Last week, a story about an undocumented migrant stopping a kidnapping of a 6-year old girl became a popular one. I'm not huge on "feel-good" stories, but this was a good one. You can read the full story here, but to summarize the tale.
An "illegal" 24-year old mechanic happens upon a guy grabbing this girl off the street, throwing her in a van. He chases the van for a while, it crashes (police later found tie-down straps packing tape and other ominous things from the van). He rescues girl, takes her back home. Quoted as saying ""I knew I had to catch him. I had to get the girl back from him and take her home, back where she belongs."
Reading it, this thought crosses my mind: "this will cut the immigration-haters down a notch." Wronnnnnng!
Enter the comments section, starting with comment numero uno.
This "migrant" is an ILLEGAL ALIEN. He must be DEPORTED so he can save little girls in HIS COUNTRY.
Said commenter goes on to battle with other commenters of varying beliefs - including one who okays "this immigrant", but goes on to refer to all Cubans in Florida as "garbage bags."
A debate then ensues over a comment claiming Spanish to be "backwards," (the implication - seemingly - that nouns and adjectives are arranged differently than in English) and, ergo, stupid.
There are, of course, lots of comments in this kind of vein of "the man's a hero." But even these are overshadowed by the vitriolic debate of these commenters lashing back at those they disagree with.
So, mere minutes after a rare-indulgence into good news land, I realized I still have no handle on how people's brains work, that the debate over immigration in the US is way over my head and that often its much better for my personal felicific calculator to stay out of the comments sections of touchy articles.
If a story about a guy who frickin' risks his safety to chase someone down, and rescue a child from - what seems like - certain harm can't make people agree, "okay, that's pretty rad", what the H can?
Afterthought: Real-time comments sections remain an interesting addition to the Age of the Internets. Like letters to the editor, on speedballs. At certain times, I question whether its helpful for bizarrely-named pseudonyms to spend their time internet-yelling at each other, and taking advantage of their anonymity to spit words they might not do utter in a person-centric public forum. Other times, comments sections bring me great pleasure to peruse, and/or offer interesting insights, information or context that I wouldn't otherwise have.
Sometimes, its gotta be better to say nothing.
1 week ago