It’s Only The Internet
Ah yes, never forget this little gem! You see, the internet isn’t “real life” and therefore nothing that happens on the internet could ever have an actual impact on real people. OH no, anything that happens on the internet is, by virtue of simply happening on the internet: “A Joke!”Never mind that real people are really behind the really real words they’re typing “on the Internet” and that those words actually do reflect real world opinions, beliefs, prejudices and discrimination that really do affect really real people from marginalized group and they already have to deal with that stuff on a daily basis – so what! It’s “the Internet”. Nothing is “real” on “the Internet”. You can simply say to them: If you take anything on “the Internet” to heart, you’re taking it “too seriously” and probably just need to log off for awhile…
… and go out into the “real world” where they will… experience the exact same type of discrimination and prejudice.
You see, this tactic conveniently ignores that there is no genuine respite for marginalized people when it comes to encountering bigotry characteristic to their group, not even through a supposed entertainment medium, like “the Internet”.
Since nothing on “the Internet” happens face to face, you as a privileged person can easily persuade yourself nothing that happens on “the Internet” really matters. You can then communicate your contempt for the marginalized person’s experience by dismissing and trivializing any hurtful or outright hateful things either you or other Privileged People® have said, simply because it was on “the Internet” and since they can’t see you and you can’t see them, how can they even prove the words even mean anything, nyah nyah neh nyah nyah!
Using this tactic, you’re also subtly characterizing ’the Internet” as an autonomous being – it’s not people being offensive, it’s “the Internet”, thus allowing you to further shirk responsibility.
Surprise! I Was Playing “Devil’s Advocate” All Along!
It can happen: you may reach the point where, in spite of expertly using all of these tactics, you’re suddenly struck by the discomfiting notion that maybe the marginalized people, uh, have a point.This doesn’t feel very good for any privileged person. It’s highly uncomfortable for a start-off, the sensation you may be wrong about something. But even worse, it may mean you have to endure the humiliation of admitting that!!But never fear, for all is not lost! You can still worm your way out of this one! Simply say: “It was all a social experiment!”
This makes it okay, you see! Not only does it imply to the marginalized people you’re really not the ignorant, obnoxious bigot you might be beginning to realize you are, you successfully communicate to them that you are that insensitive, that arrogant and that much of a douchebag you would take very real and serious issues that affect their lives and treat them as nothing more than a theoretical discussion for your own detached amusement!
In this way you cover your arse whilst affirming your privilege!