Racist Facebook Page Mistakes Bus Seats For Burqa-Clad Women, Goes Into Meltdown
There’s an old, popular saying: “Show me a racist person and I’ll show you a fu*king moron.” OK, so it’s not very old or popular (considering the fact that I just made it up) but it is true, nonetheless. And this story is a perfect illustration of that point…
Members of a Norwegian far-right, anti-immigrant Facebook group have been mocked mercilessly online after they mistook six empty bus seats for Muslim women dressed in burqas.
The private group, that goes by the name of “Fedrelandet viktigst” (“Fatherland first” in English) and has more than 13,000 members, got into a heated debate after the optical illusion was posted alongside the question, “What do people think of this?”
More than 100 members commented, with one saying, “It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons.”
Further comments read: “Ghastly. This should never happen,” “Islam is and always will be a curse,” “Get them out of our country – frightening times we are living in,” and: “I thought it would be like this in the year 2050, but it is happening NOW.”
The original post was shared publically by Sindre Beyer, who posed the question, “What happens when it puts out a picture of some empty seats on a brungrumsete group on Facebook and almost everyone thinks they see a bunch of burqa?”
According to the Washington Post, Johan Slattavik, who has since described himself as “Norway’s worst web troll and proud of it,” originally posted the photo as “a little practical joke” and to see how people would react but he was shocked at how easily they were tricked.
“I have thought about the differences between legitimate criticism of immigration to Europe and blind racism and xenophobia.”
The head of Norway’s Antiracist Centre, Rune Berglund Steen, told The Local, an English-language Norwegian news site, that “People see what they want to see and what they want to see are dangerous Muslims.”
“In a way, it’s an interesting test of how quickly people can find confirmations of their own delusions.”
It’s a sad fact that a lot of people tend to fear the unknown. The more open minded members of society will make efforts to get to know and understand that unknown while close minded people will bury their heads in the sand and let their own fear fester.
But at the end of the day, we’re all just people. Plus, there are much scarier things in the world than bus seats that look a bit like burqa-clad women…