Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If you want to know how I and many of the people attacked in Racefail '09 felt

From Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed (via A Social-Media Mistake Is No Reason to Be Fired - The Atlantic):
She barely left home for the year that followed, racked by PTSD, depression and insomnia. “I didn’t want to be seen by anyone,” she told me last March at her home in Plymouth, Mass. “I didn’t want people looking at me.”

Instead, Stone spent her days online, watching others just like her get turned upon. In particular she felt for “that girl at Halloween who dressed as a Boston Marathon victim. I felt so terrible for her.” She meant Alicia Ann Lynch, 22, who posted a photo of herself in her Halloween costume on Twitter. Lynch wore a running outfit and had smeared her face, arms and legs with fake blood. After an actual victim of the Boston Marathon bombing tweeted at her, “You should be ashamed, my mother lost both her legs and I almost died,” people unearthed Lynch’s personal information and sent her and her friends threatening messages. Lynch was reportedly let go from her job as well.
I'm not sure why I didn't stay in hiding after Racefail '09. It was my first instinct: I shut down the LJ copy of my blog. Maybe being ostracized as a child for my family's involvement in the civil rights struggle gave me more perspective on the dynamics of mobbing. Maybe it's just that as a writer, I'm fascinated by an ugly truth taught to my young self by the children of the Klan: no one is more vicious than those who think their cause is righteous.