The coronavirus undoubtedly caused a halt in the everyday lives of Americans across the country. Stores closed, Wall Street took a hit, and unemployment skyrocketed overnight, but one thing remained constant even in the face of COVID-19 — racism.
At a time like this, when humanity itself is challenged, one would think such events would bring out the best in all citizens, or at least basic human emotions like compassion, love, and kindness. Instead, some have resorted to using video conference platforms like Zoom, to spew hatred toward Black people.
Such is the case with Tiara Moore who created a virtual safe space for women of color where they could exchange professional resources, chat, and support one another through the outbreak.
BuzzFeed reports that Moore’s Zoom conference was hacked and filled with about 100 people all yelling racial slurs including the N-word.
“I immediately closed it down like, what just happened,” she told BuzzFeed. “I was super emotional. I cried and I was like, ‘It’s 2020, what the fuck!’”
Those complying with social distancing guidelines by meeting online aren’t only using platforms like Zoom to do so, but they are still having problems with racist trolls.
According to U.S. News, Chattanooga, Tennessee recently held its first online city council meeting. Unfortunately it was hacked with uninvited users targeting Black city council members with derogatory racial slurs.
In the first ten minutes of the meeting, three uninvited users sent offensive messages via the online platform. It wasn’t until Councilman Ken Smith changed the chat settings making the conference private instead of public that the messages were no longer visible.
The city council plans to adjust its technology so that public comments are welcomed, but with rules in place that will prohibit any racial outbursts.
“It’s a shame people act like that, but no, it will not change that we will offer public comment next week. We will make sure that we have the technology in place to allow public comment and the rules in place to keep it under control,” said Chairman Erskine Oglesby.
Clearly racists will find a way to verbally attack Black people at any cost even if it means scouring the web in search of people of color simply minding their business.