Trump supporters transform safe spaces into hate spaces



Trump supporters transform safe spaces into hate spaces

I am frequenter of the “Donald Trump for President” subreddit online. It’s not that I’m a supporter of him, I’m far from it, in fact.

I am more astounded and intrigued that this thriving community of open and unpunished racism, xenophobia and plain hate can exist and be so popular in 2016.

“R/The_Donald” is an anomaly, which proudly advertises itself as the “last bastion for free speech on reddit,” but works overtime to silence any opposition.

A place where a post titled “Fuck Islam” can get several thousand likes while any post expressing the contrary can get banned for breaking the community rule of “no dissention.” Where a post titled “Black Lives Matter is a Terrorist Organization” gets rocketed to the top of the page while one of the rules hypocritically states “no racism allowed.”

What is occurring here is hate speech finding its place and thriving in the self-governed world of online forums.

Using a mixture of pack mentality and mob rule to embolden that way of thinking, a community like this particular subreddit can appeal to those lying on the fringe in our “politically correct world” by jumping to each other’s defense and reassuring them that they’re in the right.

Any post, if given enough upvotes or likes, can easily rise above the accusations of bigotry because so many likeminded people come to the creator’s defense.

In this sense, online hate groups function as “safe spaces” for discriminatory ideology.

Originally a term localized to the LGBTQ community, it has branched out to include places where no one is meant to feel marginalized or discriminating against for being themselves.

Our various communities at Laurier are several examples of attempted safe spaces that are becoming more indicative of our culture at large.

In the online world, a forum cannot be governed like an educational institution and so the opposite is occurring. Those who post hateful thoughts are convincing themselves that they are marginalized.

In all their decrying against a world run rampant with “political correctness,” places like “R/The_Donald” become a safe haven for the worst the internet has to offer because they consider their free speech victimized.

In their minds, if they’re not allowed to think and feel as they see fit, they need somewhere for themselves where they can be far away from the margins.

We have to be wary of these kinds of communities because they are becoming harder to ignore.

This particular subreddit is presently one of the website’s most popular, with over 200,000 members all thinking and feeling as hateful mob mentality, protecting itself from any dissenting opinion.

For many of us, online communities can be a source of validation and it’s places like this that seize the opportunities of the internet with concept to sow their hate speech.

What pages like this fail to realize is that we are a culture moving steadily towards acceptance. Safe spaces are liminal environments that promote discussion and give a voice to those who have been made to feel voiceless.

When you pervert this intent to rally behind your fading view of the world, you are standing in the way of progress and substantiating the victimization of those truly left outside.

If all you do is complain when someone calls for their voice to be heard, why should anybody listen to you or any other faceless name behind a computer screen?

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