Brian Sims, Pennsylvania’s first openly gay state lawmaker, was the victim of some recent internet trolling. Yet when Sims saw that the troll had posted a phone number on his own Facebook page, the lawmaker took matters into his own hands.
Sims was expecting the troll to answer the phone. He was, however, pleasantly surprised to hear an older woman pick up; the number posted online was the troll’s grandmother.
In a screenshot of the post, a Facebook user known only as “David” called Sims a “Nigger faggot.” Sims hit back:
“David, I can’t tell if you’re just a really dumb little boy or an angry bigot but I know for sure that you shouldn’t have posted your grandmother’s telephone number on your Facebook page so many times. She and I just had a very disappointing chat about you. We’ll talk soon…”
Sims then captioned the post with a warning for other trolls:
“Dear Bigots, posting your grandmother’s telephone number all over the same page you use to post slurs on other people’s pages is not going to end well for you.”
In an interview with Occupy Democrats, Sims said of the phone call with the troll’s grandmother, “She was very pleasant and clearly taken aback by the call. I explained who I was and what I was calling about.” She then told Sims that while she didn’t know where her grandson was, she would make sure that he returned Sims’ call.
“She wasn’t kidding. I heard from him within 2 hours and while I can’t say we resolved anything, I can pretty much guarantee that Christmas at my home is going to be better than his this year.”
David the troll learned an important lesson today, in that nothing valuable can come of cowardly posting hate speech online. More importantly, though, he learned never to post his grandmother’s phone number on the internet.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.