Clicky

rss feed facebook  pinterest twitter instagram youtube

Back In My Day Permanent Records Weren’t Permanent

Excuse me for a moment while I tuck my walker under this table and make sure my dentures are in straight. I’m about to take you on a trip back in time, before the internet, and social media, and cell phones (and cell phone cameras). Before impulsive mistakes were able to travel the world and back before you realized what you’d done.

The year was 1984 (-ish; my memory is fuzzy on whether I was in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade). I was in elementary school, and there was a high school across the street (the one I would eventually attend, actually). And one day, a few stupid boys in my class decided to make a sign and hold it up at the window while the high school was being dismissed.

The sign said, “GO BACK TO AFRICA.”

Both schools were about two-thirds black at the time. The boys were, of course, white.

People saw it, teachers were told, and the boys got suspended.

And it was done.

If you were to google their names today, there would be no mention of that incident.

As far as I know, none of them grew up to be bigoted assholes. In fact, based on their facebook feeds they’re right there with the people of Ferguson.

They made a huge, stupid mistake one day in elementary school and got in trouble for it and hopefully learned from it.

But nobody recorded it for posterity. Nobody took a picture and posted it anywhere. They didn’t end up on the news.

And now let’s fast forward to this week.

In the midst of everything that was happing the other night, when the world found out that Darren Wilson would not be put on trial for killing Michael Brown, a teenager tweeted this:

tweet

I’m not going to identify her because she’s had enough hate heaped on her already. I mean, it’s become standard operating procedure now in a situation like this that the death threats come rolling in, addresses get published, etc. All of that happened.

In the couple of hours after her tweet the only regret she expressed on twitter was that she had made a typo in her original tweet. She went on to say things like “It’s been a long time since we bought you, we don’t owe you anything.” Charming.

At some point that night she made her account private.

But the next day her account was public again, all of the tweets had been deleted from the night before, and she decided to go the route of disgraced politicians everywhere and tweeted this:

tweet 2

Which nobody believed for even half a second.

If you google her name, there are 71,000 results, and it looks like a lot of them are about that tweet. Most are attacking her or painting it as a cautionary tale, but some are defending what she said, or at least defending her right to be stupid (one post describes her a “undeniably attractive” and states that pretty girls should get a one-time pass to do something boneheaded like this).

I can’t imagine how long it will take until those posts no longer show up on the first page of results. When college admissions people google her in a few years, they will see that tweet. When she starts applying for jobs, potential employers will see that tweet. When someone wants to ask her out he will google her and see that tweet. When she’s my age and her own kids google her name, they will probably see that tweet. Unless she changes her name, her name will always be associated with that tweet.

I don’t agree that everyone (pretty or not) deserves a one-time pass for saying something that hateful. She did something very bad and should be punished. But her brain is still growing, she will hopefully get smarter and learn more about the world she lives in and the people who occupy it, and she may even turn into a person who is repulsed and embarrassed by what she once said publicly.

But that tweet will still be there.

My kids will no doubt do many stupid things while they’re growing up. I know I did. But I try to remind my kids frequently that for the love of God, they need to keep their stupidity hidden and private. They need to say stupid things when nobody is recording them and write stupid things on pieces of paper that can be shredded. Because some day they will grow up and realize how stupid they were. But it should be their little secret.

The Subtle Racism Of Fox News' Coverage Of Ferguson

The Subtle Racism Of Fox News' Coverage Of Ferguson

16 hours ago

I have a weird habit that after big, divisive events I watch Fox News. Sometimes when something like last night happens I look at what other people in my life are saying about it and wonder if we live in the same universe. And then I remember that a lot of them are only getting their info from Fox News, so I check in to see what they’re seeing. This morning I took one for the team, and watched a couple[...]

Perfect Diner Home Fries

Perfect Diner Home Fries

1 day ago

I’ve lived in the same neighborhood since 2002. That’s twelve years of going to the same diner. And I always get one of three meals: Grilled Cheese with Fries, Egg Salad Sandwich with Onion Rings, or Bagel with Cream Cheese and Home Fries. (Incidentally, time of day does not affect which one I choose.) Now most of the time, if I’m too lazy to go to the diner, I can just recreate the food myself. I make an awesome grilled cheese,[...]

