Comments of the Day: The Lynch Mob

Today we looked at kooky Stephanie Grace, the Harvard Law Email Racist. All of you were mad about it! Some of you at her, some of you at us. Let's take a look at some of the latter group.

From Benny:

In my opinion all her email shows is that she has a simplistic view of genetics (as do many people) and was naive enough to put something highly sensitive in writing. It doesn't show that she's a racist. In fact, I see more evidence of bilious hatred in Maureen's post than in what she wrote.

More to the point, what is with people's need to DESTROY the lives of those they take issue with? What happened to the marketplace of ideas? Why wouldn't it be enough to simply explain to this person how her perspective is founded on a misunderstanding of science, then send her on her way that much more informed? Why the need to name and shame for a global audience? And when will it end? When someone you guys go after kills themselves? ...Probably not.

There is disturbing, sadistic titillation in this.

From Crooks:

In the span of two weeks we have both Gizmodo and Gawker publicly humiliating young people that made mistakes. Granted this girl made very dumb, very racist comments, but let her apologize and be done with it. She's a student, not a fucking politician.

From SolomonGrundy:

That's pretty fucked up to try to ruin her life because of one stupid email. You've never said something stupid? Thousands if not millions of people probably share some of her uninformed questions about intelligence and genetics (and by the way, she asked questions, she didn't make assertions). Do we really want those views made so taboo that they persist due to never being discussed and debunked? Or do we want to encourage disinterring and debunking these misguided but common misunderstandings?

The stupid listicles about the ten types of New York gays are one thing, but this kind of irresponsible journalism is too much. I just unbookmarked Gawker. I won't let the door hit me on the way out.

[Ohh, nice burn there with the Awl link! They are totally our sworn mortal enemies! Fuck you, Sicha!]

From Pope John Peeps II:

This is a pretty non-story story. Why is Gawker covering this? It would be funny if it were someone high up in the Harvard academic ranks, or someone of prestige, or funny if it really was an egregious form of racism.

But it's a pretty super-mild racism from a nobody law student not related to New York or any media or political structure at all. What are we all doing here?

So what do you think, dear commenters? Were we doing a needless public shaming? This writer's opinion is that we shouldn't really be worried about the privacy of people who actually mull over the possibility, the mayyyybe, that on an unchangeable genetic level, black people are not as smart as white people. It's the willingness to even entertain the conversation that smacks of ugly "Well, that would explain why they make no sense to me..." racism. Like, why bother having the conversation at all? Or the thought, even? Would you care if it were true (it's not)? Why did your brain go there? Because you're an eensy bit racist, is why. In 2010 these people's rocks should be overturned, because they're jerks and sometimes public shaming is just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully next time she'll think before she wonders if, and that's a big IF guyz!!!, black folks might just be born stupider.

Anyway.