BY: JESSIE CARTWRIGHT
Imagine sitting at home after work, trying to unwind and casually eating dinner aside your laptop when all of a sudden “Let’s just bomb Syria already!” comes up on your social-media feed. “What the hell…” you think, “when did I become Facebook friends with fucking Katie Pavlich?” But you didn’t—it’s just your old high-school cafeteria pal, Mikey…and he’s being completely serious.
No doubt, the refugee crisis, terrorist attacks in France and Islamophobic tensions have really shed light on the fact that I’m Facebook “friends” with some foul, racist motherfuckers.
Reading this, you’ve probably conjured a few examples of this in your own life, and know that unless you want to mash your skull into the cracks of your keyboard, commenting on their status isn’t going to help. But it’s hard to let it slide.
Many Brazilians feel the same way, and an activist group recently launched an innovative campaign to silence these dribbling assholes. Their method is counter-intuitive, but effective: taking screen-shots of people’s racist statuses, and blowing them up on giant billboards right next to the authors’ houses.
The campaign was started by Criola, a civil society organization founded in 1992. Mainly, the organization intends to promote the rights of black women. However, initiatives like the Virtual Racism campaign are increasingly relevant to North Americans in the wake of growing Islamophobic sentiment.
In Brazil, the campaign against virtual racism began on July 3rd after the Internet was bogged down with derogatory slurs against Maria Julia Coutinho, one of the country’s most prominent news anchors. This sickening display of loathsome online cowardice inspired the billboard idea, as Criola feels that “racism’s best friend is silence.”According to the campaign website.
The racist comments displayed in Brazil include delightfully insightful remarks like “GFY dirty nigga, I dunno u but I wash myself,” “I arrived home smelling like black people.” and ground breaking intelligent commentary, like “If she bathed properly, she wouldn’t get that grimy.”
Well, now these geniuses can have their work proudly displayed in their neighbourhood for all to see.
Well played, Brazil. Well played.
Image sources: racismovirtual.com.br