I just wanted to send a quick note about some cherrypicked tweets that have been circulating across social media.
After being attacked on Twitter by a certain businessman’s “gang,” I have experienced some trolling and blowback after members/bots affiliated with the gang cherrypicked tweets from early in the aughts.
When cherrypicked and situated side-by-side, these tweets look completely uncouth. I context, however, they mean differently. For example, I was calling out the misogyny within the original thread of responses by calling the gang the “wang gang” — I was (yes, admittedly, immaturely) referring to their dickery; their misogyny has been reported on at various outlets, including the NYT and Vox. Had I known that this would be misconstrued out of context as racist, I absolutely would have never said it. (My original post was a loud criticism of the coded language of white supremacy, so there was no intention to deride people’s ethnicity or race.)
The same goes for older tweets that have been misconstrued as anti-Semitic. One was a quote from Sarah Silverman (see quotation marks) from an article at Velvetpark; another was a riff off “The Merchant of Venice”; another was about my desire to move back home to the UWS; the last one was my drunken shock (see the “?!” punctuation) at hearing a story at a bar about oral suction circumcisions performed in Orthodox communities. (In a follow-up tweet I clarify this, but because the tweet was removed from its context, this remains unclear.)
I write all this as a way to provide the knowledge (and the contexts) to repair the situation and the anger and disappointment caused by it. I hope my more than a decade of anti-racist work proves who I actually am and confirms my intentions. From this situation, I have learned to calm down before tweeting and to think about what my tweets might look like out of context.
I mean this sincerely, as the last thing I’d ever want to do is to contribute to the spread of hatred in the world. And I promise to do better and to think beyond what I know and what I think is acceptable.
I’m happy to correspond with anyone if they have questions or comments.
Thanks for reading.