Quick Thoughts On D. Wade, G. Union, and Internet Trolls

This has been going through my mind for a little while and the most recent incident caused me to decide to address it here.

As we know, DeWayne Wade has a son who is a part of the LGBT community. Both Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, have been vocally supportive of their son on his identity journey.

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I think this is good. I repeat, I think this is good. I felt the need to repeat and embolden that part because what I’m about to talk about may sound like I feel the opposite and I know how some of y’all can be when you don’t read exactly what you wanted to read.

There has been more than one instance where after posting family pictures, adult meanies on social media have made untoward comments about Wade and his son. These comments usually come out of the mouths of homophobic people who feel Wade should bring his son into subjection in terms of his expression of his identity. In other words, they don’t like that his son is allowed to wear fake nails, or crop tops, or whatever else these internet commentators deem feminine wares.

Usually, Wade or Union will “clap back.” They will address the meanies and talk about how they love their child and support him and it’s their business and choice to do so. They get a lot of media attention for being good parents. People pine over the way they support their son.

The question I have is, when is the clapback only adding to the insult or injury of the initial mean comments?

Let me explain. When you “clap back,” you are dignifying the comment that you’re clapping back to. You may not realize it, but when you address anything, positive, negative, or in between, you are acknowledging that even if the comment wasn’t nice or educated, it was a valid expression.

In other words, instead of letting it die at the end of the sentence, you give it a life.

At some point, I wonder if Wade and Union’s clapbacks and the subsequent praise from the media about their clapbacks is merely causing their son to relive the bigoted comments directed towards him.

For example, if I have a child and my child comes home crying and tells me that Johnny called her ugly, and I comfort the child and reaffirm her beauty, that’s good. But, if when my (imaginary) husband comes home, I tell him while we’re all eating dinner, “Johnny called her ugly today,” and then, when her grandma calls later, I get on the phone and say, “A little boy called her ugly today…” while my child is sitting next to me watching television, am I allowing my child the opportunity to sit in and absorb the reaffirmation that I gave her when I keep replaying the insult to everybody who will listen?

Now, pretend I was a celebrity with millions of followers who not only is going to clap back, but have my clapback shared by millions of followers and mass media and even end up doing an interview or two about the situation. Despite the fact that I’ve reaffirmed my child, Johnny and his ugly comment is given a life as it plays non-stop on the social media news cycle and my reaffirmed child has to keep hearing and seeing it until social media gets bored and moves on to the next piece of nonsense.

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This is my peripheral concern with Wade’s son and his parents’ need to address the ugliness that comes out on the internet. Raising children can be tricky because on the one hand, you want to be tender with them as they deserve and give them a worry-free childhood. On the other hand, you have to prepare them. You have to prepare them for the fact that some people won’t like them for no reason at all. You have to prepare them for the fact that some people will think they’re too tall, or too short, or too fat, or too thin, etc. Unfortunately, if you’re a part of a marginalized group, that goes double.

You have to teach them that the people who just want to pull them down are ultimately the people they need to avoid. In the social media era, that also means that those  commenters are the people you don’t need to spend your time clapping back at every time you decide to post a picture and they decide to be hateful.

The truth is, your clapback won’t make them abandon their bigotry, (and sickeningly enough, may gain them more popularity). And it’s likely that some of these people, no matter how much you clap back, will only make sure they show up in the comments of your next picture with similarly foul sentiments.

Am I saying they should stop posting family pictures? Absolutely not. They have the right to celebrate their family like anybody else does. I do think it’s time to stop taking the bait of randos on Instagram and Twitter with enough time on their hands to express their displeasure about a crop top.

Personally, I hope the Thanksgiving picture controversy is the last time Wade or Union feel the need to engage bigoted trolls. I think it will set a good example, not just for their own children but for the rest of us as well.

Why Do You Care? Isaiah Washington, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Political Twitter Beef

Today, the Jasmine Brand, posted an article detailing an e-argument between Isaiah Washington and Yvette Nicole Brown. This comes on the heels of Isaiah Washington, former Grey’s Anatomy actor, expressing his political beliefs on Twitter. If the term “e-argument” hasn’t helped you figure it out yet, Washington is a Conservative. He’s also Black (for those of you who have been living in an underground tunnel for all of the 2000s.

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Contender #1: The respondent

Anybody who has remotely lived through the woke revolution of the 2010s knows that being a Conservative is bad enough. Being a Black Conservative is akin to being the troll under the bridge in The Three Billy Goats Gruff fairytale (at least in some circles). That’s why it’s no surprise that after it was announced that Washington had procured his own show on Fox Nation, Yvette Nicole Brown piped in to express her opinions on the matter. I attached the link to the Jasmine Brand article and you can go there to see the screenshots of the exchange, but needless to say, they are a gumbo of unsolicited opinions, allegations of name-calling, actual name-calling, pot/kettle analyses (Brown worked for Disney and yes, Disney was a known racist), other intra-race based insults (ie. coon and mammy), and finally, shade thrown in reference to career trajectories.

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Contender #2: The instigator, tbqh

I sat back reading this exchange the way I always read nonsense e-beef; with a hot cup of coffee and listening to Spotify. Being a human being, I’m completely attracted to spectacle. I’m especially fascinated by the rich and famous arguing online because if I had their salary and connections, I’d be doing so much more than wasting time on what someone I didn’t ask says about me. Ironically, earlier this week, I asked my Black FB friends who dislike Black Conservatives why they don’t like Black Conservatives. The answers varied and I plan to do a blog on that topic soon. But, for now, I just wonder…

why do you care?

