless of gender, race, or religion.

Moderators at news websites usually delete individual racist comments but the expression of hate filled bigotry has become so prevalent that moderators are often forced to take down an entire thread. A growing number of newspapers disable an entire comments section beforehand if the article in any way relates to topics such as affirmative action or Planned Parenthood that consistently draw unashamed bigotry. These topics in particular open an online window for anonymous racial comments.

The opportunity for online anonymous comments empowers racism and that is why if any person chooses to comment on a news site they should use their full name, therefore removing the hood that hides their identity.

The danger of racist comments is that words coupled with hatred have the ability to generate action. Over the month of October, one ugly racial incident after another has occurred.  Beginning in early October an anti-President Obama campaign rally in Santa Clara, California, featured clear racial undertones, including a noose, watermelons and a sign that read "Go back to Kenya [1]."

A few days later, Jason Thompson, campaigning for his father, a Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate, echoed the same statement when he told followers at a rally that, “We have the opportunity to send the President back to Kenya”. [2] Then on October 12,  a shot was fired into the window of President Obama’s Campaign Headquarters in Denver, Colorado [3], and finally on October 18, someone spray-painted swastikas on at least one window of President Barack Obama's campaign office in Conifer, Colorado [4].

The emotional nature of this national election has pushed some to step over the racial line into open expressions of hatred and bigotry. President Obama has adamantly remained above the fog of petty racial slings, but as a nation, we will need to examine the real consequences of racism when that fog clears and the emotions of this campaign fade. But one fact is becoming clear; we have won important battles in the fight for equality, but not the war.





