Black Social Media: Help or Hindrance

I am Black and a bit of a social media junkie. Social media outlets have pretty much figured out that I’m Black and they suggest pages, channels, people, places and things that other Black people frequent. I follow them as do others in my demographic. It creates little virtual communities and there you have it, the Black social media sphere. It has been fun, entertaining, and educational in good ways and bad. Black social media can be a useful and entertaining tool. But it can be very toxic.

I’ll start off by saying that Black people are not given enough credit for being so witty and creative. When I was a big Facebook and Twitter user my brothers and sisters would absolutely have me cracking up with their unique takes on various hashtags. Some social media users reminded me of the glory days of hip hop when being a little street or ghetto or whatever you call was meshed with intelligence and insight. We don’t get to see that much in the media anymore. I miss it.

Black social media users have also brought attention to injustices in America such as police brutality and racism in common places. Cell phone video and social media has given justice to many Black people that never would have gotten it otherwise. I think that is wonderful and heroic.

But I’ve decided to not follow a lot of Black social media pages due to the nature of the speaker or his or her followers. I blocked The Shade Room on IG years ago and my quality of life immediately improved. I stopped following the 1990s rapper David Banner because I got tired of being a defender of the faith. I blocked The Amazing Lucas on You Tube because he is trying a little too hard to prove that he is a conservative Black man. It’s sad to watch a Black man pander to people that way.

It’s difficult to build a social media following unless you already have some sort of claim to fame, an amazing talent or you fit a particular beauty standard and decide to flaunt your body for the sake social media popularity. I’m guessing that it may even be more difficult for non celebrity Black people to build a large following because I rarely see Black people discussing things that wouldn’t be considered a Black interest on social media. I’ve figured that the best way for Black people to gain a social media following is by being controversial within the on line Black community.

I think Black men have it the hardest in the social media world. It’s a little harder for them to find their social media niche. Many Black women and feminine Black men have gained social media notoriety by creating celebrity gossip outlets, make up and hair tutorials.

But I don’t see many Black men creating channels that aren’t about dissecting matters in the Black community. It seems to me that the easiest way for a Black man to gain a large social media following is by talking about such matters and blaming Black women for them. Some of the most successful Black You Tubers that I’m aware of are men that think that Black women are solely responsible for every single problem in the Black community. Like, seriously every – single – one. The mental gymnastics these guys do is impressive. Actually buying into it is a personality disorder of some sort.

I’ve never followed members of the He Man’s Woman Haters Club but men that follow these ideologies show up in the comment sections of other vlogs such as gossip channels or a channel that is talking about current events to a Black audience. They drop nasty remarks about Black women’s appearances, marital status, “attitude” or whatever. They even put Black women down for going to college and pursuing careers. I would like to think that most of these remarks are coming from trolls in Moscow but I know my people and this can’t all be blamed on the Russians.

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It’s like some of these guys (to be fair, I’ve had Black women make rude remarks about my appearance, especially my hair as well) know that Black women are trying to avoid them so they come to where we are in order to insult us in some way. I’ve made what I thought was an innocuous comment and have had my personal appearance attacked by my fellow social media users. People like that are usually hiding behind an anonymous profile so I can’t be sure of who they are but I’m guessing a lot of the insults based on skin color and hair texture are coming from people with similar skin color and hair texture.

After degrading Black women these gentlemen go on to put fairer skinned women on a pedestal. I don’t understand why they didn’t do that in the first place and just left us out of it. No one needs to justify their dating and marriage choices to anyone. And you shouldn’t have to put someone else down in order to express your love for someone else. Black women return the vitriol. They too have set up channels and make comments tearing Black men apart. There is no way to have a community if men and women hate each other.

Another topic that’s caught a lot of traction on Black social media is “woke” Black people telling Black Christians to stop believing in Christ. I had to block the 90s rapper David Banner for this reason. People like him are arrogant and patronizing and always use the same two or three reasons to justify their opinions.

