Years ago, I wrote for AOL. It was a simple arrangement: I covered work, career advice and boobs.
I stopped writing for them after my favorite editor found a new job. And I wasn’t sad to say goodbye to the compost toilet that is the AOL comments section. If you want to see America at its worst, go look at what the readers think about everything from politics to pop culture.
(Try not to throw up.)
AOL isn’t the only site with horrible readers. When I took a break from my old blog, back in January 2014, it was nice to stop reading racist, sexist, bigoted comments. For example, I am often asked if I am a Jew. It’s a way for people to understand if they should hate me for being a woman or hate me for also being a “jew feminist.”
(I like to respond that I am a black, lesbian, secular Jew who believes in global warming and abortion. But it’s not even worth messing around with people, anymore, because it gets scary.)
As I start to write on the internet, again, the weird comments are back. This one came into my Facebook inbox on Tuesday.
It looks benign, yeah? What kind of name is Ruettimann (misspelled with one “n”)?
But make no mistake: I’ve seen enough anti-Semitism on the internet to know that it gets worse if I respond.
The next time you think America is “post-racial” and that certain groups of constituents are making a big deal out of racism and bigotry, come talk to me. I have a whole file of nasty-ass comments to show you about women, African Americans, Latinos, members of the LGBTQ community, and Jews.
And my surname is American, asshole.