Equality. That's what we're about these days. We're about equal rights for women, for gay people, for transgender, for black people, for everyone under the sun who might (and rightfully) be considered oppressed.
I love that. I love that we're so quick to help each other out now, that we can finally stand up for humanism, for rights across the vast spectrum that America's population is comprised of. We are varying. We are unique and we are all deserving of the same things. This is not to be contested.
However, what I don't love is the swarming vehicle that is the Internet.
What I mean by this is simple. Somebody has an opinion that may not fit perfectly within the confines of today's norm. The person may post something about it on Facebook, Twitter or the like. The Internet will then turn on said person, like a pack of wolves circling around a raw steak, snapping their teeth and dripping saliva. It's messed up, frankly.
This sentiment is brought on by something that happened earlier this week regarding J.K. Rowling and a fan on Twitter. This fan tweeted at Rowling that she couldn't see Dumbledore as gay. Rowling, in turn, tweeted: "Maybe because gay people just look like...people."
And the Internet went into a frenzy.
I think Rowling is a great person with a big heart. She's an activist, philanthropist, and charitable to the core. She believes in equal rights across the board, and I think it's awesome. But this incident made me lose a little respect for her. While I understand and agree with Rowling, did she stop to think that she could very well ruin this girl's life with an insulting response tweet?
Seriously, the girl had to delete her Twitter. I was on the site when it happened (I'm pretty obsessed with Twitter), and I viewed her profile before she got rid of her account. She was maybe 15.
Why is our culture, especially the Internet, so paradoxically hateful? Someone says one thing that might be considered out of line -- to be honest, I don't think this girl is homophobic, nor do I think she meant anything spiteful by her tweet -- and the Internet goes ape shit on the person.
Remember Justine Sacco? Yeah, the lady who made the awful AIDS joke a few years back. Her life, post tweet, is basically in shambles, as an informative New York Times article reveals. The phenomenon of Internet users surrounding and attacking a fellow social networker is not, by any standards, new.
But should it be stopped? Yes. And right away.
Justine Sacco made a really stupid joke. It was racist, and it wasn't funny. But is she truly deserving of a life ruined? Sacco is forever branded by the AIDS tweet, a burning mark on her forehead that cannot be ignored by future potential jobs, relationships and connections. She will carry this burden for the rest of her life.
Who knows who @anakocovic21 really is? Chances are, she's a young girl who tweeted before thinking. She most likely didn't understand or perceive the underlying discrimination of her tweet. But my guess is she's a perfectly nice kid.
And who knows what's happening to her at school now. Maybe her classmates found out and ostracized her, teased her or made hurtful jabs. Maybe none of those things happened and life went on as normal. We just don't know. But it's safe to assume she's humiliated, because she deleted her Twitter.
I wish we wouldn't sic each other on fellow humans like digital dogs. It's cold, it's wrong, and it's inhumane.