Tag Archives: Twitter

Quoted: Dolen Perkins-Valdez on Toure, White Masters, and Black Mistresses

Natalie Hopkinson over at the Root posted a fascinating conversation with Dolen Perkins-Valdez on Toure’s twitter comments, among other things.

The Root: What was your reaction to Toure’s comments?

Dolen Perkins-Valdez: My initial reaction was ‘here we go again with the stereotypes.’ [During slavery] black women were portrayed as seducing men. The ‘wenches’ were so sexual that the white men couldn’t resist them.

The use of the phrase “good-good” objectifies women in the same way that slavery objectified women. It reinforces the idea that women were just bodies to be used in any way. The last line in my book was, “She was more than eyes, ears, lips, and thigh. She was a heart. She was a mind.” The sort of flip-ness of the comment was unfortunate. My feeling is we need to educate ourselves about what really happened.

TR: But Lizzie, one of the main characters, does love her master and specifically use sex to curry favors for her children and other slaves.

DPV: I think there was a lot of gray. Yes, surely women who were favored by the master used whatever little power they could gain from that favor. I think it is a little bit reckless to say that black women intentionally seduced masters. The power they gained was still so small. To call Lizzie a seductress, fooling Massa with her ‘good-good’ is not accurate. He seduced her when she was a 13-year-old orphan. [...]

[Public rapes] definitely happened in the slave quarters in broad daylight. It happens in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The men are made to give oral sex to the overseer. The way she writes it is very oblique. [In the rape scene in Wench] these two Northern women thought they were coming to see a beating and the master got carried away in the frenzy of the moment. But the master wasn’t doing it for them, he was doing it for the other slaves as a warning.

Chain Reaction: Questlove and the NBC Cafeteria Menu

NBC 2

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

Hmm HR?
- caption for this image, as posted by Questlove, drummer for The Roots, on Twitpic, Feb. 5

When i saw the sign i have to admit….i was DYING. like literally LMAO!!! maybe it was juxtaposition of the words: collard & history, jalapeno & honor, fried, black and nbc?? maybe it was the acculturative stress of having 28 days for this food that represents you but come march…pot roast for life kid!

Whatever the case, I found this funny and when I find something funny I like to let the world in on the joke (twitpic anyone??). in NO way did i ever think that this was some cruel insensitive joke on behalf of jeff zucker and his comrades at nbc (the cafeteria isn’t even owned or operated by nbc).

I kinda get where leslie calhoun (our culinary rosa parks) was coming from; fried chicken as a fragrant, tasty, honorable metaphor for the struggles and accomplishments of america’s black masses.

The problem is..in the blogosphere, things can take on a life of their own….. my twitpic was just me poking fun, a Questlove still life that was clearly intended as a joke. What’s even funnier: race issues in post racial America. Potluck anyone?????
- Questlove, as quoted in a release, Feb. 7

Actually, a bigger problem in just about any online forum isn’t taking things out of context – it’s not giving them one to begin with. With just a few more tweets, Quest might have been able to save his network and a well-intentioned woman a lot of grief.

To recap the saga: the image going up Friday afternoon stirred up even more bad buzz for NBC, which already showed a clumsy hand in the Jay Leno/ Conan O’Brien debacle. And as far as diversity issues … well, we’ve talked about Heroes enough on this site.

But it turned out the source of the menu was a black woman: chef Leslie Calhoun said she had been pushing to serve these dishes for years as part of a weekly special during February. According to The New York Post, her menu was approved and served without incident last year. Enter Questlove. Continue reading

Last Minute Links Before the New Year

by Latoya Peterson

Alright people, we are officially on vacation, starting now. Comment moderation will be spotty until January 4th, when we resume regular schedule. Until then, a couple things to mull over.

Nisha over at Politicoholic mentioned the Twitter based campaign to remember Gaza on December 27th.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the 22-day Israeli military raid on Gaza. Gaza, one of the two Palestinian territories currently under Israeli occupation.

I know Gaza is not a topic of polite cocktail party or happy hour conversation for most people. Most people probably aren’t quite aware of where Gaza is (here is a map for that), especially since it’s a tiny territory that’s only about 139 square miles on the coast of the Mediterranean.

So it is probably not widely known that one year ago, Israeli military forces killed 1,400 Palestinians, of which over 900 were civilians and over 300 were children. And considerable damage was done to Gazan roads, houses, and infrastructure — most of which has still not been repaired. [...]

Buoyed by the success of the Iran election activists, who tweeted their observations about the controversial Iranian election and subsequent protests using the hashtag #iranelection, and capured the world’s attention — now Palestinian activists are hoping to start a movement of their own using Twitter as their primary tool of communication.

Their hashtag is #gaza, and today, December 27, from 3 pm – 7 pm GMT, they are encouraging everyone they know to tweet using the hashtag #gaza in the hopes of making Gaza the #1 trending topic on Twitter — which is no easy feat, given the millions of people using Twitter everyday.

But that didn’t quite happen. Last night, Global Voices posted a report by Anton Issa, explaining how the campaign did not go as planned:

Twitter has been accused of attempting to silence tributes to Gaza one-year after an Israeli onslaught devastated the Palestinian enclave.

