Today, much like other days, I was surfing through Twitter, networking, promoting and chatting with friends when I came across this trending topic. For you non tweeters, trending topics are what is being talked about the most on Twitter, either localized, or worldwide… sometimes they are accompanied by a hashtag, other times, they are just words. Currently, the most popular trend on Twitter is #thingsblackgirlsdo. It started last night, and I did my best to keep my mouth shut while watching black men on my timeline seemingly attack the living daylights out of their sisters…putting stereotypical mumbo jumbo out into the Twitter universe for all to see. Now while I do not know where it originally began, I have a feeling it was started in response to BET’s “Black Girls Rock” Award show that aired Sunday night, with it’s origin rooted in positivity…but clearly took a nasty turn. One thing I can not stand, is for black people to tear each other down…and then invite other people to tear us down too. As a young “black girl” I find it totally perplexing that a young black boy can spew such negativity…seeing that he would not be around had his mother, grandmother and others not been “black girls” at some point. We forget that…all too often. Below I posted a few of the tweets I ran across while looking through the #thingsblackgirlsdo feed. (NOTE: The language in the following screen caps is not suitable for children or the faint of heart.)
Now you see what I mean. There are thousands of tweets being added by the minute by people across the world, and not just black people either. Someone reading this right now is saying…”Now, Andrea. You are taking it a little too far, it’s just Twitter”…and to that, I say…You’re right it’s Twitter: the foremost social media site in the entire world, with hundreds of millions of users, employers, government officials and news outlets watching what’s going on and looking for things to exploit. I understand that Twitter can be a powerful tool for motivation…but I also know that Twitter has the power to create something completely evil. I could easily start a #thingsblackguysdo trend and say things like:
#thingsblackguysdo make babies with 5 different women and never take care of them.
#thingsblackguysdo call eachother nigga but get mad when some one white says it.
#thingsblackguysdo keep a black woman around while their struggling but dump her for a white girl the minute they make it out the hood.
#thingsblackguysdo smoke weed all day, get arrested for the possession they’re guilty of, and have their homies make “Free (INSERT NAME HERE)” t-shirts.
…But then I would probably be labeled a bitter or angry black woman.
I know that these generalizations are false because there are many fabulous black men in my life who are polar opposites of the things I just said. Just like I know too many beautiful black women lawyers, doctors, teachers, CEO’s and excellent mothers. My problem…is rooted in the generalizations. WE have to be careful about the images we allow to represent us.
As I was watching Black Girls Rock on Sunday with my girlfriend, she said something simply powerful:
“I don’t need a show to tell me that I rock.”
I reminded her that she and I live a blessed life, with parents, loved ones and mentors who have instilled in us our greatness since we were born. That is not the case for every young sister. Some young girls are impressionable, and have never had anyone show them the positive side of being a woman of color. I’m not saying that black girls don’t do some of the things that are being said in these tweets, but most of the things being transcend beyond race. The main point is, we have to learn to take responsibility for the things we say, and know that they all have consequences. Whether you want to believe it or not, we are all global citizens…and we need to start acting like it. I’ll speak more about this tomorrow, but in order for us to see something different, we have to change it.