Trolls: Gender, Race & Xenophobia

By Jae-Ha Kim
May 22, 2017

The other night, Shaun King posted a video that went viral. It showed a white woman berating a Latino man, who appeared to be attempting to help her. For his troubles, this unhinged woman called him a “spic,” told him to “go back to fucking Mexico” and threatened to have her husband beat him up. Throughout it all, Juan (as he introduced himself) stayed calm and respectful.

I retweeted King’s tweet. Most people were repulsed by how entitled and angry she was.

But then you have this guy, who didn’t have anything to say about the video, but wanted attention anyhow:

When trolls can’t come up with a decent argument to defend their point of view, this is how they roll:

✔️ First, they attack your gender. (Fifi is prison slang for a substitute for female genitalia.)

✔️ Second, they attack your race. (The poodle reference refers to dog eaters. Get it?)

✔️ Third, they add xenophobia into the mix. (The “we don’t do that here” BS is to indicate that anyone who looks like me can’t possibly be American. The horrors!)

You’d think that things would have changed over the years (decades!), right? Nope. This is pretty much the same stuff unhappy readers would send my way during my early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. But before Twitter, people emailed. Before emailing, they left voice mail messages. Before voice mail messages, they mailed handwritten letters, often anonymously, because…cowards. (Imagine their surprise when I tracked a few of them down to have a conversation.)

Unhappy readers have screamed at me to speak in English, as I was literally speaking English to them (e.g. about a Clay Aiken review). After I criticized Metallica for encouraging their female fans to flash their boobs, another guy screamed at me (they’re always screaming, aren’t they?), saying that I could never understand America. (I must’ve missed the boob-flashing Amendment to the Constitution.)

Even when a couple of male writers at the local freebie took stabs at me, they resorted to name calling: wannabe girl writer, teenybopper, girl. The emphasis on my being female was intentional. They were too scared to attack my ethnicity, but showed how little they cared by “accidentally” misspelling my name.

You’re probably wondering why I blacked out Mr. Troll’s name. It’s not because I wanted to protect his anonymity. (He posted on a public forum for all to see.)

It’s because I don’t like to feed the trolls with the attention they so desire.

© 2017 JAE-HA KIM | All Rights Reserved

Comments (34)

  1. Jae-Ha Kim says:

  2. Me! says:

  3. Me! says:

  4. J B Smith‏ says:

  5. Sandy says:

  6. soapes_g says:

  7. cory says:

  8. Alan says:

    I saw that video on Mr. King’s feed the other night and was sickened. Besides the white trash woman, I was sickened that no one stepped in and said, “Get out of this store.”

  9. Sonya Stevens says:

    Wow. You’re way more nice than I am. Good for you!

  10. Misha says:

    Sigh. Funny how someone who thinks they are “American” can –as witnessed by their actions and interactions– be so unamerican.

  11. Stephen says:

    cowards, all of them…

  12. Anna says:

    I hate how close minded people can be. I love how you concluded with refusing to give the “troll” the attention they were seeking. I truly believe it drives them nuts when they don’t get that recognition.

  13. Renee says:

    😔 disgusting

  14. Lois Murphy says:

    Brava! To quote our former First Lady Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high!” Mr. Juan handled it exactly that way, and so did you, Ms. Kim. Even the way you described the racist as “crude,” rather than using stronger language (as many other people certainly would have) shows what a kind person you are. As for your uncouth troll, in my era we would’ve washed his mouth out with soap and paddled his behind for using such language.

  15. Alan R. says:

    I wonder what these trolls are like. Do they treat the people they know like this as well or do they cower when in the presence of an actual person who can talk back to them (or hit them)? I feel sorry for them that this is what they sink to.

  16. Jessica Walker Daniel says:

    Ugh…. I can’t stomach this stuff. It makes me angry and sad and nauseous all at once.

