Every once in a while a viral video masquerading as a “social experiment” will take people who are doing unfortunate things and call them out on it. Such was the case last year when a group of cat-calling construction workers accidentally sexually harassed their own mothers. Well, now a new organization is taking public shaming to a whole new level.
CRIOLA was founded as a Brazilian organization founded and lead by black women to defend and promote “an integrated and transversal perspective.” In an attempt to help end racism, their latest project is calling out racism in the most amazing way: publically shaming people by posting their hate-filled social media posts in their neighborhoods on billboards.
While the organization claims that it isn’t about exposing anyone it’s more about education, the idea of shaming someone for their hate can also help the hater understand how society views his or her comments. Most hate is not mainstream, so isolating the hate and singling them out can help them understand how wrong they are if they must defend the racism to people they know. CRIOLA is blurring the handle and the name of the post, but the offenders know who they are and it would be easy to discover if someone wanted further information.
The campaign got started because Maria Julia Coutinho, the first black weather forecaster in Brazil was targeted with tons of racist Facebook comments not long after she started her job. She evidently corrected another top-anchor on air and the trolls lost their minds. The hate fueled comments ranged from typical “go f— yourself” to using her nickname “Maju” to make it clear she was from Africa.
“We omit names and faces of the authors because we have no intention of exposing anyone. We just want to educate people so that in future they think about the consequences before posting racist comments,” the organization said in a release.
Here’s one roughly translated from Portuguese: “If you showered, you wouldn’t be so grimy.”
Bullying has been a topic the United States discussed within the context of protecting our childen, but rarely do we discuss the root cause of bullying. Many times, children learn by examples set from their parents and if adults are online with hate fueled rhetoric, it only perpetuates more hate, more racism, and more bullying. I would hate to see what would happen if we took up this cause in the United States. While racists are a minority, I imagine our streets would all be so filled with billboards they would look like the Las Vegas Strip or Time Square after a while. Maybe an easier way is to buy a few of those electronic billboards and have a rotating list of posts each week.
This one says: “I arrived home smelling like black people.”
Sadly, just comments from presidential candidates alone could fill a town with billboards. It will be interesting to see how this impacts communities and if people will come out and admit that their behavior was wrong or if they pull a Donald Trump and just double down. Hell, a political organization or candidate could just fight Trumpism by just putting his tweets up all over the place. That would certainly start an interesting conversation about online hate and bullying.
Feature image via CRIOLA’s Virtual Racism