Why the Right hates communicating on the Internet.
To open this post, I’d like to give a reading from the Dead Kennedys:
Ten guys jump one, what a man
You fight each other, the police state wins
Stab your backs when you trash our halls
Trash a bank if you’ve got real balls
Nazi punks, fuck off
So it is. So it shall be. Praise the universe. Praise the Heavens. May the War On Christmas be won by the just, may only the strongest be left standing as it reaches its end.
Now that prayers have been said, let’s begin. This new decade…let’s kick the fires and light the tires or however the saying goes.
It looks like tone policing and the paranoid “lack of civility” nonsense will be crossing over into the 2020s with us. From hearing about the hurt feelings in people who love to berate others who express hurt feelings, the biggest tragedy these days appears to be that nobody politely laughs at their corny blonde jokes anymore. They shed tears because racist microagressions aren’t welcomed like they were back in Great Uncle Cousinfucker’s day.
They fantasize about restricting others’ First Amendment rights. Yet these days, they also have convinced themselves that their own First Amendment rights are under attack. They act persecuted, even though the average Trump voter earned a lot more than the nation’s the median income. (In Florida, the MAGA-hatted median income averaged $70,000. The state’s median income was $48,000.)
They talk as if they have been disenfranchised and now possess fewer civil rights than other Americans. If they wanted to know the truth, their civil rights are indeed under attack. But not by the Left. Watchers of Fox News need to direct their rage at the 1%. The people turning our economy into a rentier-based system that only benefits top-earners’ interests—and doing this increasing at the expense of people who earn less—who—
Whoa. What am I saying? Why am I going off on this tangent? The Fox News types I am talking about here damn well know that the country’s corporate interests and high-net-worth individuals cause a disproportionate amount of the masses’ problems. Financially-stressed white America sure as shit gets it. They get that they are too chickenshit to speak out against richer folks who dodge taxes while buying the government.
(I blanketly use terms like “Fox News viewership” to describe a white America that believes in trickle-down economics and that rich white men are disproportionately superior. Many of these folks do not watch Fox News as well.)
Those Fox News types just don’t like people mentioning facts like these.
White privilege has its privileges.
If one were to bring up points like this in physical conversation, the person I am talking about would start barking to cut off the speaker. They would spit out really dumb questions to try and exhaust the person so they will quiet themselves.
Can’t do this on the Internet. Type in all-caps all you want. It doesn’t have the same effect that red-faced yelling has in real life.
America’s most willfully-ignorant group, whites who enable the 1%, whines about the Internet hurting their feelings. They usually bring their hurt feelings up right after saying that females shouldn’t get worked up when Right-wing trolls threaten their lives and people of color should ignore the racism directed at them.
Speaking of this world, the communications opportunities online changed substantially over the past ten years or so.
More than any other event, the last decade got shaped by America electing its first black President. His Inauguration in January of 2009 marked a turning point for the country. The Obama campaign utilized emerging technologies to target voters more effectively and engage in wider online conversations. For better or for worse, his success ushered in a new relationship between politics and technology. And people who hated this president went online to rant and rave about it, thinking they’d quiet the masses by typing their disapproval in all caps.
During Barack Obama’s terms in office and afterward, the authoritarianism-friendly segment of the population lost its mind, screaming about the past and screeching about the inevitable changes happening around them. People who prided themselves on their lack of empathy…who went through life getting joyous whenever they heard about unnecessary suffering among the less-fortunate—once America elected a black guy as its Commander-In-Chief, this demographic’s ugliness skyrocketed. They viewed Obama as a threat, no matter what the Left said.
For these voters, Donald Trump and his Cabinet were seen as the team that would deliver the match-winning punch, shutting the other side up.
As we enter this new decade, these whites know that the Left didn’t fall down when punched. And the Left won’t be shutting up anytime soon, no matter how hard the Right tries to instigate fights and then dial 911.
In the offline world, these white people can travel in packs and collectively shout down those they disagree with. Just like their idols Tucker Carlson and Bill O’Reilly, they can talk over a person instead of engaging in dialogue with them. If things do not go their way and the other person won’t quiet down, these whites can act huffy and perturbed, adding volume to their voices to alert other white folk about a potential 911-type situation that could require a swarm of caucasians to gather and get bent out of shape.
Can’t do any of that online. Nope.
You type something. Another types something. The techno-thingie records it. Others get to see it.
As much as the Fox News viewership wishes it would, the techno-thingie doesn’t selectively record posts or responses.
The techno-thingie doesn’t notice one’s white skin and another’s brown skin.