[CONTENT NOTE: casual ableism]
Our troll story today begins as they almost always do: with an unprompted comment on an oooooold post. Behold my Facebook status from November 10, 2016:
JUST TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR: If you voted for Donald Trump, or you live in a swing state and voted for a third party candidate or declined to vote entirely, UNFRIEND ME. You are now and always will be dead to me.
Now I thought I was being clear and fair. Kind, even, if not particularly nice. I felt that not only was I was doing a service to myself and my own online spaces, but to those who would interact with me, or decide not to. I then went ahead and proactively blocked some people, and apparently I did a pretty good job since only one Trump voter slipped by:
[Former IRL “friend”] Really
Iris Is a dead person trying to communicate with me? No, that cannot be. I don’t believe in ghosts. (Unfriended/blocked)
Oh, wait no. NOT the end. Eight months later:
Farriss I came upon your posts through a mutual friend. Question, what gives you your sense of superiority? You, actually find this too be a rational and intelligent veiw on the issues.
I did not vote 45, I definitely have some strong opinions and let them be known. I feel everyone is entitled to an opinion whether we “hate” it or not.
But I also feel being angry, hateful and spiteful is what has helped get us in this mess.
Iris 1 – Christ, we have a mutual friend? That’s…interesting.
2 – Um, I don’t think I’m superior to *anyone*, so I’m not sure where you got that. I mean, it’s not like I go on other people’s 8-month old Facebook posts to ‘splain how their feelings are WRONG, and further that expressing those feelings with clarity and conviction is how we got into “this mess.” And that they are somehow obligated to spend their limited time on Earth engaging with fucking Trump voters and enablers, or with anyone else for that matter. BTW, anti-“superiority” is pretty much the definition of leftism: equality (and cooperation) vs. hierarchy (and domination). And yeah, I think systems which promote equality (and cooperation) are far, FAR superior to those which promote hierarchy (and domination). I absolutely own that shit 100%. Unapologetically.
3 – Yes, I actually find this to be a rational view on “the issues,” although you did not specify precisely which issue(s) you are referring to. On the issue of whether I am under some ethical obligation to interact (respectfully? “nicely?”) with Trump voters and enablers, either in real life or social media? HAHAHA NO.
Now you run along and go be respectful and “nice” to…well, whatever white supremacists you want. Good luck with that.
Farriss You have no fucking idea what you are speaking about. Supremacist I am not. You need some psychological help.
Iris Well, you’re certainly right about that psychological help. I’ll be sure to pass along to my therapist next week that in Farriss Ann Collins’s highly esteemed and respected opinion, he is just not doing a very good job with me.
Meanwhile, I think it’s only fair, Farriss, that *I* now get to point out that *you* need some reading comprehension help. I did NOT deem you a white supremacist. It seems you’ve forgotten already, but let me remind you that you came here this morning to condemn my intolerance of Trump voters and enablers in my personal life and my social media. My last comment to you emphasizes that *you*, on the other hand, are perfectly free to tolerate, engage with, be respectful of and/or “nice” to Trump voters and enablers however and wherever you see fit. I promise I won’t come on your page and flame you for it. See, even though I believe it’s an exercise in futility and an utterly failed strategy, IDGAF. Shit, I don’t know, maybe you’re a one-in-a-million special snowflake that actually gets through to one of these assholes with niceness! They really don’t seem to value it, though. Perhaps consider that they actually view niceness as weakness. I’m not saying it *is* a weakness. “Niceness” is just a strategy like any other, with upsides and downsides. I’m saying that right-wing conservatives are known to view it as a weakness.
Relatedly, you also came here to proclaim your (entirely unsupported) opinion that “being angry, hateful and spiteful is what has helped get us in this mess,” whereas I hold that wilful ignorance, apathy and *not being fucking angry enough when it is clearly fucking warranted* lies at the heart of our current predicament. Alas, that topic will have to wait for another day!
Around the same time, Farriss also shared from my page that MLK quote I posted here the other day:
[“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.]
I have to say I had a good laugh at that, since people like Farriss are precisely the people Dr. King is talking about.
Anyway, while perusing my page Farriss came across my most recent status, and was moved to bestow her insightful comments thereupon.
Pretty sure more than a few ppl on my friends list would happily join me in making this fashion statement. [oh hi Katherine!] Also, if you’re not following Bitch Media (Twitter: @BitchMedia) you may want to seriously reconsider all of your life choices.
[image: tank shirt on woman, front reads: “I’m not always a bitch…”
back reads: “Just kidding. go fuck yourself.” with a cartoon drawing of a unicorn with a middle finger raised.]
Supportive comments and likes/reactions ensue as expected. And then:
Farriss What an idiot! I wouldn’t follow her. Maybe she should rethink her life choices.
A commenter replies to defend my impugned honor, whilst I promptly retire to the fainting couch! LOL.
Farriss […] I read some of her posts. Superiority, anger and hate is what has helped us get in this mess.
Iris Right, and being “nice” to people who hate you and the people you love and everything you stand for has been working out SO WELL for decades! We should definitely keep doing more of that. Oh and FYI: the lefties are JUST AS BAD as white supremacists for being (gawdferbid!) angry and hating an evil, deadly and destructive ideology! Also: showing up on my wall to say “What an idiot!” and attempting to dissuade people from following me is NOT AT ALL evidence of a sense of superiority, anger, or hatefulness.
Farriss Iris , I do not discriminate concerning either side. Never have never will. I have experienced plenty of anger , bigotry and hatred in my life also. But, you do spew hatred, this doesn’t solve anything! And, I too hate destructive ideology. Do I believe being nice gets you anywhere not particularly.
I will state this again, better yet read your own posts. Try to look at them objectively.
And, just maybe the LOL, adds to what I mean.
Iris You “do not discriminate concerning either side”? Well there’s your problem right there. You yourself say you “hate ” destructive ideology, and that’s apparently okay. Yet if I do it, I am “spewing hatred” and this is…um, very bad. The rest of your comment is just as incoherent. For example, I really don’t need to read my own posts BECAUSE I WROTE THEM. (And I stand by them.) Being angry, and yes, hating that which is hateful, unjust, destructive and deadly, is *not* a moral failing on my part. The opposite of angry is not “nice.” It’s *apathy*. But by all means, you go right ahead and claim there’s a moral equivalency between what I say and do and the words and actions of white supremacists.
PS. I am truly sorry that you have experienced anger, bigotry and hatred.
I think after that she either blocked or deleted, because I can no longer comment on the subthread. Oh well. It was “nice” while it lasted.
[image: That Dos Equis d00d with text that reads: “I don’t always engage trolls. But when I do I have waaay too much fun.”]