Dear Writers, Stop Using Black Twitter as Race-Baiting For Hungry Bigots
About a couple of months ago — a writer randomly contacted me about collaborating on a piece that was supposed to be the catalyst for supreme communication between Whites and Blacks on Twitter.
She felt pretty good about it. But, I was confused.
It was another pure example of why the great divide remains wide and long. I was able to get past the nerve of her reaching out — even though we had never communicated before.
I don’t make it a habit of asking strangers to work on projects especially if the themes of the proposed collaboration are highly sensitive.
But, she assumed I would be all in.
After all, I am a writer of color — and a shit load of my pieces erect me as an expert when it comes to successfully tackling topics that make both sides of the coin uncomfortably reflective.
So, of course I would be the ideal partner in the quest to draft up the fundamentals of Black Twitter for the viral consumption of White readers — who desperately need to know how to tread that territory without getting burned.
I politely turned her down.
I also penned an essay about why it might be a great idea for writers like her — who have no clue what they are talking about as it pertains to race relations in America — to stay away altogether.
I mean if you have to ask a Black expert to coin the piece of your dreams so you can take the credit for coming up with a revolutionary idea that you couldn’t execute on your own — perhaps you need to search for a new genre.
I was reminded of my weird encounter when I stumbled upon a piece in The New York Times — that tried to convey the sentiment that Black Twitter launched a full-scale war against Melania Trump in retaliation for the infamous speech that she admits was swiped from The Michelle Obama Book of Treasures.
The essay titled: ‘Black Twitter’ Criticizes Melania Trump on Convention Speech was written by Yamiche Alcindor. She’s a Black woman — but that doesn’t excuse this lame attempt to designate ‘Black Twitter” as the ultimate culprit in a game with very little to gain and everything to lose.
Black Twitter didn’t crucify Melania Trump because Michelle Obama is a Black woman.
We all took offense to Mrs. Trump’s blatant attempt at recreating our First Lady’s 2008 delivery because it was hard to ignore and most of all — it was literary theft at its worst.
Mrs. Obama did a way better job.
The things is — the article as a whole was a smelly concoction — filled with the overuse of the word — blacks and the ownership that Black Twitter was the primary suspect in the verbal attack levied on the woman who might very well be America’s next First Lady.
I imagine that The New Times which has been heavily criticized for not being a very diverse organization decided to take advantage of one of their writers — who definitely has the authority to summarize the goals and aspirations of the Black community on Twitter.
If she writes this homage to all the reasons why this purposed movement thrives off of White people who systematically get it wrong — there is no way it will be challenged.
All we need are sprinklings of quotes and brilliantly conceived tweets from the pillars of the community — and it will shine above the plethora of offerings that are also fighting to dominate that same space.
My timeline flashed red lights in recognition of the speech that still refuses to die a well-deserved death.
It was a united effort initiated by citizens that peeped the bullshit and needed an outlet to voice their astonishment and disgust. Social media is the perfect playground for such warranted unification.
The author’s insulting parallels comes in the form of delibrately highlighting people of color who express their opinions — like everybody else — but for some odd reason — we are collectively selected for the grand prize of heralding a public misdemeanor that was very American in its crime and response.
Yes, Black Twitter has gained a reputation for berating and celebrating the good, the bad and the ugly.
It’s entertaining and also carries a certain level of validation that obviously inspires and fascinates the rest of the population who can’t enter this very exclusive party.
Those who watch from afar are wary not to incite the anger of the “blacks” who will “drag” you until you can’t tweet another day.
Pieces like the one Alcindor penned do very little to add more prestige to Black Twitter and instead feed the insatiable appetite of the outsiders who believe that “blacks” on Twitter are bullies — aiming to ridicule and verbally paralyze elite Whites in order to prove the stronghold of racism.
They are published for the sheer mission of encouraging clicks and baits and to add to an already bloated narrative that exists just for our discontent.
Very few articles about race are worth the time and glance and the ones that do deserve attention — get buried under contrived workings that do nothing more than infuriate Black people while relieving White people — who are convinced that Black Twitter is a formidable squad of misfits that patrol the landscape in search of blood.
We need less of this shit and more of the real deal.
We need Black writers who work for White owned organizations to recognize when they’re being used. We need a solid number of Black writers to continue to do the good work — especially the quiet vigilantes who write for the health of it and not because they are hoping to catch that virus.
Lets stop feeding the beast.
Black America is starving too — so, feed us first and then save the scraps for the ones who don’t deserve it.