So we’ve all seen it now, the Daily Outrage, a woman in a parking lot acting like a genuine asshole to a man whose asshole pedigree is at least uncertain. What is certain is that if you want to see a white woman shout the word “nigger” as often as has been shouted by anyone on screen since Django Unchained, there’s a video with your name on it. Here it is, if you simply must.
To me, the racial politics involved, which are ostensibly the reason for the public’s fascination with this video (it already has over five million YouTube views in less than three days), are less interesting than the angle of this video as public shaming. The Internet mob has reveled in their ability to throw virtual cabbages at this woman in the name of self-righteousness. Below are just a sprinkling of the comments this video has engendered. As you will see, they will issue a high horse to just about anyone these days:
At first I was pissed than I watched the video and realized the man was dealing with a Trailer Trash crazy woman.
This frazzled, squirrelly-looking, “bipolar” Italian B*tch needs to be committed.
This lady is absolutely crazy and probably not fit to nuture [sic] her children.
There is a special place in hell for cunts like her
What a piece of garbage! She is the real ni** er!!!!
I hope this video goes vial [sic] enough for whatever New York’s version of child protective services gets involved.
Did she say how many cops she’s stripped for?What happened to this small-minded stripper afterwards?
I would have fucked that bitch up. Even though im not black … man thats too far. Bitches need to learn(…)
Oh, and let us not forget…
… pardon my language but she is a absolute f*cking b*tch, crack wh*re, stupid c*nt pig f*cker.
(At least he had the decency to use asterisks. Now he won’t have to confess this on Sunday!)
So, congratulations, IAMOYAB (the aggrieved party’s name on YouTube)! You have avenged your wounded dignity at the cost of all womankind.
Am I saying that this harridan’s Michael Richards-worthy tirade is at all legitimate? Of course not. Even if it were merely a cheap, cheap attack instead of a regurgitation of her inner Klansmen, it would still be apalling. The question is, did we need to know about it? “Racism is alive and well” the video’s maker comments in his voiceover. Well… not so alive and well that you didn’t know you could post a video like this and win instant sympathy from half the world, much of it couched in the language of misogyny.
Should he have not posted the video? Shit, I can hardly pretend not to have chuckled at similarly embarrassing clips. Maybe I feel a bit closer to the reality of it all since this outburst was recorded in Cheektowaga, NY (my neck of the woods), or perhaps it is empathy after the woman dug her hole deeper still when she engaged in a mortifying call-in to a local radio station to share her side of the story (“I have a black cousin!” she reported).
Really though, I am bothered by what this video is not, which is just deserts. The man in the car, insulted as he was, has multiplied the unpleasantness a thousand-fold by putting out the video unedited (except for the action he himself may or may have not committed that set the woman off), blasting the offender’s identity to the world at large. This is, of course, what any pissed-off person would do if he had a forum and no internal editor. Thanks to the Internet Aeon, where everyone is their own magazine, radio program and late-night talk show, he was able to wreck the havoc he thought his slanderer deserved. But if this video had to be shown, then at least he should have pixelated the woman’s face, allowing her words to damn her while sparing her family (if no one else). And if he didn’t have the skill to pull that off, then just maybe he should have resisted the urge to pin YouTube’s scarlet play button to her chest for all time.
Am I being too lenient on Eva Braun? My own sister-in-law recently insisted I pull a photograph of her off my website. The picture? Her at her post-maternity best, in a hospital bed holding her newborn son. She works in corporate America, and this image is somehow undignified. Fine, the picture is gone–but a fix will not be so easy for today’s potential Daily Show nugget. Who knows what this woman’s rant–AND HITTING BELOW THE BELT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN IN FIGHTS, PEOPLE–will ultimately cost her that you yourself would have to admit is an ounce too much? Yet in our Voyeuracracy, your least sin is considered worthy of a lifetime of retribution.
This event–recorded, disseminated, ladled to the anonymous sharks of the comment zone like so much chum– now has the public weight of what we have traditionally called “news”. But it’s not. News has integrity and serves the public good in the telling of it. That’s why we don’t call TMZ “news”. That’s why we don’t call Fox News “news”.
Certainly the word “nigger” is not news. I challenge the offended party to surrender his iPod to see just how often that word comes up in his playlists! And a crazy woman shouting “nigger” until she needs a lozenge is not news either (I’ve had such a display happen right outside my own home, and it made me wince, but I don’t want my neighbor’s name added to a registry over it).
What we have here is a common novelty, and it will be forgotten by tomorrow, except by the woman, whose cloddish disgrace is now fodder for a tsk-tsking as far away as the Australian outback, and the maker of the video, who even now is beset by sugar plum dreams of monetizing those five million views. The only winner in all this is Poo-Pourri, the foul toilet product whose ads are running before the video. Good luck getting some of that ad revenue, IAMOYAB. You haven’t really done much for race relations, but at least there is a way to keep your shit from stinking.