I’ve always tried to avoid doing it- getting into an internet fight. Fighting on the internet is about as productive as going onto facebook when you have homework to do. It just doesn’t work. But when I came across an article about the new web browser designed specifically African Americans in mind, I couldn’t help making a comment. To be fair, I usually don’t go on the KKK’s website to discuss Barack Obama’s merits, but this news article was on a seemingly innocuous technology blog.
Sure a reader had referred to the African American developers of the browser as “ignorant clowns” incapable of designing their own browser, but I was sure all the other readers were reasonable folk. If I only shed some historical perspective on the purpose of the browser, surely other readers would understand.
Boy was I ever wrong. Somehow, in the course of explaining why African American’s might want their own web browser (even though I myself wasn’t completely sold on the idea), I was called: “a loser”, “a white hating racist”, and “an angry black man”- and that’s just what I saw before the moderator deleted “racist jokes and comments”.
I figured I would check back this evening, and found new developments: I was informed that one of the readers “didn’t want any blacks on their premises”, and a link to a racist website was provided, complete with a video entitled “Who likes a N*gger?”
I’m not naive about the state of race relations in our country, but because I don’t ordinarily seek out racist enclaves, I found the response to my remarks surprising. If nothing else, what was said on that website was a fresh reminder that, contrary to the November 5th headlines, we do not live in a “post-racial” society.
The link to the website is: http://techblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/12/mozillas-blackbird-web-browser.html
The comments (as of November 13th) are reproduced below: