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10 Racist Acts That Backfired

Updated on August 28, 2015

One of the worst things about racism, besides the idea itself that you can antagonize another human being based on a belief that your own race is superior, is the fact that many of history’s most famous racists tend to be wealthy, physically attractive, or influential people who are able to get away with having a low moral fibre simply because they won life’s lottery. This is why we love it when racist acts backfire. It shows racists that they don’t need to wait for the afterlife to reap the whirlwind. Here are ten recent examples of racist acts that backfired:

10. Network Accuses Politician of “Flashing Gang Signs”

Back in November, 2014, 5 Eyewitness News published a story accusing Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges of flashing a gang sign while posing with a convicted felon. The news post went on to reveal that said convicted felon has been convicted twice for drugs and firearms-related charges and is under probation until 2016.

Aside from the fact that the so-called “gang sign” is nothing but a generic hand sign that people use if they want to come off as cocky during a wacky picture shoot, the 5 Eyewitness News post also failed to mention that the man in the picture, while an ex-convict, is actually a member of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change – an NGO that encourages convicts and former convicts alike to become more productive citizens. It turns out that Mayor Hodges was in the picture because of a “Get-Out-The-Vote” event.

The network is immediately called out by its audience and exposed as trying to sensationalize an otherwise positive news story with racist overtones.

9. Celebrity Makes a Racist Comment While Criticizing Another Racist

When Donald Trump first announced his presidential candidacy in June, he made the following statement: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." The comment was naturally not taken well by people in general, and became the subject of discussion on ABC’s political talk show The View.

By this point, it’s all about context. Given the political leanings of The View’s hosts and Trump’s reputation as a misogynist, it’s not hard to get people on your side if you’re one of the show’s female hosts. Any mean thing you say about Trump – even comparisons to Hitler – will get approval from people. Unfortunately, Kelly Osbourne managed to do the impossible and put herself on the hot seat while trying to criticize Trump, simply by making a statement that also stereotypes people.

"If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?" Osbourne said on the show. "You know what I mean?"

What makes it worse, as mentioned above, is context. One of Osbourne’s co-hosts is Rosie Perez, who is of Puerto Rican descent. The incident outed not just Osbourne’s racist tendencies, but also her lack of self-awareness.

8. Woman Invents Story About Getting Jumped by Black Men

Days after the Charleston massacre, Texarkana resident Ashley M. posted photos of herself on her Facebook account and claimed that she was beat up by 3 African Americans outside of Walmart. The photo she posted makes it look like she has two black eyes, a busted lip, and a bloody nose. The problem is that the photo itself looks like she just applied makeup (poorly,) as she looks more like a Raccoon than someone with black eyes.

One of the sites that covered the story, the Daily Dot, tried to verify the incident by calling the Walmart branch where the attack allegedly took place and showed the photos to the Texarkana Police Department. Both replied that no such incident took place, or at least, it was not reported.

The woman realized that she’s been found out and started deleting her social media accounts, but not before people got hold of her pictures and started lambasting not just her racist tendencies, but also her make-up skills.

7. Plymouth Councilor’s Campaign to Boycott Café Results in Establishment’s Busiest Day

Back in 2011, Plymouth District councilor Sherril George launched a campaign urging people to boycott a food outlet called Town and Country Food, which is owned by a Mr. Hoyt Khuon. Mr. Khuon is of Asian descent but a legal resident of New Zealand. The campaign consisted of George standing outside Town and Country Food and handing out pamphlets to passersby, as well as convincing would-be customers to go somewhere else. She has also threatened to launch an investigation into the immigration status of Mr. Khuon.

Unfortunately for Ms. George, people easily saw her actions as dangerously xenophobic and actually turned them off her so much that she had to make a public apology. Her bosses also released statements that basically tried to distance themselves from her activities. Last but not the least, Mr. Khuon admitted that the campaign actually had the opposite effect – some of his busiest days happened after Ms. George’s public stunts.

6. Woman Entitled to Dunkin Donuts’ Refund Policy Freaks Out and Suffers Internet Backlash

Some branches of Dunkin’ Donuts had a policy where customers are entitled to a refund of their purchase if they don’t get a receipt with their order. So when a certain Ms. Taylor Chapman did not receive any receipt with her order, she should count herself lucky, right? Especially since an initial outburst also intimidated the unlucky worker on duty into offering free goods as compensation.

Unlike most of us well-adjusted people, Taylor didn’t accept the offer of free food. Instead, she freaked out at the poor employee and launched into a lengthy hostile rant. What made matters worse is that she videotaped the whole harassment, which includes her calling another employee (one who wasn’t even involved in the incident) a “sand n—ger.” And as a sign that she’s completely oblivious to her own failings – she uploaded the video on Youtube and was proud of what she’s done. At least, until she realized what she has done. Taylor has since deleted the video, but not before it was reposted on other channels.