This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

bayboat October 24, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Racism is alive and well!!! Just look at our (hopefully soon to be gone racist president) Obama, "typical white person reaction" Its this type of racist comment, grouping people of a certain race(white) as having "typical" reactions that needs to stop Thank you bob for highlighting this type of racist behavior exhibited by our president!
bayboat October 24, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Lets not forget this racist white stereotype observation from Obama.. ..."Tim was not a conscious brother. Tim wore argyle sweaters and pressed jeans and talked like Beaver Cleaver. He planned to major in business. His white girlfriend was probably waiting for him up in his room, listening to country music." Talked like Beaver Cleaver, argyle sweater, white girlfriend, country music..all racist stereotypes from our president. Again... thank you Bob for giving a forum to draw attention to the racist comments and quotes from Obama. The people should know what kind racist attitudes Obama displays. YOURE A PATRIOT BOB!!!
Irina October 24, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Yes.....Prime example....Romney has 1% support from the black community. Either they're all benefitting from his programs OR they just want another 4 years of one of their own. What do you all think about that. I'll bet this post will get deleted.
Freetobeyouandme October 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM
"The opportunity for online anonymous comments empowers" and for every action there is an equal opposite reaction. The Arab Spring uprising against oppression had its roots in anonymous internet postings. Just about every person experiences some form of bigotry whether is is race, religion, waist size or any other differentiating human feature. The "playing of the race card" (by Chris Matthews, etc.) because Obama's polls are slipping is a disservice to every person who succeeds despite adversity.
Bob Griffiths October 25, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I believe that it is important for America to resume the noble endeavor against racism and bigotry; first we need to admit that in the final analysis the election of a man of color to the highest office in the land was a reality that some, and I stress some, on the fringe could not accept and they reacted with words and actions of intolerance and hatred; second we need to realize that there are a vocal number of politicians on the far right that speak to a group of people out there who don’t want folks like President Barack Obama in any elected or leadership position. It doesn’t help the perception of intolerance when a media spokesman for the right makes clearly racist statements, case in point are the many controversial racial statements made by conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh. When one in your political family starts slinging mud, then everybody in the political family gets dirty.
momere October 25, 2012 at 06:37 PM
"one of their own" interesting since Obama's Mother was white from Kansas! Oh, that's right he's black :) What a ridiculous statement.
Freetobeyouandme October 25, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Mr Limbaugh has a different opinion of who is making race an issue. http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/08/30/the_bigotry_and_racism_of_msnbc In 2008, Hillary Clinton attempted to make an issue of Obama's lack of experience. Obama et al tried to twist it into an issue of race. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPNdIrnwyfE. Is all criticism, even within your own party, racism?
Bob Griffiths October 25, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Your comparison to Arab Spring is not remotely valid. In America, freedom of speech is of the utmost importance to the concept and practice of liberty. In much of the Arab World, freedom of speech, is not guatanteed or considered worthy of protection. Case in point, the young Arab girl that had the courage to speak out and oppose prostitution, she was shoot for her courage to speak out in her own name, such courage from a child. Anonymous comments are too often the vail of the weak, morally weak and intellectually weak.
Mills Lane October 25, 2012 at 07:55 PM
We definitely need to stop racism. The poor upper middle class white male one percenter is under attack by every minority out there the most sickening is the white jealous apologists like andy griffiths here.
Freetobeyouandme October 25, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Mr Griffiths, as my last comment has been pending approval for 2 hours, I have my doubts that this comment will be posted. In the interim, you have posted the comment below. I would like to point out that the world wide web is not governed by traditional boarders. Your statement that my reference to the Arab Spring is not valid is circumspect at best. For you to deny that there is value in anonymity is to simply not understand that its powers can be used for good or evil. http://www.meta-activism.org/2011/11/arab-spring-what-did-we-learn-about-tech-and-revolution/ I would also point out that weak, morally weak and intellectually weak statements are frequently made by identified posters.
BeyondReality October 25, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I hope this country will one day come to a time where the differences among people can be celebrated and not sheltered. People seem to think that, "Every man is Equal" means that "Every man is the same". And the ideal of "Racism" has been so widely attributed to every situation that it is disgusting. Bob I for one am a complete advocate for being free from racism but lets not call everything that involves a black person racism please. The send Obama back to Kenya or the shots in his office have no evidence of being Racist. If he was white and born in Germany there would be campaigns to send him back to Germany. I think people like to stretch way to much the bounds of Racism. There are differences between races based off of social and community variations. Comedians are constantly pointing them out and it is still hilarious today because it has such a ring of truth to it. Why do we have to hide from these differences, why can they not be embraced and celebrated? The point is every person is not the same and we should be able to laugh at our differences. This is not an outlet of hate and separation but something that makes our country so great. Racism plays on all ends of our country. The fact that Obama holds 90% of the black vote in this country is a fine example. Are you telling me that 90% of this countries black population agrees with his policies over his opponent? I doubt it I think it is more obvious that he is a predetermined choice based off of his skin color.
BeyondReality October 25, 2012 at 10:58 PM
