Events have transpired over the past hour that have been appalling.
For those of you who are not aware, there is currently a Twitter backlash against racist comments made by NYC Shop Guide.
I had been tweeting since Monday night about my excitement for the Brasil/DPRK (North Korea) game in the world cup, saying that I would be sporting my Ronaldinho jersey. I have an extreme fascination with DPRK, I want to visit it, understand them, watched the Departures episodes with wide eyes. I tweeted that I wanted a DPRK jersey, that they would be like the Norwegian curling team pants, impossible to find and awesome. But no luck, no jerseys, in South Africa or online.
Prior to today's match, there was footage about the DPRK team, showing the players as relate able, regular guys laughing and having fun.
The teams took the field and anthems were played. One DPRK player was so moved by the atmosphere that he was crying. This image absolutely struck my heart strings.
Having had to opportunity to represent my country, I know how moving it is to hear your anthem on the international stage. You are granted this unreal opportunity to do what you love for the country that you love. So imagine how this would feel coming from a socialist dictatorship. This is DPRK's second World Cup appearance, so this isn't exactly a regular occurrence, in fact, it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. So imagine the emotion that would be running through your body.
Instead, I see racist comments in my feed:
I have no problem with the support for Brasil. None. But to feel the need to re-tweet a racist/ignorant comment from someone else and then to laugh at it is poor brand management. Sure, it's funny to joke about DPRK being a dictatorship, but that is no way to represent yourself as a brand. I found the comment to be offensive, so I tweeted whether or not I should unfollow someone due to my belief that they made an inappropriate comment.
Maybe you believe that I shouldn't have said anything. And maybe you're right. But I absolutely cannot support ignorance. Canada is a multi-cultural place, where tolerance is a way of life. While I don't agree with the political stance of DPRK, you cannot blame the citizens. They know no different and really, they don't have much choice. I don't believe that what I said was malicious or angry. I believe that it has validity. I don't know anyone, personally, who would represent their brand in such a way.
What did I receive in response?
Shocked, I immediately re-tweeted it:
Immediately after I re-tweeted this comment, the original tweet was deleted. And just to show that Tweetdeck doesn't lie:
It is not possible for me to have put a tweet with their avatar in the middle of my Mentions column.
I am now being called a liar by this individual, saying that I targeted them because they were cheering for Brasil, not because of their ignorant and insensitive comments.
Thank you everyone for your support. How can we move forward as a society and race with ignorance and insensitivity? Don't be afraid to stand up for your beliefs. Don't be afraid to have your voice heard and start a movement. These people should not be supported until they are willing to TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY for their actions.
Sport is a wonderful thing because it brings people together. Let's erase the hate. Let's support our favourite teams. Let's be proud of these men for doing their countries proud - they are not politicians, they are soccer players, and to some child, they are heroes.