I remember the ‘mom takeover’ of Facebook. 2010-2012, our mom’s found Facebook and figured out how to make themselves a profile. No longer were we free on the innanets. Our mother’s were watching. Many of us took to our statuses in protest proclaiming “NO MOM’S ALLOWED” but it was too late. Moms, Aunties, Pastors, Church Mothas and Deacons are on “The Facebook” so now we have to watch what we say. But this post isn’t about that tragedy. (Thank God for Twitter)
My mom (Lisa) and I entertain my friends and hers on Facebook with our banter. The ladies at church be waiting to see what Lisa and I are going to say daily. It’s all fun and games on the newsfeed, but privately, Lisa WILL correct me. If she has an opinion about something I’ve posted she’ll tell me within 7 seconds of me posting it. (Ain’t you supposed to be at work?!) Most of the time, she’s right. I usually won’t argue and I’ll delete what I’ve said. Sometimes, I’ll argue my case and hit her with a meme of somebody sleeping or of Nene Leaks saying ‘Girl Bye’.
The latest corrections came last week when I posted a couple of articles and made some comments about white people. The first article was about Raju the Elephant who was rescued from captivity in India by wild life conservationists. I said something ignant like ‘white people will go get an Elephant from India but stay silent about Trayvon Martin or Oscar Grant”. The second article (the next day) was entitled “It’s Time to End the Prejudice Against Pitbulls” I said something along the lines of “White people will fight for Pitbulls but lock the car door when I walk by”.
Lisa was in my inbox about my comments. She argued that what I was saying was true, but offensive. I wasn’t trying to hear it. If what I was saying was true, why should I be careful about what I say or how I say it?
The next day, my friend Jessye texted me. Jessye is white. We met in undergrad and were fast friends. I consider her not only one of my best friends but my sister as well. I love me some Jessye. The fact that we’re two different colors never ever mattered. She done fell in love with an Australian and is trying to move to the Outback. I’m currently trying to talk her out of it. Do yall know what Jessye said to me? She said “I see your posts on Facebook. Do you still love me?”
My heart went to my stomach. The fact that something I said on social media made Jessye question my love for her definitely made me rethink my posts. I want to encourage conversations about race and make space for change. But what I DON’T want to do is hurt one of my best friends. In our conversation, Jessye said the constant posts about white people make her not even want to get on Facebook anymore.
I enjoy getting a rise out of people. I’ll even go as far as to say that I enjoy making people mad. In the words of Sophia Petrillo, it tickles me. Words have power, I’ve abused that power at times. SOME white people do some things I don’t understand. But talking about them in a negative way on Facebook has the potential to hurt some white people that I love and it doesn’t create a safe space for conversations about race.
I’m always talking about the love of Christ, right? If it doesn’t make me as loving and sensitive to my white brothers and sisters as much as my black brothers and sisters, I’m a hypocrite and not practicing what I preach. My cousin who’s wife is white is STILL not speaking to me about something I said on Facebook years ago. Words are powerful.
I’m going to be a LITTLE more careful about what I say and how I say it. #ILoveWhitePeople is my new hashtag. LOL
Thanks Jessye. Mark, I’m sorry.