5. #WhiteGirlsDoItBetter Hashtag Hijacked

The main purpose of hashtags on twitter is to make it easier to start discussions with people interested in the same topic. It’s a powerful tool for helping likeminded individuals find each other across the globe. This led to a bunch of women into using the hashtag #WhiteGirlsDoItBetter in order to find other women who share the same belief: that white girls are better than women of color at just about anything. They most likely thought they were being clever, when they were actually being racist.

Fortunately for the women involved, the hashtag failed to bring out the virtual pitchforks, as most Twitter controversies are wont to do. Instead, people who disagreed with the hashtag hijacked and used it to shine a spotlight on all the injustices perpetuated on other races by white people.

4. Racist Advert Designed to Discourage Voters Has the Opposite Effect

Former British National Party member Nick Griffin was expelled from the party in October 2014, after accusations of “harassing” members and attempts to destabilize the party. In what can be considered as evidence of his personal issues, Griffin went on Twitter and started posting hostile tweets persuading people to drop support for the Scottish National Party’s then-party leader Nicola Sturgeon.

One of the mock adverts he tweeted is a photo of men of color wearing kilts and business suits, claiming that the picture represents the future of the Scotland after the SNP welcomed asylum seekers and refugees. If the racist message isn’t clear enough, the picture also contained the caption “Keep Scotland Scottish – say No to the SNP.”

Unfortunately for Griffin, his stunt backfired because not only did he affirm people’s belief that he’s a racist that doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously, people actually found the image to be a great advertisement for the SNP, with some Twitter users admitting that the men in the picture looked real good in their kilts. Adding insult to injury, Griffin’s campaign did the opposite: it gave Nicola Sturgeon – who most voters can’t identify before the leader’s debate – much needed publicity. By the time the picture has made the rounds, Sturgeon’s name was one of the most googled terms in U.K.

3. Anti-Muslim/Pro-Israel Advert Rejected by Jewish Groups

Back in 2012, anti-Islamic activist Pamela Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative bought ad space in New York’s subway and used it to launch a series of provocative ads urging people to support Israel and “defeat Jihad.” The campaign consists of 10 ads that all bear anti-Muslim messages, including one that encourages readers to “support the civilized man” in “any war between the civilized man and the savage,” the implication being that Muslims are savages.

They managed to get away with the ads after the courts considered it as protected speech under the First Amendment, but they achieved nothing because the ads only earned them the ire of people, including the very same demographic that they claim to represent – Jewish people. Unfortunately for Geller and the AFDI, people don’t really think that supporting Israel and the Jewish people is achieved by discriminating against Muslims.

2. Woman Uses Racist Barbs To Get Out Of Jury Duty, Gets Assigned Jury Duties Indefinitely

This one is an odd case, because even though the woman in question is not confirmed to be racist, she intentionally made racist remarks thinking that it will get her something that she wants: an excuse to forego jury duty.

Referred to as Juror No. 799, the woman is Asian and in her 20s and working in the garment industry. She was scheduled for jury duty in the trial of mobster Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Bascianno, who is up for death penalty.

In her questionnaire, Juror No. 799 looked like she was intentionally making herself look bad by declaring that “African-Americans, Hispanics, and Haitians” are the people she least admired, because “you always hear about them in the news doing something.”

Juror No. 799 also criticized cops for being lazy and for abusing their authority, claiming that cops bypass traffic jams by using their sirens.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Taryn Merkl asked that the woman be disqualified from the Vinny Gorgeous case because of her inappropriate comments and the motion was granted, but Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis recognized it as an attempt to get out of jury duty, so he sentenced her to indefinite jury duty.

"She's coming back [today], Thursday and Friday - and until the future, when I am ready to dismiss her," said Garaufis.

1. Mobster Contracted HIV After Rejecting Blood That Might Have Come From African-Americans

Gregory Scarpa Sr. is a notorious member of the Colombo crime family, considered as one of the mob’s most feared and effective hitmen. He was also moonlighting as an FBI informant, so he is pretty much someone that you can hate no matter which side you are on. And if being a multiple murderer, thief, and traitor isn’t enough, Scarpa Sr. is also a racist who hated people of color so much that he would reject pre-screened blood during a medical emergency, simply because the blood might have come from an African American.

It’s that prejudice that became his undoing in 1986, when he was about to go under the knife for an emergency hiatal hernia operation. Scarpa rejected the blood bank’s pre-screened blood in favor of blood from his friends and relatives. It backfired because one of the first donors, a criminal associate named Paul Mele, was HIV positive.

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    • profile image

      big E 

      3 years ago

      One thing I like about being black is you do not have to worry about the race card. You can say whatever you want whenever you want. Being black has its perks.

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