Saturday, April 20, 2013

What's beef?: On Ignoring Twitter Trolls

Happy Saturday. Let's set the mood with some music. Today I present What's Beef? (Instrumental) by Notorious B.I.G.: 

PS: For those who are unfamiliar with this terminology, beef is when 
one takes grievance with or has a disagreement with another party. 

I don't hate many things, but I sure as hell hate a couple of things, two of which are racism and religious persecution. And when the two meet - Lord help us. The recent Boston incident is bringing out some ugly racist and religiously ignorant trolls on Twitter, and my fingers are twitching to fire back. I want to jump into the Twitter beef, but I've decided that doing so is futile. 

Now I love Jesus like the next Christian, but as I've explained before, I live at the super progressive end of Christianity. I live at the end that's not going to sentence you to fire and brimstone if you don't believe like me. And honestly, my beliefs have evolved so much, I'm sure there are Christians who'd gladly cast me into the fiery flame. Oh well, can't make everybody happy. 

I don't even think I really have to explain how I feel about racism. If you read regularly, you'll know that I tackle issues of race in my research. I've had some interesting personal experiences with racism as well, and I've gotten to the point that I just don't feel like teaching tolerance in my personal affairs. First of all, I think teaching "tolerance" is ridiculous. Most people deserve more than to be tolerated. Can we have an intelligent dialogue about race? Sure. Am I going to go out of my way to dispel stereotypes and to show people of other races that Black people are good, earnest folks. Nope. Go watch an after-school special for that.

With all of this said, I am struggling not to fire Twitter buckshots at people making awful comments about Islam, and I am always sitting on my hands when I see ignorant tweets about race. Twitter beef just isn't worth the trouble. First of all, I only read Twitter like once a day, if that, so I'm not going to be able to go back and forth with one of these overzealous doofuses. Second, I don't think I want to try to get the job done in 140 characters or less. Third, I spend so much time being serious and thinking hard, that I'm going to let Twitter remain a space for fun social interaction and plugging this blog . . . for now anyway.

The twisted race and religion folks aren't the only folks who make me have to sit on my hands. I also find myself reeling after reading tweets from education reformers like Steve Perry and Michelle Rhee.  I REALLY want to take some of their tweets to task! Maybe I'll just blog about it. However, if I can leave them alone about the issue that I'm most passionate about,  I think I'll let the ignorant and misinformed about race and religion continue to swim in their Twitter cesspool - not because I don't care, just because I think I'll spend my time working toward social justice in my real world, not my cyber one.

Ever had a back-and-forth beef on Twitter? I'm nosy; tell me about it.

Until next time . . . try to keep Twitter fun and enjoy the weekend!

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