Their reasoning displays their ignorance about the Bible, geography, human history. This “woke”, afrocentric community are the ones that believe in a White, European Jesus. Not those of us with the understanding that Bethlehem isn’t in Europe. Once again, all they need to do is follow their heart. There is absolutely no need to degrade someone else in order to justify a personal choice. Leave us out of your personal choices and I’ll leave you out of mine.

I ran across a You Tuber named The Amazing Lucas one day and I decided to follow him. After watching a few of his videos I blocked him. I don’t need anymore of his videos. He’s a young Black man that would probably describe himself as being conservative. But after a while I guess he had to work harder to prove himself.

He’s too emotional about things that aren’t that big of a deal such as the political opinions of NBA players that he’s never even heard of. Lucas is of the belief that racism is all a figment of Black America’s imagination which I find to be a very condescending and delusional view point. The Amazing Lucas doesn’t seem to understand that racism is an economic and sociological matter.

I don’t know who runs The Shade Room but they are a horrible human being and their followers are complete morons. It’s hard to find a dumber group of people on social media than what you would find on that IG page. I blocked them a long time ago because they were on there making fun of Simone Biles body. That’s right. They body shamed a world class athlete.

People that enjoy The Shade Room only like women that look like strippers. It’s all they care about or respect. They absolutely love people from the Love and Hip Hop Series and various young rappers that I’ve never heard of. But they trash an Olympic champion because she’s not so called slim thick. They trashed Gabrielle Douglas as well. I believe they came for her because she mentioned something about women should dress modestly and they went berserk. I don’t share the values of most people in The Shade Room so I had to block them.

The death and funeral of rapper Nipsey Hustle and the trials and tribulations of TV personality Wendy Williams have dominated Black social media the last few weeks. Meanwhile three Black churches in Louisiana burned mysteriously and the son of a police officer was arrested for the crimes.

I was on a You Tube channel yesterday that fashions itself after a news broadcast. The host discussed the church fires and people in the comments section were talking about their disdain for Christianity, especially Black Christians. They are clearly missing the point. But if they are that stupid why bother talking to them. I blocked the channel. I think we need to shift our values a bit. Our community suffered a terrorist attack and

I understand that the death of Nipsey Hustle is yet another urban violent tragedy but last weekend six were shot at a baby shower in Chicago. I haven’t heard Black social media say a word about that. I didn’t know who Nipsey Hustle was until he died so his death is no different than all the other murders that happen in the Black community.

I think that we should use the powerful medium of social media to discuss that to the point of beating a dead horse like we do stupid topics like fake hair, inter racial dating and twerking. And men that are obsessed with women that they don’t like need to be the ones doing the talking instead of blaming everything on single mothers.

I wish that Black social media communities would just stop trying to tell others in their community what to do. Stop thinking you know what’s best for someone else. If we all do our part, Christians, Israelites, Agnostics, LGBT, feminists, etc. we can all make improvements to build a better future for everyone. But this intra racial at least snarkiness and at most hatred should stop. We need to learn to respect each other more. I don’t feel like Black people appreciate our differences.

Some of these conversations that take place have been going on for years and we have come to no conclusion or made no progress. They are trivial matters anyway so we should just move forward. I think there are a few things we should be able to agree on such as if you’re mad at someone you shouldn’t shoot up their baby shower and let’s discuss those matters. The rest of if is all just drivel and a huge waste of time and I refuse to participate in it anymore.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King is being honored today across the US.  MLK is a trending topic on social media, news outlets are rehashing stories about the Civil Rights movement and publicizing community events to honor the fallen leader.  Martin Luther King’s story is amazing and absolutely heroic.  But I feel like his legacy is being tarnished and Whitewashed.

Martin Luther King was a man that was beaten and imprisoned because of his protests against a tyrannical White supremacist government.  He was a Black man that fought for the rights of Black people and was surely motivated by concerns about the future of his own Black family.  He put everything on the line and died for his people. His movement was successful and created real and positive changes for Black Americans.

But we in America still live in a White supremacist, European centered culture.  Everything has to be not only accessible to Whites but centered around them.  That is made very clear by the historical retelling of MLK’s life.  He is said to be a man that wanted to bring the races together and bring about harmony in America.  He is also portrayed as a Confucius like figure.  I think that narrative is a lie to get White Americans to buy into his legacy.

