TripAdvisor Reviews From Your Racist Uncle
It's my birthday next week, and I started thinking about day trips my husband can take me on, since there will be no "Life, The Universe And Everything" parties orPan-Galactic Gargleblasters in my immediate future.
I was soon in a "visit bumfuck Montana" internet k-hole, looking up every sad little town (lookin' at you, Deer Lodge) within conceivable driving distance of our liberal college-town oasis -- where there are still only white people, and it is weird, but at least no one's shot me yet for my Prius complete with Obamacare sticker and California plates -- and then looking up hotels (maybe we would spend all our money and stay somewhere, why not!) and then, just, you know. Internet k-hole, like I said.
And that's when I discovered the thriving internet subculture of Your Racist Uncle Having 'Thoughts' On Mexican Restaurants.
A note: the following screenshots are for the purpose of discussion, not the purpose of pitchforks. Your editrix -- me -- truly, truly believes that even weird shitty people shouldn't be hounded for their weird shitty beliefs, and that internet pile-ons are awful, illiberal, fascist and Thought Crimey. I have had many discussions on this with youngs on Twitter, who said flat out that sexist or racist speech should be actually outlawed. If you're going to be a dick and dox these people so you and your comrades can better harass them -- or even if you're just sending unsolicited hate to their TripAdvisor inbox -- you are a BAD PERSON and you SHOULD FEEL BAD. Leave the hate to them, and be perfect, like me.
SO ANYWAY. There's a Mexican restaurant in Salmon, Idaho, and people have Thoughts on it. Most of those thoughts are "the river deck is really great!" and "I love nachos!" But then they started getting kind of hilarious, because a common theme was that even though it was a Mexican restaurant, the customer still felt welcome anyway. You guys, people in ... the West? The Plains states? WHERE AM I? ... are REALLY FUCKING SCARED OF MEXICANS!
"Despite it being your typical Mexican-style restaurant, we did seem welcome." Beanie hats. THERE IS NO TACO BELL! Or as a fellow traveler on Twitter put it:
Man, I wish I wrote that.
I kept going, of course, and that's when I met some fucking weirdo who lives in Wyoming now, having moved from "the border regions" which means he knows Mexicans and Mexican food and really does not care for the former and is probably much, MUCH happier now.
(I have been to Wyoming and swore never to return after making the acquaintance of Roy the Bigot, who owned the only place to lay one's head within driving distance of Devil's Tower, and said things like "as someone self-described 'FROM CALIFORNIA,' when you've served your country, then you can have an opinion," and screamed at me till his face was quite violet because his wife had let me use his computer to check my email, oh, and "didn't hold with interracial marriage, but out of respect for [my young son's ears] would leave it at that." Roy the Bigot ruined MY WHOLE DAY. I can only imagine how he's ruined his nice wife's life.)
Here is our new friend from "the border regions."
A "tinge of resentment toward the gringo patrons"; a "residue of victimization politics." Ol' Stormrider up there sounded like he was worth exploring further. Were all his reviews written through a rightwing talk radio filter? PROBABLY! Did he have any idea he might be either a) projecting some sort of attitude to which the Latina counter help might be responding or b) making shit up to correspond to his worldview? PROBABLY NOT!
I read all his reviews. You guys, he stormed out of a Subway sandwich shop because he didn't like the way the counter dude wore his pants, and there was no manager to whom to complain:
And here is a taco salad review that gets so racist so fast, it's almost unbelievable.
TACO SALADS AREN'T WORTH HAVING MEXICANS AROUND, YOU GUYS.
Jesus Fucking Christ with refried beans. Is there anything Stormrider likes? Yes! White people! (But not "bohemian" white people, who probably are "self-described as being from California.")
The youngs are well-behaved (and white)! The town of Cody, Wyoming, is a truly great American town that doesn't have any of those problems you get from being not white! Stormrider can get racist as fuck in a review about A COFFEE HOUSE.
I don't have any illusions that being exposed to some nice Latinos and people of color might change Stormrider's outlook; he seems pretty well entrenched! (Plus he is from a border region, he might have mentioned, so he already knows alllll about 'em.) But our first reviewer up there, the one who was surprised he or she was welcome in a Mexican restaurant -- the one who seemed scared he or she wouldn't be -- to that reviewer, Latinos are a strange, unknown quantity, and he's worried they don't like him. They are a different people, and they wear beanie hats, my, isn't that new!
I saw a tweet yesterday complaining about a snippet of a story about prep schools getting pretty well integrated a couple of decades ago, because the well-off white parents wanted their children to go to school with children who were different than they, so they would be prepared for a multicultural country and world. The tweeter -- much retweeted -- objected to what she saw as the children of color being learning props for the white children on how not to be assholes.
I find that most of us are complaining a little too much, when we bitch about white parents wanting their prep schools to be opened to the poor and children of color. And don't we want to teach our white children not to be assholes?
The alternative, it seems to me, is a state like the one where I live now, and the states around it, where the Other is scary as fuck, and people are morons.
You guys, I really miss L.A.
Rebecca Schoenkopf is the owner, publisher, and editrix of Wonkette. She is a nice lady, SHUT UP YUH HUH. She is very tired with this fucking nonsense all of the time, and it would be terrific if you sent money to keep this bitch afloat. She is on maternity leave until 2033.