At PETA, Humanity Doesn’t Exist

I don’t know if I’ve seen any organization so committed to doing “good” and being as egregiously patronizing to its fellow human beings as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been. Out of many debacles, they have created universal dislike toward their organization in the last few years, managing to offend almost every human demographic possible—African-Americans, Jewish people, overweight people, and so on—with their cut-rate stunts.

Now, they’ve turned their focus on the Detroit water crisis. (more…)

Why The “Ownership” Issue Is Important (Updated with Sidenote)

 

However trivial hashtags can feel, their most basic function is as a tool for focusing attention. Crucially, they’re also free and open to anyone to use. So desperate Nigerian parents, without extraordinary power or resources can draw the kind of attention that leads to real pressure and real power.

That feels a little bit world-changing. And activists who started the hashtag have gotten out of it exactly what they’d hoped for. In the space of a week, they made it impossible for President Jonathan to continue chalking up their daughters’ abduction as the latest Boko Haram atrocity to be grimly accepted and eventually forgotten.

It’s not everything, but it’s a start. And the world is now talking about 276 stolen girls in Nigeria when before it wasn’t talking about them at all.

–Laura Olin, Time, May 9, 2014

If you ask why it matters who gets credit for spearheading that hashtag movement, I don’t think I can explain it more plainly than Olin just did in her piece published today on the Time website. Many people have been dismissive about the furor about Ramaa Mosley and the American media’s attempt to co-opt the movement, stating that the issue of ownership of the movement is unimportant to the ultimate goal of finding the 276 missing schoolgirls.

Here’s the thing: I agree that the hashtag movement in and of itself isn’t going to find those girls, and that ultimately people on this side of the Atlantic arguing about this doesn’t do much to bring about that result. That’s fine.

However, when we’re claiming that ownership of it isn’t important, we’re basically saying it doesn’t matter that Nigerians—desperate to call attention to the fact that a mass kidnapping happened and nobody in government or the international community seemed to respond to it—started this as a method to get their government and the international community to respond. (more…)

The Most Obvious Co-opting of #BringBackOurGirls I’ve Seen Yet

Ramaa Mosley is attempting to co-opt the #BringBackOurGirls movement, and I am not here for any of this.

Yesterday, ABC News (of the United States) made up a profile on the newsmagazine Nightline of Ramaa Mosley, and essentially credited her with creating the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag—for those wondering, it refers to the 234 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigera weeks ago, that haven’t been found as of yet. And I have a problem: the claim just isn’t true. (more…)

Twitter Is.

 

We should know by now that journalists—especially those who write for major publications—have a tendency to write screeds lamenting the proliferation of social media on society; then years later, after opening an account on the platform and having it verified, doing the exact the same thing they lambasted everyone else for doing.

So if the recent screeds about how Twitter is a dead medium—written by journos who only were on the service to brag about connections to other scribes in the business, and now lament the loss of access and interaction with them—are any indication, it only seems fair to point out that many in that pundit/journo industry have been trying to kill it since 2009. (more…)

To Hell With Respectability Politics

Despite what some fake-ass revolutionaries would have you believe, listening to their thousand-word meandering rants on the internet; if you think that the problem with racism, whether in America or in the world, is that Black people haven’t put on a good enough face for other people, and that the only way to solve the inherent racism foisted upon Black people is to “do better”–in whichever variation of the Black Folk Gotta Do Better speech you’d like to use…

…then you are part of the problem. (more…)