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What you said about what we said last week

Maybe we’ll look back and remember this as the week our readers lost their minds, nearly taking us along with them. Somehow the Internet tossed up on our calm shores a commentariat so uncharacteristically combative, we’re still recovering from whiplash. What happened, guys? We have so much love for you, but the conversation just went off the rails.

Response to Aaron Wiener’s cover story on the scholarship program TheDream.US got especially nasty. Specifically, it appears some commenters had taken it upon themselves to defend the nation’s borders by railing against “illegal immigrants” in the comments section of our site. Much of it we found too offensive to print here, but John Smith calmly captured the zeitgeist, saying of Sadhana Singh, the Guyanese student and scholarship recipient featured in the story: “Let’s focus on the real issue here unfairness. She should be deported. Plus of course it is against the law for her to be here, that is if the law was enforced and it hasn’t been since Democrats lied about the fence to Reagan.” It’s on you, Democrats, that this woman is getting an education funded by a scholarship set up to help those ineligible to receive federal money. It’s on you!

But of course the us-versus-them camp had its opponents, too: cminus rose to the general defense of families whose kids are on a path like Singh’s. “How about we keep an ambitious and hard-working family like the Singhs, and instead send Guyana some lazy and ignorant native-born Americans?” Then carlos the dwarf piled on: “You gotta love the people who would turn a child into a criminal for something her parents did. Heartless, cruel, and counterproductive.” And the name-calling had only just begun. Can’t we all just get along?

Title Nein

After reading Will Sommer’s piece on Councilmember Mary Cheh’s doubts over the legality of a public school for black and Latino boys, a surprising number of commenters seemed to think the school in question would be “black only,” providing their expert legal opinion that this would be illegal.

Zestious bravely waded into the comments section about half a dozen times with more or less the same message: “it’s NOT an ‘all-black’ school, it’s an ‘all boys’ school in Ward 7/8. An ‘All black’ school that receives Federal funding would be unconstitutional.” Mg3440 gets a gold star for keeping it civil while pointing out that “Mary Cheh is raising a valid concern about the ‘Empowering Males’ initiative. Unless equal resources & opportunities are available to females, the program almost certainly violates Title IX. If the district wants to keep the program, it’s going to have to admit females or make a comparable program available for females. That’s the law. Get over it.” Tough love, Mg3440. And then there’s this claim: “Mary Cheh is just looking for publicity,” wrote RV.

Finally, noodlez gave his caps lock key a workout and showed some love for Will Sommer: “GOT DAMN THE BAMMA JUST SUBMITTED PROBABLY THE BEST ARTICLE AND PIECE OF JOURNALISM HE WRITTEN ALL YEAR.” Bama has one M, noodlez.