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View Full Version : Digital Racism

07-11-2007, 08:26 AM
Here is something I wrote for my blog but I thought I would share it with my friends on here

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This morning I was getting ready for work when my phone beeped to say a new text message had been received, within seconds (as usual) my hands were on it eager to see why one of my close friends were texting me at 7:30am. The text was a forwarded “funny” message although this time it wasn’t humorous, it was a racist ‘joke’ at the expense of another race. The message was in such bad taste that I don’t even think a self confessed racist would have even found it that amusing and it made me even more irritated as I drove to work thinking about it. While this is not the first time I have seen a racist message, it is the first time I have received such a message from my good friend who has other than this never outwardly shown any racist tendencies and is a thoroughly nice man!

The main things that concerned me about this were:
-The actual content of the message itself
-The fact somebody sent me this as they thought I would find it amusing
-The sender is a type of person who would never say this by word in conversation but deemed it to be acceptable to write it (or forward it) in text format.

I have also in the past received similar e-mails at the last company I worked at, composed by an otherwise good natured and polite white male. In this instance, the male in question thought it was amusing to send around racist stories, motto’s and ‘jokes’ to everyone in the office except the asian or black members of staff. The fact that he blatantly excluded these exact people from the e-mail list proved he knew deep down what he was doing was wrong but still he carried on! I replied to one of his e-mails one day to tell him not to include me on anymore things like this as I was disgusted by his sense of humour, to which he replied “fair enough then, I didn’t realise you thought like that”. I never gave him any reason to believe I was a racist so I can only assume he thought everybody felt the same as himself. I am quite an open minded person and I do not isoloate myself from social groups and snarl at them having joke, I like to have a laugh like everyone and I am definitely not a jobs-worth! I just believe that material that is bad natured and bad taste should not be pushed onto people who have never shown any desire to wish to read this type of drivel.

There seems to be a worrying trend amongst people who use digital technology to distribute racist material, and it is even more worrying to discover that people who would never say such things in person are using this as tool to behave in an unsociable and detrimental way. My own experience seems to show that this bad trend is on the increase and if people carry on acting like this in a digital way I can only assume it will lead to even more tensions in real life and will increase the segregation which unfortunately still exists today. It has already been proved that the way we behave online can be reflected in the real world and vice versa but it seems as this only effect’s some subjects and not all.

I think a common rule should be followed when you are online, if you wouldn’t say it in person in ‘the real world’ then don’t write it when sitting in front of a computer and assume everybody feels the same as you.

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