This Post Is Not About The Word Feminism

This Post Is Not About The Word Feminism

3 days ago

It’s Saturday. I don’t want to be worked up about anything. Saturdays for me mean getting up early and driving my son to band practice, then making up for it by doing nothing and taking naps. It is not a day to think too hard or do too much. But early this morning I read this, and I’ve been worked up ever since. This woman does not understand feminism, clearly. But we could argue about that word, “feminism,” for days and still[...]

How To Have Homemade Biscuits Every Day

How To Have Homemade Biscuits Every Day

6 days ago

Biscuits are one of the quickest, easiest homemade breads to get from ingredients to table. Nothing needs to be room temperature (in fact, the colder the better!), and the dough doesn’t need to rise before baking. However, that doesn’t mean that I want to get out measuring cups and spoons on a Wednesday morning just to have a warm biscuit with breakfast. And honestly, biscuits don’t reheat well at all, so using leftovers isn’t a good option. The solution? Freezing the biscuits[...]

Comparison Shop At Local Stores With Price Patrol

Comparison Shop At Local Stores With Price Patrol

1 week ago

[The following post was sponsored by Price Patrol.] There have been so many times in the past when I’ve needed something right away – a gift for a birthday party I’d forgotten about, an item I needed for a project, or something that I just didn’t want to wait on for home delivery. If I’d known about the Price Patrol app, I could have saved myself a lot of running around to different stores trying to find a certain item[...]

You Had ONE JOB, FedEx

You Had ONE JOB, FedEx

1 week ago

You sit on a throne of lies. As I understand it, FedEx’s job is to get packages from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time. They have failed at this SPECTACULARLY this week. I’ve had many, many packages stolen from outside of my house in the eight years that I’ve lived here. Just a couple of months ago I lost out on a paying job because the product I was supposed to write about was left on my[...]

10 Cool New Tech Products Available Now, Plus One Amazing One Available Next Year

10 Cool New Tech Products Available Now, Plus One Amazing One Available Next Year

1 week ago

Last night I attended Wine Dine & Demo, a consumer tech showcase. Also a place for tech media to get drunk and eat a lot of food – that’s the “Wine” and “Dine” part. Between the Eggplant Parmesan, cannoli, and Diet Cokes, I managed to see quite a few interesting products that are available for purchase now. But first, the product that isn’t available yet. Oculus I tried out a developer version of Oculus, a virtual reality gaming headset that puts you, virtually,[...]

Supermom Syndrome Is Voluntary

Supermom Syndrome Is Voluntary

2 weeks ago

Let me tell you something I've learned in my years. There are victims of fires. There are victims of car accidents. This kind of thing, there are no victims, just volunteers.                                                  -- CJ Cregg, West Wing The latest article to make the rounds about easing up on moms is this one, in The New York Times. It’s a good piece, especially the first half about how grating it is when an adult calls another adult[...]

Just Dance 2015: Fun For The Coordinated, And For Me

Just Dance 2015: Fun For The Coordinated, And For Me

2 weeks ago

I can’t dance. That’s a fact as true as the sky being blue and water being wet. But I can’t. I mean, I can learn moves if I have to. I’ve been in musicals and such. But I’m not a quick study, and I’m not at all graceful (tap was the only dance class I got a good grade in in college, because it was mathematical and I could be stiff). I have to work at it for a long[...]

No-Shampoo Hair Update: Two Months Later

No-Shampoo Hair Update: Two Months Later

2 weeks ago

The last time I shampooed my hair was Labor Day Weekend. I’ve always hated having to wash my hair every day or every other day, so I wanted to try something new. For the first couple of weeks post-shampoo, I washed my hair every few days with baking soda. Then I started washing it only once a week, and I’ve been doing that for six or seven weeks now. And you know what? It’s been great! How I Clean My Hair Once a week[...]