Racism still counts while you’re lurking behind a screen

By Editors

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Racism exists, and it’s on your Internet browser.

Just last week, four to five students of Howell High School sent racist tweets after a victorious basketball game against Grand Blanc. The Howell High School basketball team consists of solely white students, while their opponents, Grand Blanc, had both black and white players.

Among the offensive missives were:

“All hail white power #hitlerismydad”

“Tonight was probably one of the most [racist] nights of my life. I heard so many slurs and expressions. I also said a few things…”

and,

“Not only did we beat Grand Blanc, but we’re all white. Howell is the real winner tonight.”

None of the members of the basketball team were involved specifically− these tweets were sent from students in the audience.

According to the school spokesman, Thomas Gould, action has since been taken and the students have been disciplined.

We at The Oakland

Post believe this level of ignorance is unacceptable.

Not only are these tweets offensive to the students and the groups of people they’re targeted toward, but they also make Howell High School, the city of Howell and our society as a whole look bad.

The basketball win was Howell High School’s first victorious regional final since 1927− a remarkable feat that has been tarnished and forgotten due to these hateful tweets.

In the past, Howell had ties with a former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan− a fact many people in Howell would very much like to forget. These tweets only remind us of the fact.

We should be moving forward and progressing as a society. However, these offensive social media comments prove that we might not be all that progressive at all. The perpetrators are still in high school.

The sad truth of the matter is that this story isn’t new. Twitter, Youtube and Facebook are brimming with racist, sexist and offensive comments.

They may not be intentionally vicious, but their ignorance is apparent. Lurking behind a computer doesn’t give anyone an excuse to be harmful.

After all, in public most people wouldn’t go around saying “Hitler is my dad” on a daily basis. So why are situations like the Howell Twitter fiasco so prevalent on the internet?

According to a Business Insider article written by Tony Manfred, the answer may happen because of three reasons: Opinions become more hardcore on the internet, people want to be noticed on the internet and the internet provides anonymity.

It is our duty to recognize the harm an ignorant joke can cause and actively work to seek change.

The staff editorial is written weekly by members of The Oakland Post’s editorial board.