First of all when you talk about race relations in America you need to think of hammers and nails.  Whites are the hammers.  Blacks are the nails.  The hammers like to act as though there is an ongoing disagreement between two parties on equal footing.  That has not been the case.  Blacks have been getting hammered since the origins of this country and the Civil Rights movement just asked to give Blacks a break.  Give them a shot at the chance to pursue happiness.

When mainstream media talks the accomplishments and goals of Dr. King they act as if he simply wanted Black and White people to hold hands and sing kumbaya together.  He was not the simpleton that history and the mainstream media make him out to be.  He was a freedom fighter for Black American people that had suffered centuries of oppression in the US.

He fought for displaced people that did not truly have a country of their own.  He fought for descendants of African slaves that were prisoners of this country.  Dr. King did not fight and die simply so Blacks could have White friends or land a date with a non Black person which is the story that is being sold across the world today through the American media and American public schools.

The same thing has happened to Nelson Mandela.  He was a brave freedom fighter that fought for Black people in South Africa and won basic rights.  Mandela is also being marketed as a Black man that dreamed of a rainbow nation and wanted to bring about so called racial reconciliation.  This version of history is a lot easier for White people to digest because they are not confronted with their own past.

Since Donald Trump was elected as president in the US I have observed that the media sympathizes with racist notions that affirm White supremacy.  The media typically portrays Whites as heroes or victims.  The stories of the Civil Rights movement can not be accurately told and still portray Whites as heroes or victims.  So the truth is being rewritten.

This disingenuous retelling of history is damaging to all Americans.  There is no way that White supremacist ideas will ever change if they are not confronted.  White Americans refuse to do the soul searching necessary to bring about the cultural changes necessary to bring about the racial reconciliation that they pay lip service to every year.

It’s also dangerous to Black people because it gives them the message that your prosperity lies in other communities.  Most African Americans do not really want to be independent from White tyranny and they don’t believe that Black communities can be self sufficient.  The bogus retelling of history reinforces the notion that Black people need other communities, especially Whites to survive.

I’m very unsure of what is being taught in American schools today.  But I urge everyone to seek out information on the American Civil Rights movement.  Remember to focus your attention of the Black community because those are primarily the people that stood up to American authoritarianism and made modest gains in order to improve their lives, communities and the futures of their children.  As a Black American woman I am grateful for their struggle.

Sick and Tired of Hostility Towards Christians

I use social media frequently and one of the most vocal groups that I regularly encounter are African Americans that are very critical of Christianity.  Believing in Jesus Christ is a choice and it is a valid decision to not follow Christ.  I understand that everyone has different opinions and different experiences that makes them come to certain conclusions.  I respect everyone’s right to choose their own spiritual path and I expect to be respected the same way.  I don’t think that my belief in Jesus Christ is doing anything to harm anyone else and I should not have to defend or explain myself.  But that’s what I’m going to do now.

When I was a freshman in college at Eastern Michigan University I was given a small copy of the New Testament.  I read it in my dorm room that year.  It made a big impression on my heart and I haven’t been the same since.  I’m so glad that the Word of God was presented to me at that point in my life.

I grew up going to church but it wasn’t a great experience for me.  It was not traumatic or harmful, it was just long and boring and I went every Sunday.  When I was growing up there were not the type of Children’s Church that are common now.  My mother was met with resistance every Sunday morning when it was time for church.  I was much more interested in staying home and watching “The Jetsons” and “Fame”.  As an adult I am very grateful to my mom for getting me in church and letting me know that there is a God named Jesus and He is the savior of my soul.  In retrospect the Sunday morning ritual was a great challenge to my intellect.  Being confronted with the concepts of God, the Devil, life, death, heaven, hell and salvation gave me a lot to contemplate as a young girl.

The church that I attended as a child was a very large, old stone building with tall ceilings and stained glass windows that went up to the ceiling.  It was beautiful.  The pastor was a serious looking dude that wore a preacher’s robe every Sunday.  He is a pretty well known.  The church was filled every Sunday and there was even an over flow parlor with folding chairs when the pews were all seated with men in suits and ladies with large hats.

