This week’s racial controversy involved Ebony Magazine senior editor Jamilah Lemieux and RNC staffer Raffi Williams—son of Fox News commentator Juan Williams. When you’re reading the conversation, stop seeing red and try to see green.
— D.J. Jordan (@_DJ_Jordan) March 27, 2014
I’ve had this happen to me before; commented on some Twitter topic regarding black persons and been told by some self-appointed guardian of Twitter blackness—a member of the “Black Twitter Mob” (BTM)–to “stay out of black folks’ business.” I guess the photo of my sandaled and very dark foot, which serves as my Twitter avatar—not to mention my African surname–was not enough of a clue for another of these guardians.
One might wonder why this sort of thing occurred at all. Why would a senior editor of a venerated publication like Ebony behave in this manner? And, regardless of Mr. Williams’ race, if she really didn’t want to talk to white people, why would she be commenting on Twitter in the first place?
Why don’t these conversation segregationists create a “Black Folks Only” version of Twitter, and go spew there?
I’ll tell you why not; because they don’t have to. It’s easier and free to attract the like-minded via a Twitter-feud. (Conceiving an innovative means of communication, building it and attracting users/customers, however, is a much more difficult set of goals to meet. Plus, work is involved.)
Here’s how to further understand the financial reason as to why this happened. The first thing that needs to be observed about Ebony Magazine is this: it’s a corpse; its heyday was in the 60s and 70s. They were putting copies in the mail gratis during the last few years of my great-aunt’s life (she died in 2012 at age 91). They couldn’t even get her to buy the magazine, not even on past subscription or reputation. Therefore, its publisher and editors are attempting to re-animate it by any means necessary.
Therefore, this Lemieux person is attempting to attract BTM Internet bada**es to the magazine by doing the thing which the BTM will always applaud: attempt to intimidate white people. A slap-down on a “white” guy or one of these dreaded, scary black Republicans—the same thing in their minds—might serve this purpose, and, at the same time, help to shed Ebony’s old-school, grandma and grandpa, Uplift-the-Race image.
And even though the publisher of Ebony responded to an open letter from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus with a real and classy apology, the tactic can be considered an initial success, since BTM sorts are still in a froth.
Only Ebony’s accountants can determine if the tactic has long-term success.
I predict that there will be none, however. Black Twitter Mob types don’t read anything longer than 140 characters.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel,Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!
Update: (DTG): Welcome Instapundit readers I’d like to remind you that Juliette (Tue & Sat) is one of my Magnificent seven writers (now nine). Yesterday we had John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport) Later today you’ll see Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) and tomorrow Tim Imholt joins Juliette. Fausta of (Fausta Blog) writes Wed & Fri, AP Dillion (Lady Liberty1885) is Thursday, Pastor George Kelly (Fri) & Steve Eggleston (Sat) completes our crew.
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