Trolls have moved out from under the bridge and into the internet. Anyone who has posted anything has met them and likely been annoyed by them. I’ve had a few trolls, some I didn’t know, a few with fake accounts who clearly new me, but I am super fast with “block” smile and repeat.
This morning I want to take a moment from myself (if that’s even possible) and focus on the clear and ridiculous hatred and racism that is being directed towards Leslie Jones. Her crime of course was being a black stand up comedian who dared to accept a part in the new Ghostbusters movie. I should mention black female stand up comedian. She dares to be both black AND female? What was she thinking. Oh, she thought it was 2016. How silly of her.
In short, they went after her and gave her attack after attack on twitter while the movie was being released and afterward. They made it personal; they called her horrible names that made no mistake that they were fueled by racism and deep misogyny. DEEP misogyny.
Then the movie died out a bit (I personally enjoyed it) and because she didn’t lay down and die they now hacked her website and posted nude pictures of her. Pretty sure what they are doing is a crime and I would like to see a full investigation. I have read some arguments against her, saying that she is racist towards white people. No. She is a comedian and made some jokes about white trolls. She understands where their anger comes from (deep seated fear of patriarchy being dethroned to allow equality) and made jokes about it. Good for her.
Me speaking out against internet trolls in this case is not brave, or just, but necessary. This is one of those “if you stand silent” type of moments. How we deal with her treatment will send a ripple effect down feminism and those searching for racial harmony. If we don’t stand up for her, then what are we saying to young black women who may experience sexual harassment in their workplace or school? If we don’t stand up then we are saying that this behaviour is okay and maybe women, especially women of colour, should think twice about starting comedy.
It’s not okay, it’s never okay. I am not writing this out of anger, though I have that, I have learned in my life I can’t rage against every machine and every injustice; but as a female comedian and an Indigenous comedian, this weighs deep with me. You can help by telling people this is NOT okay. You can help but NOT laughing at jokes at her expense. You can help by sending her love and supporting her work. This is not a “celebrity taking shit” this is clearly targeted hatred based on gender and skin colour. Even trump supporters are like “whoa, too far trolls, too far”.
Trolls, if you are reading this, please go back under your bridges. It is 2016 and the world does not need hatred like this. You don’t even have to love her work, but you do have to recognize this as a pivotal moment for women of colour especially in the entertainment field. Are you going to stay silent, or help stand up? I hope it’s the latter. United we stand. #ISupportLeslie