While the internet has provided access to more information than we could ever want in a single lifetime, it is also a place where people go to unleash some of their worst tendencies. Perhaps one of the most disturbing online practices today is the way people leave hateful comments without regard for how they affect others.
YouTuber gunnarolla, or Andrew Gunadie, has experienced his share of nasty comments on his videos. Gunadie is Asian Canadian and has been the target of openly racist and explicit remarks for years now. (He has addressed some of this in his videos before.) This time, he decided to turn the camera on his mom, who read aloud the comments he's collected over time, and shared the resulting video on YouTube.
Though he initially came up with the idea for a video like this a while back, Gunadie told A Plus that he was hesitant to act on it because he didn't want to encourage more abuse. He also wasn't sure about the kind of statement he wanted to make about it — until now.
"There is more and more discussion happening around race and racism these days — from police brutality to everything that has been said with the U.S. presidential election," he said, adding that the recent surge in interest about Asian representation in the media is evident of the frustration surrounding this topic.
"You can't deal with a problem by pretending that it doesn't exist," Gunadie said. "And regardless of what anyone's motives are for leaving these comments — be it jealousy, genuine hatred, or just wanting to illicit some kind of response — hate speech is a problem. We need to recognize it, call it out, and learn from it."
What adds a dose of humor to the otherwise unfunny topic is his mom's calm, levelheaded response. "You can't fight hate with more hate," Gunadie said about his mom's cool reaction, adding that she's no stranger to racism herself. "I think she showed us that there is a way to laugh at and logically dismantle the racist things that people said. I don't want to diminish the impact of the language used in some of these comments, but we can try to strip them of their power."
"Some people are shocked that I get those kinds of comments. But even a country like Canada, which prides itself in multiculturalism, is not immune to racism — and I wanted to show that," Gunadie said. "As long as Asians and other POC are regarded and treated as 'others,' we're not going to move forward."
Watch the full video here: