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.

Social Media Censorship

Today I tried to log into my Twitter account and I received a message that I had been reported.  I was told that I wouldn’t have access to my account for twelve hours.  In order to begin the countdown I needed to provide Twitter with my phone number.

This is the damning tweet that I made in reference to a story about the Covington High School students.  In order to clarify I want to say that I think that those boys exhibited disrespectful and thuggish behavior.  I’m appalled at how they acted in our nation’s capital and the way they treated a man three times their age.  I still believe that the ring leader of the incident would have been deserving of a punch to the chest.

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I would never give Twitter my phone number due to privacy concerns.  I tried to give them the land line number at my job but they wouldn’t accept that.  There is no way I’m going to give Twitter and the FBI or whomever the opportunity to track my moves through my cell phone.  So I guess I’ll never use my account again.

I really enjoyed Twitter.  I got a kick out of being a part of mass viewing parties of sporting events and reality TV show broadcasts.  A lot of Twitter users are quite clever and I enjoy the way they create their own entertainment.

There are Twitter users that I wouldn’t call friends but I have enjoyed my interactions that I’ve had with them over time.  I feel like I’ve gotten to know a few people a bit.  At times I’ve thought of deactivating my account in order to avoid some of the stupidity and nastiness but I decided that the good outweighed the bad.

I’ve been banned from Facebook as well.  I made a remark that some snowflake didn’t like on a video that was posted.  It involved a White man with a gun bullying a minority.  I don’t exactly remember what happened in the video.  I must have said something about the man needing his a$$ beat or something.  I don’t recall.

When I got into trouble with Facebook they locked my account and asked me to send them a picture of a government ID.  Nope.  There was no way I was doing that.  Facebook is clearly in cahoots with law enforcement and I don’t need the FBI thinking I was a part of some sort of pro African American insurgency.  Honestly I wish I was but I’m just another insignificant person, opinionated person on social media.

It seems to me that large social media platforms are more likely to censor African Americans than they are Whites.  I remember a time when there was a shooting on or near a college campus in northern Florida at a historically Black college.  Lives were lost.  I was looking at the schools Facebook post about the incident.  An anonymous racist account was on the page heckling the incident.  I reported the remarks to Facebook and they quickly responded that they wouldn’t do anything about the racist and mean spirited posts.

My remarks were not racist because I was giving my opinion about an individual.  Both of the individuals in the social media conversations that I mentioned were being arrogant bullies.  I can’t stand arrogance or bullies.  I also enjoy seeing people get what they deserve.  I don’t think I said anything wrong and I’m not sorry.

Honestly my account is not bad.  I avoided using profanity and I didn’t say anything vulgar.  I know I may have said things that are objectionable but I didn’t demean anything while saying it.  It’s a surprise that my account would get blocked meanwhile there are accounts showing porn, people committing suicide and the aftermath of bloody car accidents that are functioning.

With that being said I can’t think of a time other than the person that was heckling the Black college after a mass shooting that I’ve ever reported an individual.  Usually I just block objectionable accounts and move along.  It hasn’t occurred to me many times to prevent someone else from broadcasting or viewing what they choose.

But I learned long ago that the world does not really like to hear the opinions of Black women unless you are a clown of some sort.  I’ve also noticed that the fastest way for a Black person to gain a social media audience is to market themselves as pro Black and go on to degrade other Black people or glorify Whites.  I’m not interested in making that kind of presentation.

Perhaps I’ll be better off without Twitter.  I got a kick out of it but it also drove me nuts at times.  And being an avid social media user is kind of like being schizophrenic.  There are a lot of voices in your head.  Well, at least I still have WordPress.  For now.  And maybe now I’ll have time to get through the stack of books on my nightstand.