Whenever I post an article about racism or African Americans, angry, white, middle aged internet trolls flood the comments section with an astonishing amount of venom. I’m guessing they have some sort of automatic alert that pings them when someone writes about subjects pertaining to race in America, jolting them away from episodes of ‘Maury’ and microwaved Hot Pockets so they can do battle against evil liberals supporting affirmative action and lesbians.
I wrote a piece earlier in the week discussing the Supreme Court’s awful decision to reverse the voting rights act from the Civil Rights era, arguing that the effects of slavery and racism were far from over in America and states could not be trusted to ensure equal voting rights to all of their citizens. It sparked off a good debate in the comments section that was unfortunately hijacked by a couple of right wing trolls looking to project all of their insecurities onto the other readers as some sort of cathartic anger release experiment. Anyway, it all got rather nasty, but I must confess to having quite a good time hurling insults of my own at them.
The debate started when I responded to a comment by Christopher Foxx who agreed with me that the Republicans could not be trusted to protect minority voting rights:
Kevin Groenhagen then jumped in with the following civilized response:
Not satisfied with just insulting me, Kevin then began inserting himself in other comment threads, offering delightful nuggets of wisdom like this:
In response to ‘Joseph2004’ who argued that “It’s time to give the states in question the benefit of the doubt that they will play fair going forward.”, an anonymous commenter managed to provoke me into responding after calling me ‘anti American’. This prompted Kevin to once again jump in with his helpful insights:
The debate continued:
Then things turned nasty:
And then really nasty:
The conversation stopped there as I felt I’d spent enough time arguing with Kevin. But I did google his name, and it turns out I wasn’t far off in my character assessment. Kevin is from Kansas, runs a small ad business, and apparently spends his spare time writing books about violent black people and how evil the Clintons are:
Here’s what one of the reviewers on Amazon had to say about Kevin’s masterpiece:
Look, I am no fan of Clinton, for sure. But the supposed author of this crap, or someone using his name, is on local news blogs in Kansas suggesting that African Americans and Mexican Americans are naturally more violent than whites and prides himself on having a subservient Philippine wife. To purchase this book is to finance racism.
A total of three people reviewed the book, two of them giving it 1 out of 5 stars, and the other a whopping 5. Guesses as to who wrote that? (hint: Kevin Groenhagen).
Anyhow, we’ll probably close the comments off on the article as it’s getting a bit ridiculous. While it was good fun, I don’t want The Daily Banter to be a breeding ground for these types of slanging matches. We’re not in the business of feeding trolls.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.