Monday, February 28, 2011
Miserable Mail readers
You know when you have an experience where you find that something really is as bad as you think it is, despite thinking “nah, it couldn’t possibly be as rotten as that”. Well, I had one of those today.
It involved reading a piece of news on the Daily Mail website, which is not something I do on a regular basis, although I decided to see what the vibe was on the home of hate. I decided to jump in at the deep end and read a story based on the recent case where a couple has been denied a foster child because they were "not willing to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing".
Now my opinion on this story is that I agree with the judgement, whilst the couple’s opinion doesn’t make them unfit parents or even bad people, we shouldn’t encourage children to be brought up with such a narrow interpretation of a complex issue. After all what happens if the child itself turns out to be gay?
Then however, I got round to reading some of the comments and interesting reading that made, especially when I looked at what got the best and worst reception from the general readership.
The top rated comment read: “Muslims can still get jobs in our public sector, including the BBC, despite holding the same anti-gay beliefs. Their anti-gay stance is more acceptable to the gay community - a discrepancy the gays have yet to explain to the rest of us.” 974 people liked this.
As far as Daily Mail comments stakes go this has got to win a prize, with bonus points awarded for xenophobia, BBC bashing and homophobia all in one short paragraph. The fact that someone managed to crowbar an attack on the Muslims into this debate about homophobia (although to be fair Christianity is heavily featured in this story) is one thing, but to then skew it into a counter attack on the gay community takes a special kind of bigotry. Also where and when have the Muslims ever had a clear preference? Is this based on fact or sheer speculation? This chap has single handedly created a perfect storm of Mail reader “right on” prejudice. All it was missing out on was an attack on ‘benefit scum’ or ‘gyppo’s’.
Unsurprisingly many of the other ‘liked’ comments centered on why the UK is a Christian country and that Muslims aren’t being so hard done by when they adopt.
Yeah of course, because the Muslim community gets such good treatment the rest of the time when they aren’t being blamed for taking our jobs, or getting mixed up with extreme sects or generally being looked upon with an air of suspicion. Of course they feel complacent in the UK right now But wait, no! What about the poor white man, the Christian, or the middle class family with their 3 bedroom semi. They’re the real victims because they have to incur the odd knock in life like a family of a different race moving in up the road.
The worst rated comment meanwhile, got 774 dislikes and simply read: “Bigots should not be allowed to foster children. Well done the high court.”
After all why would the readers of the Mail condone anti-bigotry when they themselves are mostly bigots it would seem according to this brief experiment? I was also saddened by the fact that many comments were disliked whilst making the valid argument that a homosexual child being brought up by a homophobic foster family could face mental health problems if it turned out to be gay and was chastised for this.
It’s sad really as I would like to think that the majority of Mail readers, whilst having questionable – in my mind anyway – taste in news reporting and commentary, were probably perfectly nice people and not as bigoted as their reading preference would make out. Unfortunately it's the idiots who chose to stand up and be counted.