I read the comments this morning.
Not the comments here. No, I keep those well-moderated and have no problem slam-dunking someone into the Oblivion of the Block List if they act like an ass. And most of you are awesome, so, go you.
No, I made the mistake of scrolling past an article I was reading into the comments section.
I know. I know. Rookie mistake. You hate to see it.
Usually I know better. Hell, I used to have a browser extension that blocked the comments sections of websites unless I clicked to make them show themselves like the cowardly insects they are. It was great. No more accidental scrolling past the updates for the local library to see the barely-literate complaining that libraries are “obsuleet”.** No more looking up a book review and seeing the hate for characters that are anything but straight white cisgender men. No more sexist trolling on feminist journals. I switched browsers recently and hadn’t put the extension back up yet. No reason; I’m used to stopping before the comments.
But I was looking at a recipe, for fuck’s sake. I wanted to check other’s results making it. I thought that was safe.
Anyway, after the devolution of a fucking recipe into a bigoted, slur-filled, all-caps screaming match, I am prompted to issue the following notice:
If you preface a sentence with “I’m not a racist, but…”, then you probably are. And a liar to boot.
Likewise for “I’m not a sexist, but…” and “I’m not a homophobe, but…” and “I’m not an ableist, but…” and and and…
I could really keep going forever. Just like those comments sections. Reading them is like swimming in raw sewage.
If you follow one of those openings with a comment that is racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted, then, yeah, you are that thing. You’re just trying to deflect the criticism with a half-assed attempt to show that you know those things aren’t cool. Which is somehow worse. You know saying those things is bad, but you can’t be arsed to actually stop saying them.
That behavior will get you blocked on this site, now and forever.
So, the next time you feel the urge to say “I’m not a [insert bad thing here], but…”, just don’t. Because you probably are. You’re just giving yourself an excuse.
*Immediately after writing this, I enabled Shut Up for Chrome. Ahhhhhhhhh.
**Not a joke.