There have been nearly 20,000 tweets with the #StandwithJamilah hashtag following the events of last week. I do not have words to express the gratitude I have for the individuals who have raised their voices publicly and privately to ‘stand’ with me after I was attacked, or in Internet parlance, trolled following my exchange with RNC Deputy Press Secretary Raffi Williams—an exchange that was largely reported with gross factual inaccuracies by news outlets both large and small. After thousands of negative Tweets, emails and phone calls to and about both my employer and I—in which I was repeatedly called names ranging from the strange (“socialist,” “Marxist,” “plantation mistress,”) to the downright sexist and racist (“c-nt,” “b-tch,” “n-gger”) and even calls for me to be raped, robbed and beaten—I am sustained by the kind, supportive words I have received from so many people, women and men of all races.
I want to affirm, for any who may doubt, that I have very strong feelings about how my words were twisted to fit the agenda of others. (This is not new territory—ask Shirley Sherrod, Melissa Harris Perry, Anthea Butler…I suppose I should take some pride in now being counted among this principled group.) But, right now, this isn’t about my feelings. Even though so much of this seems like it is about me, Jamilah Lemieux, it most certainly isn’t. This debacle is largely a commentary on the evolving concept of being an employed individual on social media—and the ever-shifting line between public and private. It highlights the importance of employees being mindful of such at all times, whether that feels “fair” or not. This is not about the First Amendment, this is about corporate ethics and the challenges that face those of us who represent major media brands.
In theory, I should be able to say whatever I want on my personal social media accounts and everyone should understand and respect that my words are not the words of Johnson Publishing Company, nor EBONY. That is not the world we live in. That is not reality. And while a quip about a TV show or anecdote about a date may go by without much controversy, “snarking” those who don’t share my political views left me open to attack. And in an era during which there are people who live for nothing more than the opportunity to tear down a brand or an individual who is, perhaps, more confident or more accomplished than themselves, we all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our careers from a useless war.
- From “Jamilah Stands,” at Ebony.com
By Arturo R. García
I know, I know…it’s too easy. But we haven’t seen P-Ry pull one of these maneuvers. Until now.
Here’s a transcript of his statements:
We have good strong gun laws. We have to make sure we enforce our laws. We have lots of laws that aren’t being properly enforced. We need to make sure we enforce these laws, but the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity to the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character, that is civil society.
Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher summed up the issue pretty well:
Ryan’s assessment of “inner city” people is of a piece with the not-at-all subtle and even out-and-proud overt) attitudes of the leading lights in the Republican Party, best exemplified by racism decoder-ring Newt Gingrich, who helpfully singled out black people as the “Food Stamp-satisfied” people we already knew they were talking about, and who echoed Ryan’s chatter about the low character of the inner city denizens who “have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”
So, anybody else need convincing to register to vote?
About two weeks ago, Chris Hayes said, “It is undeniably the case that racist Americans are almost entirely in one political coalition and not the other.”
- Favor laws against interracial marriage
- Would vote for a Black for president
- Blacks should not be pushy
It is undeniable that some Americans are racist but racists split about evenly across the parties.
Hayes then tweeted a retraction.
End of story?
By Arturo R. García
For Herman Cain, it looks to be all over except for the tweeting.
Cain didn’t technically drop out of the 2012 Republican nomination race Saturday – he’s “suspending his campaign,” a bit of legalese that, according to the New York Times, allows him to raise money in order to go on tour and promote projects like his Cain Solutions website.
But by the time he finished quoting Pokemon again in front of a crowd of supporters in Atlanta, the Koch Brothers’
stooge “brother from another mother’s” campaign was already being discussed in the past tense, with the schadenfreude-licious hashtag #CainWreck. Under the cut are some of the choicest bits of snark from the weekend. And farewell, Herman – by the end, we knew a bit too much about thee.
Excerpted by Latoya Peterson
I thought the insanity would end after the election. But oh-no! I was wrong!
”There was underlying concerns we had become too regionalized and the party needed to reach beyond our comfort” zones, he said, citing defeats in such states as Virginia and North Carolina. “We need messengers to really capture that region – young, Hispanic, black, a cross section … We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings.”
But, he elaborated with a laugh, “we need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.”
This is a direct quote, people.
“I am not afraid of being held accountable for my leadership,” [Steele] said. “The idea I am somehow going to handicap myself before I begin is nuts. I am not going to buy into this mind-set among a few people who probably have never run anything but their mouths.”
Under Mr. Steele’s helm, the “old” may seem inappropriate in the Grand Old Party’s affectionate nickname. He said he is putting a new public relations team into place to update the party’s image.
“It will be avant garde, technically,” he said. “It will come to table with things that will surprise everyone – off the hook.”
Does that mean cutting-edge?
“I don’t do ‘cutting-edge,’ “ he said. “That’s what Democrats are doing. We’re going beyond cutting-edge.”
by Latoya Peterson
So, Michael Steele was elected Chairman of the GOP.
The Republican Party chose the first black national chairman in its history Friday, just shy of three months after the nation elected a Democrat as the first African-American president. The choice marked no less than “the dawn of a new party,” declared the new GOP chairman, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. Republicans chose Steele over four other candidates, including former President George W. Bush’s hand-picked GOP chief, who bowed out declaring, “Obviously the winds of change are blowing.”
The Root weighs in:
After years of decrying what they described as identity politics among Democrats, the GOP, in part out of concern for its image as the party of old, white people, chose cable-television sensation and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee. [...]
Central to the GOP’s perceived troubles is the idea that it had become too insular, too narrowly cast and too lacking in diversity. In the final round of balloting Steele defeated South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, 91-77, and race was a clear undercurrent. Dawson’s fatal disadvantage may have been in the fact that he was a member of an all-white country club until he began seeking the chairmanship of the party. Some party insiders worried that choosing Dawson as their leader would simply serve to reinforce the race issues that have dogged the party for years.
In the end, enough GOP delegates were concerned to choose Steele over Dawson, who is acknowledged as a more accomplished fundraiser and manager.