  17. Alicia says:

    That screaming woman is a nasty bitch. Did you see her throwing down her nail clippings. That tells me everything about her right there. I love how Juan wasn’t combative with her and took everything in stride. I’d have wanted to kick her nasty face in. As for your “fan,” he’s a moron. I read some of his other tweets and he seems to be tweeting to himself. Loser.

  18. Edward Pollcadot says:

    • Alice says:

      LOL! What are you talking about? If you’re going by scholastic aptitude, Asian would get the majority of scholarships. If you’re talking about Asians “taking” scholarships away from blacks, dream on.

    • Stephanie Marchant says:

      Who are you even talking to? Try to stay on track.

    • Brian says:

      Dude, you’re a racist fuck. This isn’t Chuck E. Cheese. No one’s going into a vacuum room to grab all the scholarships flying around! I know plenty of Asian American students who got zero financial aid because they aren’t the right minority. I know plenty of African Americans who aren’t so smart but who got scholarships because of Affirmative Action. Good for them. Use whatever you can get to get ahead in life. Stop blaming Asians for your problems!

    • Yoon says:


    • Mark says:

      I know for a fact that Jae-Ha Kim has taken ALL the scholarships away from ALL the blacks. Boo hoo.

      By the way, you’re an idiot. To imply that Asians have taken anything away from blacks is ridiculous and incorrect. It also implies that blacks deserve all the scholarships and that anyone else who earns one is stealing it from them. Affirmative Action exists and ensures that minorities get a fair shake. People want to do away with affirmative action for Asians because they think all Asians are privileged. They don’t take into consideration that Far East Asians don’t represent all Asians and that there is a a huge discrepancy in education and pay for different Asian groups.

    • Tedward says:

      Because they’re smarter than you.

  19. J Kim says:

    I haven’t had as much interactions with shitheads like this guy for a few reasons. I’m not a public figure so nobody attacks me online, and I’m male, and I lost my temper fairly easily – maybe they sensed that when they saw me. But that goes to show you what these trolls are like – they are cowards, and I’m convinced most of them will not dare speak up in person. I remember getting into the middle of it many years ago with some goofball who called my sister a name. My sister later told me that when he did see her in person previously he was trying to curry favor with her, only to try to stab her in the back online.

  20. Alizz says:

    “I’m incensed that you ate my poodle, Fifi. We don’t do that here.”

    “I’m an asswipe trying to become a social media sensation. Ask my followers. All 7 of them. No, really. Go ask them!”

    • Stephanie Anderson says:

      You’re right. He follows Shaun specifically so that he can try to goad him and his followers. He’s trying to gain internet fame by trolling well known people. So sad.

  21. Maxwell Stevens says:

    I don’t want to denigrate college grads who live in their parents’ basements because they can’t earn enough money to get their own place yet. But when I read comments like that troll’s, I can’t help but think of a middleaged, unhappy loser sitting in his parents’ basement with no life but his computer. He should be ashamed of himself, but of course he isn’t.

  22. Timothy Weary says:

    His account like a lot of trolls is a fake account. He has about 6 followers who my guess are all other fake accounts of his so he has someone to agree with him. He’s a moron and a coward.

  23. Stephanie Anderson says:

    What he said doesn’t even make sense. It has no relevance to anything. He takes your use of the word incense and does what with it? I’m not sure and the sad thing is I’m sure he thinks it makes perfect sense. He is literally an idiot. Too bad his parents didn’t use a condom.

  24. Nathan Filian says:

    That ranting bitch should’ve been arrested for threatening to have that man beaten. She says at least once that he’d be a good punching bag for her husband to make bleed. The husband doesn’t say a thing, probably because our good man Juan is a tank who could kick his ass.

    The troll should have his ass beaten, too. He is a racist and a sexist and obviously an idiot. I hope he never tricks any woman into a relationship because he is a sad excuse for a man.

  25. Sam I. says:

    entitled people like this have always been lurking around, just emboldened to speak as of late.

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