You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for most Tuesdays and the occasional fuckbotch. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. For a take on what a blog by me would be like, check out OLDNERD.
Memo to Mary Ann Twitty: YOU'RE IN THE RUNNING.
I don't think there's an annual competition for the Least Sympathetic Person In America, but if there ever is one, I'll be sure to nominate Mary Ann Twitty. Twitty, until recently, was a city court clerk in a small Missouri suburb you may have heard of, a quiet little place by the name of Ferguson.
Twitty successfully added the word "former" to her title after the Department of Justice discovered that some of the racist e-mails that were flying around the official city e-mail system like drones at a wedding party came from her. Including one picture showing Ronald Reagan holding a monkey, with a caption claiming he was babysitting Barack Obama. You know, because black people aren't human.
Now, that does sound pretty awful, but this is America, and people have the right to defend themselves. Luckily, at least two different local TV stations interviewed Mary Ann Twitter and got her side of the story. And it is a fairly stunning defense. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"Sure, they looked racist, but even when I looked at them, I’m thinking, ‘God, yes, that is racist.’ But they were jokes. I meant no harm to anyone or anybody. I didn’t send them out because I was racist, because I’m not."
OK, this sounds pretty bad. She's admitting she knew they were racist before she sent them along. But in the interests of fairness, let's see how she unpacked her process in a different interview.
"Funny as in humor wise? Yes. Not because it was racist or biased, just funny because it was just funny jokewise. I feel bad because that's not, I don't want people to look at me and say ‘she sent those racist jokes out because she's racist or biased.' I am not.”
Now, comedy, as an art form, is a complicated and subjective thing. A lot of different factors make up an individual's sense of humor. A lot of different factors go into joke-crafting and the intent of the humor, and edgy humor can often be misinterpreted.
That said, you know who thinks a joke about Barack Obama being a monkey is funny, joke-wise, even though it's racist? FUCKING RACISTS. People who mean harm to anyone or anybody who's black. People who are biased. You know why people are looking at you and saying that? Because it's true. I don't care that you don't like it. You don't get to define reality in a way that doesn't hurt your feelings.
You want sympathy? Take some goddamned personal responsibility. Realize that growing up in a racist culture makes you think jokes at the expense of black people's alleged subhumanity are funny. Realize that your mistaken belief in your own lack of bias stems from a combination of society shunning racism in theory but rarely doing anything about it in practice, so racists can go their whole lives thinking they're good people, and since racists are bad people, they're not racists.
Or, you know, you could play the victim card, express the playing of that victim card in the most hyperbolically offensive way possible, and hope that the same bunch of monsters who've been crowdfunding anti-gay bigots take an interest in your sob story.
“It took me a while to get over the feeling of being raped and being thrown under the bus. I'm human, I meant nothing bad by it.”
Twitty lost her job, I remind you, in early March. Of this year. You know who doesn't get over the feeling of being raped or thrown under a bus? People who were actually raped or thrown under a bus. The fact that you're already over that feeling should tell you that maybe, just maybe, that's not what you actually felt like.
But hey, they say that the right thing to do is rarely the easy thing to do, and you're certainly holding up your end of that aphorism, you horrible, horrible person.