The Internet has done many amazing things for the world today. It has helped to connect people in new ways where distance no longer matters. It has helped to open the borders of countries that were once incredibly isolated from the rest of the world. It has been used to guide amazing revolutions that helped to bring freedom to oppressive regimes. It has also changed the way we all live on a daily basis by providing anyone with a simple way to access most of human knowledge often through a handheld mobile device.
The Internet has also started to do some very harmful things in the world. The Internet has opened up networks and businesses to attacks. It has provided a way for foreign hackers to potentially disable key elements of the infrastructure in the United States. It has resulted in government attacks that exposed classified intelligence information. The Internet has even made it easier for criminals to perform identity theft or to steal from personal bank accounts. These are all mostly unintended consequences. Something that the Internet has been known for recently is bringing out some of the worst and most bigoted people on the planet.
Social media is a major part of the Internet right now. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are designed to allow people all around the world to find others with similar interests. What many did not expect is just how popular social media would become with racists, misogynists and bigots of all types. This is especially true on Facebook and Twitter partly because there is still a level of anonymity present. It is also because there is a type of group mentality where everyone expressing a particular type of bigotry seems to make it acceptable for those in the shadows to come out and express the same type of hatred online.
Clothing retailer Old Navy recently felt the wrath of these types of users. The company sent out a Twitter post stating that a big sale was starting. The post included a picture of a family at the top all wearing Old Navy clothing. The issue some had is that the picture showed an interracial couple with a child. The husband was Caucasian and the wife was African-American. The image seemed to be a perfectly innocent picture of the type of family that is now very common in the United States and other countries around the globe.
Some people on Twitter went crazy after seeing the advertisements. Tweets began going out accusing Old Navy of supporting white genocide. Posters started threatening to never shop at the store again. One person tweeted that “Old Navy hates white babies” followed by other strange statements. A few claimed the picture of an interracial family was just the first step towards Old Navy allowing pedophilia in the stores. Tweets also accused Old Navy of being politically correct and ramming the idea of interracial marriage down the throats of white people. The outrage was often accompanied with the rarely used term miscegenation.
Miscegenation is simply a word meaning people of different ethnicities having children together. It appears to have taken on a much darker meaning within racist and bigoted circles. A number of people made Twitter posts expressing disgust and disbelief at the racist remarks. This is not the first time a storm of Twitter users decided to attack something due to race or the inclusion of women. It will most likely not be the last time since there are large online groups of bigots, misogynists and racists. Old Navy did not bother to respond the hateful Twitter comments. They also did not take down the original image of the family.