This goes along with another post I did from a while ago, No Homo(phobia), but this includes not only homophobic, but also, racist, and ableist tweets. The top left picture shows racist tweets, the top right shows ableist tweets, and the bottom shows homophobic tweets. This map was created by geography academics who only counted tweets in which these slurs (dyke, queer, fag, homo, chink, gook, nigger, wetback, spick, and cripple) were used in a negative way.
Twitter and Facebook are the major social networking sites at the moment. Twitter seems to be used more by the younger demographic and celebrities. Twitter is how most young people get information today–it’s how they communicate. The fact that there are so many hateful things being posted on there is actually quite disturbing.
It appears to be concentrated in the eastern half of the country. However, that does not mean that the eastern half of the country is more hateful than the west. The East appears more hateful because, well, there are more people. Take a look at the map on the left. It shows the population distribution. You can see that although the darkest red spots don’t line up exactly, they are pretty close.
Why is this bad? You never know who’s around you. You don’t know who is listening to what you are saying, or reading what you are posting online. You don’t know who will be offended by it, even if you don’t mean to be offensive. So why risk offending someone? Just don’t say it.
So what do we do about it? Well, for starters, don’t say hateful things. If you hear someone else using hate speech, politely tell them to stop. Explain to them that saying offensive things doesn’t make them cool or funny. It makes them look ignorant.
Have you ever heard someone say that when people get uncomfortable, they laugh or make a joke? It happens to be true. Think about it next time you’re uncomfortable. What’s your got-to response?
What does this have to do with hate speech? People are uncomfortable with homosexuality, and other LGBT issues. They are uncomfortable with other races, and they are uncomfortable with people with disabilities. Basically, people are uncomfortable with anyone who is different. (You’ve heard about the Abercrombie CEO, right?). But being uncomfortable with something, especially a group of people, is no reason to make fun of them.
But how do we make them comfortable with it? We educate them. If you teach them about it, they will understand it. Its like a new math equation. If you don’t know what it means, and you don’t know how to solve the equation, you won’t be comfortable trying to solve it. If you don’t know anything about the LGBT community, you won’t feel comfortable around them, and you won’t feel comfortable working with them.
So, I hope that everyone who reads this post stops using hate speech and encourages at least one other person to do the same.