Austin, TX

How to Get Away With Insulting People Online

Toni Koraza by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Let me start with a few questions too many.

Are you recently more engaged in Internet discussions? Are you finding that you have racist and bigoted people in your family? Are you reading a bunch of insults online against civil movements? Have you read All Lives Matter recently?

Do you find yourself ticking all the boxes?

If the answer is yes, welcome to the internet 2020, the new fighting skill is conversing with racists. Crack your knuckles; there is going to be typing here. I warn you. The racist hiding behind your computer screen is loud and trending. The president and all the Karens are with him. The racist has the numbers on his side.

And you have knowledge nobody cares about. Are you a disenfranchised man suffocating in the gutters of systemic oppression? Too bad, we want you dead. Why are you even breathing the same air you filthy animal.

Maybe not in those exact words, but more or less, the message stands.

“Why are all those people looting and burning in Rich neighborhoods now? I don’t support any of this,” middle-aged Karen while watching from the comfort of her couch. “I’m scared of these thugs.”

Next question, please.

“Karen, are you racist?”

“I’m not racist, and I’m a strong supporter of blacks.”

“Karen, nobody calls them blacks anymore.’

“Oh, my bad. You know, the negros.”

“Mhmm, Karen?”

“I fully support peaceful protest! But if a cop tells you to do something, just do it! It’s not that hard.”


“I’m not racist, OK!”

Let’s get back to the point. Yes. Heated Internet Discussions — #alllivesmatter and bigoted stuff. You can call them idiots. But they’re not idiots, are they? Racists are using the card of racism against you. Blaming the victim, right? Don’t fall for it. The point is that systemic racism is not tipped against the white lives, or all lives for that matter.

I can very well start shouting slogans from the Boston Tea Party, hating the British colonialist scum. It makes the same sense. Your white problem is not relevant right now. You’re not dead in the gutters. You’re getting money from the government to sit on your ass and write racists comments all day long. Hell, even the president supports you.

Wait, Toni, how does this help me insult people online?

You can tell your racist friends you love them regardless. What is the internet discussion going to do anyway? You can entice change and raise awareness, but you can’t change anything. Saying ‘I love you, even though you’re messed up’ is powerful.

You’re probably also messed up and that Karen can say a few things about you too. But let’s ground the battle axes. Calm your _______, ladies. Nobody is changing opinions here. You’re just breaking a few paragraphs.

You can tell your racist friends and family you love them regardless. Love is a word people like Karen don’t hear often. Tell her she’s the right person underneath it all. That’s all you can do not to ruin your day. Never ruin your day. The rest of the world is out to get you all ready; they’ll destroy your day for you.

Disclaimer: Karen is purely fictional — any similarities with actual people, events, and places are strictly coincidental. Or are they?

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