Pro-Palestinian and human rights activists used the influential Twitter portal to mark the one-year anniversary of the Gaza War, and express support for the besieged territory.

Tweets using the hashtag #Gaza flooded in on December 27th, peaking at number 3 on Twitter’s top ten Trending Topics list.

However, complaints emerged of users being briefly blocked from tweeting #Gaza, with the trend being forced downwards and off the Trending Topics.

Bloggers all over the world speculated about why this happened. According to Issa, some thought that it was Twitter editors suppressing the topic, others thought that pro-Zionist activists were reporting the tweets as spam, others thought it was due to Twitter’s algorithms balancing the discussions differently. However, it does shed some light on the issues with using New Media to organize – I’ll expand on this a little more in the New Year. Continue reading

Black Like @KirstieAlley: Twittering About Race with the Fat Actress.

by Guest Contributor Harry Allen, originally published at Media Assassin

Two-and-half weeks ago, actor Kirstie Alley, famed of ’80s TV sitcom Cheers, Jenny Craig weight loss ads, and sashaying in her hosiery on Oprah, told me, on Twitter, that African-Americans and Italians are “more free and fun and light hearted” than, I guess, people who aren’t African-American or Italian.

When she said this, I was actually dumbfounded. Twice, it turned out. Figuring out what to say, however, became my own mini-education in talking about race.

First, background….

I follow Kirstie Alley, right, on Twitter, the popular new social messaging site, and am one of over 65,000 people who do. For those of you who don’t use the service, following someone means you instantly receive the 140-character messages, or tweets, that they send out, these being the essential communicative tool of Twitter.

Any way, irony of ironies, it appears the star of Showtime’s Fat Actress is a big fan, and now a follower, of the obese rap group, the Fat Boys…

…and, when she saw their tweet, immediately followed them….

This is where I came into the story, because I looked at TweetDeck right at that moment. TweetDeck is the application I use for accessing Twitter. When it’s running, messages are continuously going through it, from any of the over 840 people I follow who are sending them.

It’s akin to, say, a Quotron, on the stock exchange: I receive new tweets from people I follow, and, as new ones come in, the older ones scroll down. So, it’s a constantly shifting flow of information. As I write this post, though I’m not looking at it, Tweetdeck is receiving new messages in the background, putting up a little flag that says how many and what kind of messages—friends (people I follow), mentions with my Twitter address—@harryallen—in them, or direct messages (private ones). The software is, actually, chirping, to let me know it’s updating the feed.

Anyway, I saw Kirstie’s tweet, and retweeted it, meaning that, since I thought it was interesting, I forwarded it to the over 2,800 people who, at that time, were following me on Twitter. (It’s over 3,600 now.):

Kirstie Alley doesn’t follow me. However, the way Twitter works, whenever someone retweets something you’ve posted, or even just writes something with your Twitter name/address in it, Twitter captures it as a mention, and you can see you’ve been spoken about. So, when I sent her tweet to my followers, presumably, she saw it, and responded to me directly.

That’s when things got interesting.

Alley sent this message to me:

I stared at the screen, not quite believing what I was seeing. (This was the first time I was dumbfounded in this episode.)

Continue reading

Racist Tweets Can Get You Fired

by Latoya Peterson

– davidle630: “In americas ghetto anacostia… If i get scared i will just yell chinese carry out! They will not shoot me.”

From the “none too swift” files, David Le was fired after his twitter messages about his slacking off at work and hating Anacostia surfaced.

The D.C. Department of Employment Services fired a contractor who was working with youths in the city’s summer jobs program after officials became aware of messages on his Twitter site that Anacostia is “ghetto” and that he was loafing at work.[...]

Reached through Facebook, Le declined to comment. In a Twitter message, he said he is Asian. The profile photo shows him shirtless and in sunglasses. Hobson said he began working on June 10 and was paid $13 per hour to oversee participants in the Summer Youth Employment Program.

In addition to the racist comments, he was happy to talk about how much he wasn’t working:

– davidle630: “thank goodness my boss is making things easy, he told me to pretend to do work so he can mark me down for hours…

– davidle630: “They decided to just pay us for 40 hours a week bc we are too lazy to sign in and out…”

The mainstream media ignored Delara Darabi. New media didn’t.

by Guest Contributor Nisha Chittal, originally published at Politicoholic

Early Friday morning in Tehran, 23-year-old Delara Darabi was executed in the Rasht prison in Iran for a crime that happened when she was 17. Human rights groups had been protesting and trying to save her from execution for months, since it is a violation of international law to execute anyone for a crime that occurred when they were a minor. Despite the protests, Iranian authorities executed her on Friday with no notice.

What is perhaps the saddest part of her story, however, is that the mainstream, traditional news media did not report the story at all. A Google News search on Delara Darabi revealed, as of [May 2nd], a total of ZERO mainstream US news stories. The only stories about Delara as of last night were from Iranian and international sources, blogs, and human rights groups.

Today, the mainstream media started to pick up on it, with stories from the Los Angeles Times, BBC, United Press International, New York Times, and a few others. Still, at the time of writing this post there are only 206 news stories about Delara Darabi’s unjust execution. By comparison, there are currently 762 news stories about Matthew McConaughey, and 7,078 news stories about Arlen Specter. Continue reading