And another note, I believe that the first amendment completely protects a person to share his beliefs and views in an open forum without any repercussions from his government. That means that if someone wants to belong to the KKK or the black panthers and talk about their hate for another racial group than they as Americans have the right to do so and talk freely among people who share their beliefs. Do I think it is morally and socially correct? No, I think it is disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves. But does that mean I think their right to speak should be taken away from them? Absolutely not. I might not share their beliefs but that does not mean I believe that there right to speak it should be taken away. That to me sounds like communism and our country has taken to many steps towards stripping our freedoms to be allowed any further.
Bob Griffiths October 26, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Quote by Beyond reality: "The send Obama back to Kenya or the shots in his office have no evidence of being Racist". So you do not consider these statements and threats racist? Then what exactly do you consider a racist statement; what do you consider a shot fired through a campaign headquarters, a valid expression of 2nd Amendment rights? Freedom of Speech is not absolute, as you seem to imply; there are established limits, and blatant racist statements are beyond the limits. In addition, why is the claim that Obama holds 90% of the Black vote somehow a racist statement as you also imply, maybe Romney does not offer any solutions to the issues and problems that impact most on Black voters, or Hispanics, or recent immigrants, and one more thing, where did you get this figure of 90%?
Irina October 26, 2012 at 02:50 AM
@momere Look at the polls. YOUR statement is ridiculous. Gallop, Marist, Monmouth said it all.
bayboat October 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Liberals want to assasinate Romney and burn the White House down if he wins. Pure racism against white candidate Romney. Im sure Bob was getting to that in his next post. 94% NOT 90% of blacks support Obama(nyt poll), Im sure its because of his "policies" and not his race (lol) http://www.examiner.com/article/liberals-on-twitter-threaten-to-attack-burn-white-house-if-romney-wins
bayboat October 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Romney supporter beaten by men(Obama supporters/liberals?) trying to tear down his Romney lawn signs WHEN will these attacks by LIBERALS stop? http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/police-investigate-attack-on-senators-son-over-romneyryan-sign-qt7anlm-175324501.html
bayboat October 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM
ARSON by liberals/Romney supporters WHEN will this intolerance by liberal Obama supporters stop? Bob was getting to this Im sure. Sorry if Im stepping on your toes by getting to it first Bob, I KNOW this is a topic you care deeply about. I wonder how much racism was to blame in this horrific arson by liberals/Obama supporters? I wonder how prevalent this intolerant/dangerous attitude is on the part of liberals/Obama supporters? http://www.wtop.com/120/3091012/Va-couple-Romney-yard-sign-set-on-fire
Robert Yates October 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Beyond Reality wins this debate hands down. Bob's position is self contradictory. We must tolerate everyone, except for the intolerant. It's like saying that everything is relative except the fact that everything is relative. It is an incoherent position which uses circular reasoning. Hating someone because of the color of their skin is superficial and absurd. The 1st Amendment protects that position however. As long as physical violence against another does not result from speech (such as it most likely would if one falsely yelled fire in crowded movie theater), it is protected. Anonymous postings are quite beneficial as well if you do not live in a free society. I bet Brady Manning and Julian Assange wish they had remained anonymous, here in the land of the free and home of the brave. Bob needs to read more Glen Greenwald.
momere October 26, 2012 at 03:56 PM
The POLLS don't change the FACT that his mother is WHITE! and yet he's considered black (which is the point you're totally missing). Get over yourself! Nice to hide behind the computer and spit out your nastiness - COWARD!
Bob Griffiths October 26, 2012 at 06:56 PM
From the very beginning of the Civil Rights movement the interpretation of the 1st Amendment has been of great importance in establishing what is racial or hate speech and what is not. At present, hate speech that constitutes a threat is not protected, nor can a state protect it. A threat encompasses those statements that communicate an intent to commit an unlawful act or incite others to do so. The speaker need not actually intend to carry out the threat. So, therefore, hate speech that is intended to incite is not protected by the 1st Amendment. New standards are needed to address the growing plague of Internet 
speech that plants the seeds of hatred, by combining information and incitement
that ultimately enables others to commit violence. We have not even touched on the morality of the issue.
BeyondReality October 26, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Bob, I couldnt disagree more with your last post. The last thing this country needs is more government telling me what I can and cant say and telling me what I can and cant do. New standards are absolutely not needed to be put in place by government. That sounds to me like Socialism if I wanted that I would move to another country. And under your belief about the 1st amendment, I could say that any hate speech could incite violence and than should be banned. This would allow the government to stop any speech at all if it isnt nice and fluffy because someone else could take it to far and than bring it to a violent point. That obviously doesnt make any sense. The path to more government control and regulation is a slippery slope. And as for the shots fired in his office and the go back to Kenya remark I am not saying that they are definitely not racist, it is all about the intent of the one who did it. I am saying that lets not automatically jump to racism as the answer to every one of our problems. The go back to Kenya remark has to do with him not being a natural citizen not the color of his skin. But people automatically jump to racism because people fear to receive that title of being "Racist". It is meant to squash and instill fear in people so that they will be bent to others will. Its a scare tactic. And the fact that you would say that 94% of black americans agree with his policies is a joke and you know it. No 1 social group is so completely conformed.
