Racism has flourished on the Internet. YouTube is particularly infested with this form of oppression where videos like "sparkling wiggles" present blatant racism and viral videos like Antoine Dodson smack of cultural tourism. These videos do not only perpetuate and nurture racism in humor - they encourage others to seek fame through active oppression. One such candidate for hateful celebrity, Josh Eastman of Bridgeport, CT, went so far as to actively indoctrinate a neighboring child into racism - and he's not the only one.
Eastman recorded and posted a video called "Swearing Kid" in which an eight-year-old boy swears and hurls racial slurs while being coached from off-camera. When the boy's mother caught wind of this video, she was appropriately horrified by this apparently uncharacteristic behavior from her son, who claims that Eastman paid him $1 for his grim performance. She called the police, who picked Eastman up and held him on an $2,500 bond on charges of impairing the morals of a child. Eastman said:
"If they didn't like the video they could have just asked me nicely to take it off, and I would have taken it off. They didn't have to go call the police and have me arrested for it."Eastman felt comfortable paying their child to spew hate and promote it to the general public without asking, but he apparently expects the consideration and courtesy of a polite phone call when the offense is against him. Nice.
Racism is evil regardless of context, but training and tutoring the next generation of racists takes especial involvement in the kyriarchy. It communicates to both the children starring and the white viewers of these awful videos that they are entitled to spread racial hatred around; it harms the people of color they will interact with in childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
Eastman didn't see the problem with this; he claims that the child was known for such language, and describe the video as "fun and funny". But even if Eastman didn't teach him those slurs, even if he didn't pay him a dollar - such a small sum, representing his valuation of people of color - even if he didn't indoctrinate this child into the gleeful use of racist language, Eastman was teaching the child that racism is funny, that hatred is worth reward, attention, and praise.
Though Eastman will likely stop his practice of this particular brand of hatred, this video was not an isolated incident. While searching for this and the "sparkling wiggles" referenced above, I found a huge number of other children being encouraged to say racist things by friends, family, whomever. Many of these videos, including Eastman's, are taken down by YouTube administrators, but more simply pop up in their place.
The children in these videos are not learning the ideals of the postracist society the US sometimes brags of; instead, these young people, the douchebags like Eastman capturing their learning experience, and the people who watch, enjoy, and send on these videos are actively promoting and perpetuating white supremacy.
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