Cult of Outrage: Internet Commenters Post Address, Phone Number of “Racist Stripper Mom” Online
The Cult of Outrage, as I first envisioned it, was a select group of media personalities and special interest groups who attack public figures and celebrities who say things that are considered “offensive” to that particular group. Normally, they only go after the famous because that it was guarantees that their particular cause gets airtime on cable networks and guaranteed clicks online.
However a recent viral video features a woman raging at man calling him a “nigger” repeatedly for apparently “scaring [her] kids.” The video began making the rounds on social media and, like any full-time writer, I was on those sites deftly avoiding work. My first thought was about how much I pitied her children. Because I felt like researching anything other than what I was supposed to, I followed up on the story.
In the initial comments of the video, some of the more outraged viewers began to try to track down the woman. Soon her Facebook page was discovered and she was allegedly identified by, what is hopefully a pseudonym, Janelle Ambrosia. Now, the Facebook page “Janelle Ambrosia is a racist” has more than 17,000 likes and users have been both posting her phone number and address along with typical internet discourse like (all sic) “PLEASE SUICIDE AND GO TO HELL” and “I wanna knock this bish out.”
There are a number of troubling things about this video, but what is also disturbing is the response. This woman is a private citizen and she had a bad day. With no context at all, this woman’s name, address, and telephone number were published on the internet for anyone to see. There is no situation in which this could end well.
Is this how a “tolerant” society is supposed to act? People will express outrage at her language and the example she is setting for her children and then, in the same sentence, suggest that they would have answered her hateful language with physical violence. Yes, this woman’s behavior was disgusting, but so was the response.
Racism is, of course, alive and well in 2014 America. However, it can’t be beaten out of person. The only way to combat ignorance is with sensitivity and knowledge.