Freetobeyouandme October 26, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Case law disputes your argument. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/hatespeech.htm In 2011, the Supreme Court's announced its decision in Snyder v Phelps. Writing for an 8 to 1 Court, Chief Justice Roberts noted that the Westboro group's speech generally related to a matter of public concern, that the group complied with all city ordinances and police department requests, and that the funeral itself was not disrupted. Given these facts, Roberts wrote, "We cannot react to [Snyder's] pain by punishing the speaker. As a nation we have chosen a different course--to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."
THISISWHATITHINK October 26, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Would you care to name the "vocal number of politicians on the far right" and the "group of people out there who don't want folks like President Barack Obama in any elected position"? Would you also define what you mean by "folks like President Barack Obama"? Will you also tell us what those many "controversial racial statements" made by Rush Limbaugh are, in context? For starters, it sounds like you lifted those statements from either Chris Matthews or Ed Schultz, two hate and rage filled men who I believe most or all psychologists would agree have a severe psychological problem. Racism may always exist in this country, on both sides in a minority of people and if it wasn't for the race hustlers like the "Rev." Jesse Jackson and the "Rev." Al Sharpton in would even be less of a minority. I also should include the America hating, white hating "Rev." Jeremiah Wright, our "dear" POTUS"s former pastor. Most of us couldn't care less what color our POTUS is as long as by word and deed he displays his or her love for our country, and lives up to his or her Oath of Office. Black people make up approximately 12% of the population so President Obama could not have been elected without many, many other votes; in spite of the fact that none of them knew who he was or where he came from thanks to our MSM who knew they could just make a rock star out of him! You can have opinions, but they should be based on facts and yours is just propaganda.
jerseyswamps October 27, 2012 at 07:58 AM
To all conservatives, Republicans and clear thinking adults. [I know, I'm being redundant.] Mr. Griffiths is usually on the wrong side of issues but he is not stupid. Don't be drawn into his trap. He's attempting to turn the debate away from issues he can not defend these last few days of the campaign. He sees Obama doing the same thing. Obama can not defend his economic policies. Obama can not defend the way he has handled our national security. Obama threw 4 good Americans to the wolves in order to save his campaign. That disgraceful scandal is getting worse by the day. Obama isn't talking about the things important to most voters. Isn't it odd that Bob would would up this very old beaten to death topic of racism against Obama the last few days of the campaign? Don't fall for it. Leave the racism debate for after the election. Leave it the where Obama supporters want to leave the discussion about Libya and the cover up. Come on, Bob. Tell us how we are all better off today, explain to our children why it is fair they should pay for our comforts, defend Obama's handling of the murders in Libya and his cover up. To all others: Do not be drawn into his attempt to highjack the debate from the real issues.
bayboat October 27, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Bob Griffiths...Thought Police! "New standards are needed to monitor the morality and to ensure the information/incitement ratios are maintained!" Oh boy....
Spooner October 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM
jerseyswamps- not for nothing but there were about 9M jobs lost thanks to Wall St, and under Obama over 5M jobs have come back, including a 500K manufacturing jobs. He rescued the auto industry which if he didn't, there would have been another 1M jobs lost across the country. He was responsible for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which saved 3M jobs. . .I could go on, but the point is. . .your blanket statement doesn't hold water. ...as for Benghazi: I might remind you that the Republican House Chairman on security, Darrell Issa was instrumental in cutting $500M from the State Dept Security budget, but listen...I don't want to confuse you with facts!
Bob Griffiths October 27, 2012 at 08:19 PM
First, you are yourself a little beyond reality, my comments were based upon the majority decision of the Supreme Court. Your generalized statement about "the government standard" is actually a judicial ruling. We have a check and balance system, it works pretty well. It appears your problem is with the system of government that has been in place for a long time, have faith, a popular government does work.
BeyondReality October 28, 2012 at 06:22 PM
That is exactly what I am afraid of. The "Feeling Police" Reminds me of that movie, Equilibrium, with Christian Bale. We do not need anyone to "Monitor Morality", that is called communism. People who are racist, however despicable their thoughts are, are allowed to be racist. As unfortunate as it is you cannot police people into being moral, in America they are allowed to feel however they want and share those feelings in a peaceful way. And people should stop jumping to racism as the cure for every disease. Look just because someone points out the differences between races does not mean they are racist! Their is such fear of the word in this country it is ridiculous. All men are created equal, not the same. The differences between us should be celebrated not feared. And people shouldn't fear being automatically deemed Racist from people like Bob. It is a scare tactic and so widely utilized that this country is suffering from it. Everyone has to tip toe around their words in hope they dont get labeled this. You know when people are racist, when they are holding hatred in themselves for a certain group just because they of who they are. Someone who is not racist is someone who points out differences in people or who mentions that someone is from another country.
Tom Durkin November 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM
So Mr.Griffths....anyone who views Obama's abysmal track record and perceives another term as more of the same, with additional socialist ideology as law, is a racist ? Why not get off your horse and rally the genuinely oppressed people in this country and our world ? The preposterous assumptions in your treatsie are both sophomoric and ill advised in a time when healing the wounds of racism, past and present,are at the very top of any one of conscience in America... Whenever we cure the abuses built into social welfare,for one matter, we can begin to move on together and remove racism from both sides. It's the penned thoughts of people, much like yourself,who insist on fanning the flames of racism citing an argument by the invisible. Tom Durkin


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