The Bible that I had access to as a child was a King James version.  I tried to read it when I was in elementary school without much success.  There were too many other things around me that were much more appealing and interesting than the Bible.  After a few false starts at trying to read the Bible during childhood I didn’t try it again until I was given the copy of the New Testament that day on campus.

My childhood experiences with Christianity were confusing but I wasn’t convinced.  That’s why reading the Bible while I was in college and since then has been valuable. to me.  The Bible has revealed many answers to questions that I had and still have.  Conviction and revelation is there for the taking if you want it.  You just have to tune out the rest of the world, open your heart and mind and read the Bible.

The Bible teaches that Jesus came into the world to cleanse all of our sins and save all of our souls regardless of race.  The African American, anti Jesus crowd would like to convince all Black Americans that salvation is for everyone else but us.  God loves everyone but us.  They don’t know anything about the word of God and they speak nothing but foolishness based on the actions of men.

Its true that the U.S. has always claimed to be a Christian nation but at the same time they treated Black people like animals and declared them a fraction of a human being.  Today America claims to be a Christian nation but the demonize the poor instead of trying to feed and employ the poor.  The U.S. has never really been the Christian nation that they have claimed to be.  But the African American, anti-Jesus, social media crowd is use to following the actions of men instead of the actions of God.

The critics of Christianity need to learn about the Word of God and stop judging God based on the actions of flawed men and women with short comings and insecurities.  That’s what people mean when they speak of a personal relationship with God.  Every man and woman that can read can learn about God’s word for him or herself.  It is important for Christians to be a part of a good church but it is not imperative for Christians to hang off of every word a preacher says.  It is more important to learn about God’s word for yourself and let it work on your heart and mind.

Furthermore all this foolishness about Jesus being a White man’s god is just plain stupid.  You don’t even need to know the Bible that well to know that.  Anyone that is familiar with Christmas carols knows that Jesus is from Bethlehem and that’s a long way from Europe.  I guess the Black American, anti-Jesus crowd is fixated on the art work that the Catholic church produced.  But truthfully speaking, any culture would make their God look like them.  I have a picture of a Black Jesus hanging up in my bed room.

All of these anti Christian people on social media are frightening.  They don’t seem to be in favor of much accept not worshipping Christ.  They are particularly focused on tithing.  Tithing is cut and dried so there is not much controversy there if you believe that the Bible has merit.

The anti Jesus Blacks love to claim how much money gets collected in Black churches every Sunday and then they ask what gets done with the money.  They love to imply that the pastors misuse the funds for personal gain.  I don’t claim to know anything about the pastor’s personal finances but the churches I’ve been involved with have all fed people, did community outreach projects and helped church members with personal matters.  I’ve only been to two churches in my life that made me uncomfortable.  I simply chose not to go back.  It’s that simple.

I fear that a lot of Black Americans will be led away from the Bible based on all the false teaching that get circulated on social media.  Someone will tell them don’t listen to the Bible.  Listen to me.  Don’t give your money to your church.  Give your money to me.  And so many Black American people will be led astray by simple minded, emotional blackmail false teaching.  Black Americans are a small but influential part of the American population.  Despite what people are led to believe about Black people we are mostly a conservative and spiritual (mostly Christian) demographic.  If we all become completely Godless or begin worshipping false Gods.  It will not be good.

African Americans need to understand that anti Blackness doesn’t just come from one direction.  It pretty much comes at us from all directions and from many cultures.  If Blacks think that they will find acceptance from middle eastern and north African cultures I think that they are going to be sorely disappointed.  I grew up in the Detroit area which has a large Arabic population.  The Arabs in metro Detroit are known for looking down on Blacks.

For me this comes down to respect.  I respect your choice to worship Allah, (who isn’t African either) or your Egyptian sun god, your Druid God or whatever.  I really wish people would respect my belief in my Savior.  There will come a day when we will all know who is right and who is wrong.  We could all at least be civil while we are waiting.