“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

The internet has granted us a platform. A platform to joke, a platform to express freely and be exposed to expression of others, their views and ideas, and a platform to ridicule and be ridiculed. When applying to colleges, and even today as we apply to jobs, we are constantly told, “ be careful of the things you put on social media”. It became almost a broken record and my teachers and parents would constantly embed it. We are always told to be mindful because our many profiles and sites will be checked by colleges and employers. And the scariest reminder was, “BE CAREFUL, BE MINDFUL because what is put on the net can NEVER be deleted.”

In the case of Justine Sacco, it is really sad that one stupid tweet had the ability to ruin her life but even with a small number of followers, Sacco, as a professional should have been more mindful of the things she was posting. After reading many articles and interviews, I came to the conclusion that this was not a flaunting of white privilege, or racism, that angered the world but sheer irresponsibility in a form of a very risqué joke that should have never been told. From seeing old Tweets made by Justine Sacco, I saw that her sense of humor was not something just anyone could stomach. We all say stupid things to our friends on a daily basis, in our group chats and conversations and I couldn’t imagine anyone retweeting it to thousands of followers but my empathy could only stretch so far. With white privilege and race being such a sensitive topic in this country, Sacco should have known way better.

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2 thoughts on ““Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

  1. I agree that Justine Sacco took a lot of harsh criticism, and rightfully so, but everyone makes mistakes. I have mixed feelings about how the tweet backfired and how her employer handled the situation so publicly, almost as if to make an example out of her.

  2. I agree with you Justine did something terrible, however you’re not human if you don’t make mistakes. I think many people sometimes forget this, especially in this situation. I can understand Justine’s boss letting her go but, do you think this was taken too far?

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