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I’m not new to this disagreement thing. I’ve been in enough catty FB groups to get the hang of e-beef. And I know with Donald Trump as POTUS, people have stepped it up a notch with the expression of their political stance. I get it. But, it’s always intriguing to me when nonsensical blowups like Washington v. Brown happen because when I first heard about Washington’s deal with Fox Nation several days ago, my reaction was…nothing. In fact, when Washington came out as a Trump supporter and Conservative, I had the same reaction I’d have reading a story about how Cheez-Its are made which is, “oh, okay.”

Am I saying that Yvette Brown was wrong to express her opinion about his signing to Fox Nation? No. People can say what they want. That’s supposed to be one of the great things about this nation. First Amendment and shit. But, as we all agree, that doesn’t make you free from people’s reactions. I don’t see the benefit of an e-fight that ends with me digitally abusing my keyboard by typing my hardest and fastest.

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Yvette admonishes him about selling his soul and that all money ain’t good money (African-American proverb). Short of pimping or selling crack to the parents of orphans, I don’t understand the uproar over what someone (I presume) you’re not even friends with chooses to align themselves politically with. The best part is when Yvette says she’s going to block him riiiiiiiiiiiiight after she says something nice about him. She calls him a good actor and then continues to engage.

Some of you may think that I’m taking Isaiah’s side by the tone of this post. Not really. However, it costs nothing to say nothing; and Yvette had to have known that retweeting his apparent good news and adding, “Remember children, all money ain’t good money & not all skin folks are kin folk” wasn’t going to go over well. It should be noted that Isaiah didn’t respond until two days later so one could argue that he could have just let that one go since the 36-hour attention span of this generation had passed.

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I’m sure that a little forethought from either party would have avoided that clusterfuck salad with a side of vinegar dressing. We are responsible for our own political ideologies, beliefs, opinions, and all that other good stuff. I think it’s useless to be worried about what someone we don’t even particularly know thinks or does as long as there is no direct harm (and yeah, I know some of you think being Conservative is inherently harmful to mankind). This need to be caped crusaders or swoop in to comment or school everybody takes away valuable time from what you do support. I don’t know either of these actors but if I asked, I’m sure at least one of them would say that if they could turn back time, that’s not the Twitter “conversation” they’d have given their time to.

 

 

                                                       Support my ass!

The Lost Kardashian: The Wasteful Obsession With Trump’s Tweets

This week, social media was shaken (and I don’t know why) by Donald Trump’s comments saying that four Freshmen congresswomen of color should “go back” to their own countries. The comments came on the heels of Nancy Pelosi seemingly shade scolding the congresswomen for being Liberal contrarians in the Democratic party. When one of the congresswomen dared address Pelosi’s comments, Trump, the most voluminous, if not profound, tweeting president in history, stepped in to offer his $.02. To date, Trump is refusing to retract his comment and at a recent rally, when his supporters chanted that Ilhan Omar, one of the four congresswomen be sent back, Trump did not quiet them.

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I’m not going to talk about what Pelosi said. I’m not going to talk about AOC’s response to Pelosi. I’m not even going to directly address what Trump said. This blog is about how the media and the American public are getting played by people like Trump.

First of all, we all knew what Trump’s platform was when he was campaigning. Secondly, we’ve all heard reports about his behavior and social philosophies. Thirdly, we all know that Trump likes to run his mouth on Twitter, usually inappropriately. Fourth, we know that Trump has a hard time when he is called to be accountable for his words and actions. We even knew this back when former President Obama was in office.

So, I’m confused about the outrage. I’m even more confused by how nobody seems to “get it” yet. By “it” I mean the way that Trump and people like him, people who we claim to loathe, continue to be able to distract us with the same bullshit they’ve always done. It’s no secret that I believe that the media is part of why Trump won the presidential election. The attention that the media gave him was like taking a polar bear to a fish buffet. Had they treated him like the trite trick candidate that he clearly was (I mean, on election night, he and his family looked like they were low-key disappointed that he won), I really believe someone else would be president (not necessarily a Democrat but definitely not him).

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As much as the public claims to want him to go away already, the desire to continue to hype him up by way of giving inordinate amounts of attention to every little thing he does and says (that lies outside of the scope of the presidency) is a waste of time and is why Trump will probably be re-elected.

Newsflash: Trump wasn’t the only president in history with racist views. We’ve had 45 of them. Only one wasn’t white. The larger portion of them were in office during slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow. Our parents and grandparents remember the Civil Rights Movement and segregation and lynching, etc. You do the math.

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Ilhan Omar is probably a very nice lady. I’ve never met her. But it’s too bad she invoked the great ancestor, Mother Maya Angelou, to address a group of people who give not an iota of a damn about how ridiculous their chant and life philosophies are. It’s too bad other Democrats used more of the time they do not have to address the TOTUS (Tweeter Of The United States).

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As I said in my flea market pieces, if the Democrats want a shot in hell of winning the presidency of 2020 (and I’m not even sure that they want it but I’ll talk more about that later), they need to get their focus together. They need to be offering actionable and sane policy options instead of gawking and pointing at the dunce in the corner.