The Wild, Wild… Internet.

I need to address something serious that has been on my mind lately: My being an intersectional activist (of sorts) and the reactions that have arisen because of it.

I try to combat various issues including homophobia, racism, islamophobia, transphobia & misogyny. Usually if I see something on Facebook/Twitter/wherever that I know is problematic, I will comment (as one with a social conscience will tend to do) and I have received some backlash that I never, ever expected.

Some of my favourite insults directed at me include that I’m a “sand nigger”, that they wanted to defile “my book” (the Quran), that I deserve to be murdered for being a Muslim, that I support terrorism and some implication that I fornicate with goats because I look Middle Eastern – you gotta laugh, right? For the record, I’m an Atheist – a militant one at that, and for those of you who’re unaware, I’m South African – but evidently because I’m of Indian descent and have a beard in my profile picture, that means I’m an Iraqi Muslim or something – the kind of brilliant reasoning one can expect from some internet users.

My issue here lies with the lawless nature of the internet – people can say what they want to who they want, whenever they want with absolutely no consequences. You can log onto social media, call someone a moffie/faggot/kaffir/nigger/tranny/etc. all from the comfort of your own home and then log off and go watch TV or something while completely ruining someone else’s day, isn’t technology wonderful?

I hate the fact that some anonymous asshole can spew vitriol from behind a keyboard and get away with it and think they’re some kind of hero – and the worst part is that there are so many people who will “like” comments which are bigoted and derogatory so the person saying it doesn’t realise just how wrong what they’re promoting is.

Then those of us who speak out against ignorance get targeted and called “social justice warriors” and “feminazis” in an attempt to belittle our efforts and cause. Just FYI: trying to diminish our fight against bigotry doesn’t make you a person of strong moral fiber, it makes you look like a narrow-minded, knuckle-dragger who is terrified of progression of ideology.

In case you’re confused, I’m not writing this for myself – as anyone who knows me personally will attest – I don’t give two shits about what anyone says or thinks about me – never have and certainly never will (unless you’re Beyoncé. PLEASE LOVE ME LIKE I LOVE YOU QUEEN B!!!!! *sobs*). But the reality is that there are people in the world for whom such derogatory words have a great impact and I’m tired of people flinging them about as easily as they do.

To those of you who behave repugnantly on the internet because you know that it’s more than likely that you’ll never have to deal with the consequences of your actions: next time, think before you type. Sitting behind your computer, gleefully typing up derogatory comments does not make you cool, it does not make you macho, it does not make you edgy and it damn sure doesn’t make you a hero to the people – what it makes you is a coward because I guarantee majority of you would not say the things you do hiding behind the mask of anonymity if the people you were saying it to were standing in front of you.

To the rest of my “social justice warriors”, “white knights” and “feminazis”, keep fighting the good fight because even if you manage to educate ONE moronic bigot in your entire life, that is a victory.

Advertisements

The Hypocrisy Of The “Pious” (And Others)

To begin with, allow me to say that I am supremely tired of discussing this issue because it is seriously like beating the proverbial dead horse. However, I will continue to talk about this ad nauseum until I either keel over and die or people grow up and learn to not behave like animals – actually scratch that because I have an interesting point to raise about the human/animal comparison later. Moving on.

My issue lies with my aim to combat the ideologies of homophobia, racism and islamophobia – my aim because I know how difficult it can be for one to feel as though they are being discriminated against due to the prejudices and ignorance of others. (If you missed it, you can read my piece on islamophobia here). However, the very people I am trying to protect want to rob me and my people of our rights, and in some cases, our lives.

An example: Muslim people, you know how it is when people discriminate against you due to who you are – your faith is an indelible part of you and there are people who unjustly hate you for no reason other than ignorance. So why then, do some of you turn around and discriminate against people in the LGBT community? Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of the story of Lut and etc. – I actually do read and make an effort to educate myself about what I’m talking about, so don’t feel the need to inundate me with quotes or religious scripture supporting your hate (seriously don’t do that… no, like seriously stop it).

Religious people in general are an interesting bunch. You have the few open-minded ones who realise that we live in 2015 and that perhaps, their religious texts may be in need of a different interpretation to apply to modern times, then we have the others who say nope, things must remain as they were.

I read this on Facebook the other day, just to give you a clue how some people feel about my people: “All LGBT should be required to wear a mark, to let others know they are in the area. As they are carriers of diseases and demonic activity.” – do you remember who else was a fan of branding gay people (and murdering them)? Hitler. But who cares about that, gay lives don’t matter to some of you, right?

One of my favourite things some homophobic preachers/people say is that homosexuality is unnatural and that “not even animals would engage in such a filthy practice”. Then when you point out that 1500 species of animals engage in homosexual behaviour, they turn around and say “Oh well, we’re human beings, we shouldn’t be following the behaviour of animals” – sublime, it is just SO amusing to me.

Some black people are also hypocrites, in my opinion. Like with Muslims and islamophobia, black people are unjustly discriminated against due to the colour of their skin – a part of them which they do not nor have they ever had a choice in, yet you will find that some black people are homophobic – I’m too tired to point our parallels, kindly infer.

Sexual orientation is as much apart of a person as their skin colour, I can tell you that much because I have lived this truth. I have been bisexual since the day I was born and no one can dispute that because no one else is me. You will often see heterosexual people preaching their bullshit explaining how gay people came to be. Imagine a white person going to a black person and telling them what it is really like to be black (or vice versa) – makes no sense at all, does it? This is precisely what it’s like when straight people want to discuss the intricacies of LGBT life and explain it to us.

Please don’t misunderstand the purpose of this post, I am by no means telling you to not be a homophobe – I could literally not care any less about what you do or think about anything in this world because it’s not my business and it’s your constitutional right to be a moron – my problem arises when you use your voice to try and infringe upon my rights.

People will go on and on about their right to religious freedom and how they have a right to practise and worship as they choose and then decry gay marriage being legalised. In what world does this make sense? Is it only YOUR human rights that are worth discussion and consideration? You cannot demand equality, respect and tolerance for what suits you and then try to rob others of what is rightfully ours.

This is why I do not get those who say issues like racism/islamophobia and homophobia are not the same. How aren’t they the same? At the core, all of these things aim to oppress us and rob us of our essence as human beings – do not tell me they are not the same struggle.

Just a reminder: I do not live in a country where there is no separation of church & state nor do I live in a country under sharia law so I don’t need your religion to be thrust upon me if it’s being used as a vehicle or tool for your hatred. If you have decided to espouse hatred and ignorance then cool bananas, good for you, I unfortunately haven’t.

People just generally and genuinely need to mind their own business. Worship who you want to worship, love who you want to love, etc. but don’t make it anyone else’s problem and quit telling people what your god says – not all of us belong to a religion (or more specifically, your religion) so your laws do not apply to us. Thanks.

To you who have read this piece: I am not trying to make blanket statements, I am not referring to all religious people or all people of colour, I am referring to the few who fall into the categories of what I have spoken about.

If you are offended by this piece, however, then perhaps you are the one I am speaking about – consider that. If you are a homophobe/islamophobe/racist, I’m not asking you to change (though you really should), all I ask is that you try to educate yourself rather than living in a bubble, be tolerant of one another and try to form bonds over similarities rather than increase divisions based on differences because the world is already being torn apart by those who choose to focus on our differences – it is time to change that.

Love & Light. Blessed Be. – N