Slate Wants To Know Some Of That Black’s Magic On Twitter…

I’ve been on twtr today attempting to be as politically correct as possible. You know, refraining from telling people,” Hey, shut the fuck up, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.” And for the most part, I’ve been doing pretty good. The problem I face is that some people feel the need to make snide remarks behind a screen, and then when you ask them to reason with you, well they simply lack the prerequisite knowledge. Thus, they actually don’t know what the fuck they are talking about.

Eh…between debating half wits online and hoping Kanye West stops making homosexual rappers look bad, I tend to grow gray hairs…

I don’t always know what attracts certain types to my twtr stream, but I do feel that people see the “Asylum” bit and automatically assume the worst. I’ve actually been told,”I can’t respect the words of a person that calls himself ‘Asylum'”. Which is fine and dandy. But don’t question my scholarship either. I believe we have a difficult time stepping outside of the framework set up for us by society. We tend to believe in stereotypes, and we tend to want to believe the standards set for us through media are true. This can be dangerous. And that is why I was too surprised when I read the article…

Oh, what article, right?

You know the one…

Slate writer Farhad Manjoo relates the activities of Black twitter users in the article entitled,“How Black People Use TwitterThe latest research on race and microblogging.” Now, this article is a discussion about a study conducted by a Carnegie Mellon doctoral candidate in which the manner in which Twtr was being used by Black people. Now I don’t want to deal too much with how racially insensitive that is, but I do want to address the racial nature of the study. What exactly is being studied here? Is it really about how black people who are as diverse as Andre3000 and Jeezy in the same location? Or is it about the fact that Blacks– who are not considered to be web savvy, or an influential part of the technological thrust we are experience via the interweb– have been able to direct the conversation on one of our era’s most talked about forms of media communication?

One of the major themes of the piece is how blacks are able to get on twtr’s trending topic list. And that is an interesting bit of study, I must admit. Without media backing, or popular culture trends outside of twtr, black people are able to create memes. Almost as if out of the air, some user types a hashtag, adds a witty statement, and twtr gets its flash of life for the evening. And someone wants to know how Blacks are doing that…

It really says something about how influential the black blogosphere actually might be. Sure, Slate is not going to come out and say,”Black people are influential on the one of the world’s most influential mediums”. But if you read between the lines, that is what is being stated. That information is a diamond in the hands of a marketing strategist. Disney has to pay twtr to get on movies on the trending topics list. Young Blacks are able to do it with the use of culture paradigms learned on the school yard and watching auntie and grandmother organize family reunions. In the same way we have taught the world to recite rhymes with a staccato cadence, we have shown them how to transform 140 into a mirth filled way to explore a thought, and even to share social ills and information.

So, although I am utterly disgusted by this article and the study, I do understand how nonblacks can be simply amazed by our ability to transmit and influence the electromagnetic spectrum with our common touch. Now if we could just get Jeezy to stop selling cocaine over mixtapes, we’d be in business…*Smiles*

Applaud yourselves black people…they are watching…still.