When I first heard about the recent news that Jamilah Lemieux, editor of Ebony.com, got called out for her dismissive attitude toward conservatives and her half-apology to Raffi Williams for mistaking him for a white person, I honestly thought, “Good. Finally SOMEONE is calling out the “Twitter Liberal Elite” black folks, the monolithic group that demands you completely agree with all their liberal victimology or be utterly destroyed by their minions.”
For too long, the “Twitter Black Elite” has dominated the conversation about blackness, and if anyone dare challenge them on those beliefs, they will see you dragged before the masses and flogged. Such an occurrence happened with me during the launches of No Wedding No Womb, an initiative to draw awareness and find solutions to the 70-80% out-of-wedlock rate in the black community. I was dragged on Twitter and blogs, and unfortunately, Jamilah was one of my main opponents. On a radio show together on NPR, she expressed her distain at my initiative “pushing my middle class” values on her. I have to give her credit though, at least she wasn’t with the crew calling me a “cunt” and a “bitch.” Jamilah has since gone on to become a single mother herself. That is her choice, and she’s been very open and candid about the circumstances, and I feel that counts for something. While that was her choice, I’ll still choose to advocate that black women deserve to be provided for, protected and loved by partners FULL IN on raising their children, and all I ask is that those ideals be respected as well.
Unfortunately in “Black Elite Twitter”, to say a child should be raised by two loving parents in the same home is just too damned conservative.
(As an aside, I’ve spoken with Jamilah offline and away from Twitter, and I have to admit I find her to be a really nice person. Our politics will never meet, but this woman is not the devil. I think sometimes our online alter egos don’t always show our true humanity.)
The point I’m trying to make is that we as black people have to allow for a diversity of voices to be heard. This site exists because the GAT-DL (Guardians of All Things Dark and Lovely) and the “Twitter Black Elite” refuse to address the issues that we freely discuss here. There is often no voice for conservative or even moderate black people on public forums like Twitter, which makes us vulnerable to full-scale attacks by other interests that may or may not have OUR best interest at heart.
If liberal blacks continue to mock conservative blacks for their views in an open forum, don’t be surprised when you get called out on an even bigger forum.
Stop trying to own the conversation. Let other folks have a voice sometimes.
UPDATE: Looks like EBONY.COM jumped on this quick to put out the fire. Good for them:
Yesterday, the spirit of this mission was disregarded by EBONY.com Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux in a personal Twitter exchange between herself and RNC Deputy Press Secretary Raffi Williams. In part of the exchange, Lemieux responded to an attempt at discourse from Williams with words that curtly dismissed him and his suggestion that she be interested in the “diversity of thought.” She also misidentified him, unintentionally, as White. Williams is Black.
EBONY strongly believes in the marketplace of ideas. As the magazine of record for the African American community, Lemieux’s tweets in question do not represent our journalistic standard, tradition or practice of celebrating diverse Black thought. …
EBONY acknowledges Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux’s lack of judgment on her personal Twitter account and apologizes to Raffi Williams and the Black Republican community.