The Miss America Contest, Twitter, and a Big Heaping Bowl of Racist Crazy

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GMP Senior Editor Mark Greene is an Emmy Award winning animator and designer. He blogs and speaks on Men's Issues at the intersection of society, politics, relationships and parenting for the Good Men Project, HLN, Talking Cranes, The Shriver Report, The Huffington Post, Mamamia and Role Reboot. You can follow him on Twitter @megaSAHD and Google.
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  1. The stoopids, it hirts….

  2. Les Kertay, Ph.D. says:

    The internet is forever; I hope the people you very artfully reminded of this fact have the good sense to step back and reflect. Sadly, I think it’s unlikely that they will see anything wrong with what they’ve done, or realize the xenophobic assumptions underlying their tweets. Now my question becomes, how can I help promote tolerance and civility in the midst of this – well, craziness?

  3. Marie Roker-Jones says:

    Great post Mark! Can’t say I’m surprised. I remember when Vanessa Williams won in the 80s. She even received death threats. It’s just sad that we’re in the 21st Century and despite the advancements we’ve made, ignorance seems to prevail.

  4. While I get that talking about race and the very real existence of racism in our post-civil-rights-movement country…

    Can we please stop talking about what no-name idiots say on Twitter as if it’s important? I’m getting very tired of media outlets watching something controversial unfold and then rushing to Twitter to find the stupidest things being said and making those Tweets the basis of a whole article. It’s NOT NEWS any more than Drunk Uncle Jerry’s racist jokes at the Labor Day BBQ are news. These are just being recorded and published; even if they weren’t, these idiots would still be shouting their opinions at their TV sets, with the exact same tiny iota of influence on overall society.

    Then again, it is useful shorthand for people like me who aren’t on Twitter and don’t mind the reminders of exactly WHY that is…

    • Hi KKZ,
      I would respectfully suggest that those idiots shouting at the TV are sometimes doing so with small children in the room. Thats how this stuff gets passed on. If the media isn’t telling a counter story to what bigots are saying, how will anyone (including their kids) ever hear that its wrong. Keeping our bigots hidden is a terrible choice. I’d much rather have them outed often and early by the media. Otherwise only their kids and friends hear them.

      Thank god, they’ve been kind enough to come into the digital public square and declare their ignorance and hatred. Now these hidden dialogues are visible to all.

  5. Amy Johnson says:

    THANK YOU for a rational piece on this subject. Sharing sharing. And wow, actually checking the FACTS before jumping to wild, racist conclusions?! Novel!

  6. MevsSociety says:

    Persons making such comment are ignorant. They have been abandoned by the educated and insightful and are surviving by making enough noise and distraction to get their comments, heard, repeated, and spread around for others to read as though they actually have some beneficial and relevent value.

  7. wellokaythen says:

    Can I get paid to skim the internet and twitterverse looking for idiotic racist comments? I ask because that has to be the easiest job in the world. Sort of shooting fish in a barrel, really.

    I’m the last person to underestimate the idiocy of the online public, but I wonder how representative these tweets really are. There must be millions of tweets about the pageant, and no doubt some of them are pretty ignorant. (I bet about 20% of the comments are along the lines of “yeah id do her.”) And, yes, every statement of racism is one statement too many, etc., etc., but how widespread are these reactions?

    I imagine there are lots of people in Latin America tweeting about how absurd it is that one country has the audacity to call itself “America” to the exclusion of all other “Americans” in the Western Hemisphere.

    • EXACTLY. The news media are really in sad shape if they still think “OMG racism on Twitter!” deserves to be a headline.

  8. You should NOT have censored the Twitter handles of these peoples’ comments. These people need to own up to their words. If their opinions are being broadcast in public, then so should their identities; at least their Twitter handles should be. Whatever consequences they receive as a result of that is of their own undertaking. By censoring their names, you have given them the amnesty of anonymity. Shame on you for doing this.

    • If that owning up could be done without people going all vigilante justice on them I’d be for it. But unfortunately the internet is not that trustworthy. The last thing we need is some self righteous “My insults and attacks are okay because you made racist remarks” vigilantism.

      • The last thing we need is some self righteous “My insults and attacks are okay because you made racist remarks” vigilantism.

        indeed danny.
        while it is true, i can enter their words into a search engine to find their names.
        i still consider what mark did by not posting their id’s, a humane act

  9. The idea that the sentiments expressed by these racist tweets are insignificant,reflecting only a fraction of commonly held values and without much evidence.This shit has been rolling down hill for hundreds of years in America.The popularity of FOX NEWS is just one indication of the depth and range these views have in America.These beliefs are anything but fringe.All too often progressive voices consistently underestimate the power of racism,behaving as if the denial of its existence,painting those who are racist as crazy, will somehow solve the problem.This denial is part of the problem.

  10. Nicely said, Mark. I tend to agree with E. Raymund, although I don’t care to be quite as harsh. Still, when you (a Twitter user) states something on Twitter, you do so openly, to share, to provoke, to incite. Whatever the reason, you chose to use a public forum. This blog is an excellent piece (IMHO) but in moving to protect the guilty, you did exactly that. Still, the point is clearly how stupid Americans can be. It’s one thing to be a bigot. It’s another to be an idiot. Wait …. yeah, there’s no difference! Where’s my paper sack?!

  11. John Schtoll says:

    Some crazy crap pops into my head every once in a while. HERE is one of those things.

    What if a full blood Native American won this contest, would we still get these posts claiming she was foreign. I bet we would.

  12. What amuses me is when major news organizations breathlessly report “Ignorant, hateful comments found on Twitter!” like it’s some amazing and newsworthy revelation.

    They’re still not 100% sure this Internet thing will catch on, are they? When will these dinosaurs recognize that they’re peddling yet another dog-bites-man story under the guise of ‘news’?

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