Update: One of the men featured on "Hello There, Racist!" reaches out to Daily RFT.
Some of you will be shocked -- SHOCKED -- to learn that the re-election of Barack Obama still does not mean that racism is over.
Right after November 6th, some researchers who run the blog Floating Sheep tried to chart geographically where the most racists Tweets were coming from in the days leading up to the election. As it turns out, Missourians spewed enough offensive garbage onto social media to rank us 8th-most-racist in the country.
Now, a new Tumblr account called "Hello There, Racist!" has emerged. The curators take screengrabs of blatantly racists tweets and share as much personal information about the tweeter as they can find on the internet. Guess how many people they found in Missouri!
This anonymously penned Tumblr account explains itself this way:
ALL information gathered here, is/was completely public at the time gathered. None of it was private, but totally publicly available information, voluntarily put forth by these individuals. All are things that people posted, identifying themselves with their own names and faces. I am just bringing it all to a place where they may be responsible and (hopefully) understand the consequence of their words (and hopefully their parents, schools, and employers too).
Click here to see six Missourians the blog is calling out for racist Tweeting. One charming lad appears to have written, "As if it were possible I hate niggers even more now" and "One of my favorite quotes of all time from my grandma before she died: 'I'm tired of that nigger stinkin up my white house.'" (Good LORD.)
We checked these boys' -- because, yes, they're all boys -- accounts out for ourselves (they also happen to have some fascinating views on homosexuality, by the way). It appears that some of the offensive tweets have come down, though there is residual evidence in other tweets of racists comments having been made. Of Missourians contributions, these four tweets remain:
"@jbart7997: Assassination"Cough cough— Noah Patterson (@NoahPatt54) November 7, 2012
That election was nigger rigged— Kenton Sanders (@Kenton_David) November 8, 2012
Those gas prices are so high bc the nigger is back in the White House!— Tommie Picha (@The_True_Picha) November 8, 2012
The list is not foolproof. This fellow made the list and while he appears to be profoundly racist, it also appears he's from Mississippi:
I hate Nigers and I hate Obama I'm white I'm an a American— christopher hamilton (@fidster6945) November 7, 2012
Now, freedom of speech is fucking awesome. But a lot of folks around the country are finding out that if you throw around racial slurs or insinuate that the president ought to be gunned down, non-racist "friends" and followers are vigilant and ready to alert your school or employer.
Denise Helms from California was fired from her job at Cold Stone Creamery after writing on her Facebook page "another 4 years of the nigger. maybe he will get assassinated this term..!!" When the blog Jezebel found a bunch of racist tweets sent by high schoolers, they went so far as to contact the individual schools' administrators and got disciplinary action started on some of the kids.
Some people are calling out Jezebel for going too far and some of these guys on HTR's list are high schoolers too. How hard should the hammer of shame come down on them?
We'll just repeat something a colleague said to us after another local embarrassed himself on Twitter while failing to understand that when you tweet it's public: Maybe we all need get licenses in order to be allowed to tweet. Some of us simply can't be trusted.
Update: We just heard from Tommie Picha. He originally asked that his tweet (number 3 up there) be removed. We explained that Twitter is a public forum, but would be happy to post anything he had to say on the matter. Here's what he sent back:
Jessica, I understand. I am very sorry for what I have posted on twitter. It was very hurtful in many ways that I can not explain. I truley feel sorry for the people I have hurt with the tweet. It was not meant to hurt anybodys feelings in anyway. Thanks for the responds to my email. I would also like to say I am very sorry to you and your staff at River Front Times.
No need to apologize to us! We're just the messenger.