When Pennsylvania House Rep. Brian Sims (D-PA) woke up Wednesday morning, he followed his usual morning routine: checking the news, and then deleting the hate speech left on his Facebook by trolls overnight.
An openly gay politician, Sims is used to having to go through these motions. However, this morning one comment stuck out to him: it read “n****r faggot.”
When Sims checked the poster’s Facebook page, he didn’t find much info or a clear-cut motive for the troll’s actions.
“What caught me about it was there wasn’t a reference to something I said or something I’d done or some policy,” Sims told HuffPost. “And when I looked at his page there was very little there ― but he’d posted a telephone number a number of times.”
So Sims decided to call the number at 6:15 a.m. ― and the person on the receiving end turned out to be none other than the troll’s grandmother.
”I explained to her exactly who I as and what he had done,” Sims told HuffPost. “Like any grandma she was very embarrassed at having this kind of convo and very ashamed at the actions of her grandson. The conversation ended with me telling her that I wanted to hear from him.”
Sims did in fact end up talking to the poster after the conversation with his grandmother. He said that he’d rather not discuss the specifics of their conversation but noted that it “didn’t resolve anything.”
“It is the ultimate calling card of a coward to ― under the guise of night and behind a keyboard ― use the kind of language that in person would cause most decent people to respond in anger and frustration,” Sims continued. “The reason people do things like this is they don’t have the courage, the education or gumption to do this kind of thing in person.”
Let this be a lesson to trolls everywhere: be careful what you’re posting ― it might just result in an early morning call to your grandmother!