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I’m embarrassed, upset and saddened by those trending topic tweets! Does a Race have a brand?

The tag
Twitter / Cassandra Mary: Haha that's fucked up..but ...

My rant
I can’t take it anymore, I just looked at the trending topics on Twitter and number one is #uknowublackwhen and the tweets that flowing in at an alarming rate are TERRIBLE! Most of the tweets are racist, stereotypical and appalling. To some they may be funny but to me they’re not. It just shows to others that we need to learn some online etiquette ASAP!

#uknowublackwhen - Twitter Search

Why is this a problem?
In my world, I talk with businesses about protecting their brand, building content and how to use social media to communicate with potential costumers. Businesses are now looking at potential employees on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin profiles before they think about hiring them. Do you see where I’m going with this? I’ve been seeing trending hashtags on twitter such as #3wordsaftersex and more and I know all of the tweets are NOT by African-Americans but majority of them are. So if you’re wondering why I’ve been tweeting “be careful what you tweet” that’s why.

I can’t take it anymore
For me this blog post rant has been building up for some time. As one of the very few African-Americans on Twitter since 2006 – and I used to be in the top 100 Twitter users before all of the rappers and NBA players arrived – I feel as though I have a “little” authority to talk about the situation. Sadly I saw this coming and if you want to go on the “who gives you a right to judge” route, I understand but I’ve seen a lot of things happening in the Twitter space in the last 8 months that I’m not happy about. The #uknowublackwhen hashtag just topped the cake for me.

Flickr Photo Download: Google Wave Presentation at BarcampRDU

Where are you?
In the “tech” bubble it’s a hard space to compete in or just to get noticed. There’s very few African-Americans in the technology space and we’re consistently trying to prove our value; that we belong here too. You don’t know how many events I’ve attended where I’m the only African-American person in the room. I’m used to it by now as I’ve been in the technology industry since 1996 but sometimes I look around and I wonder where; are the other minorities? Are they not interested in technology/blogging/social media?

The Future of White Boy clubs | FactoryCity
It is good to know others are trying to do something about it. Read: The Future of White Boy clubs from Chris Messina

I looked for you and now this?
There was even a time in 2007 when I went on a search to find more African-Americans on Twitter because there weren’t many. I did find @JaysonFlint @dj_diva @jbrotherlove and a few more. But now with Twitter going main stream, and Hip-Hop artist and black/urban entertainment using Twitter, there is no short list of African-Americans online.

Can a Race have a voice?
Something I talk about when doing consulting is understanding the community and establishing your own voice online and this goes for individuals and not just businesses. But what about a Race? What’s our voice or personal brand? Is it hip-hop, sports, rims or chicken? As a race we’re online creating content but what kind of content? Do we have be the ones online always arguing, creating provocative content, degrading one another? Then we have the audacity to go after others when we’re the ones hurting ourselves the most. It’s like telling cops to stop killing black people when we need to tell black people to stop killing black people.

Twitter / Chelsea Lewinsky: RT @chikau: #uknowublackwh ...

Twitter / Danie: #uknowublackwhen you read ...

Who’s influencing who and the problem?
In the past two weeks I’ve been asked about why is there is a lack of diversity in social media or diversity in the leaders of the social media space. We are out here but just hard to find and I think not “attractive” enough to grab your attention. A few are @Abenton @lynneluvah @jsmooth995 @corvida @rahsheen But I try to hold my tongue when I see music artists now doing keynotes at social media conferences when there are so many others out there who are qualified to talk – and no I’m not talking about Hammer, he’s cool. If you look at who’s educating the majority of African-Americans using social media like I said earlier, its the entertainment industry and we all know how most urban/hip-hop music is. 90 percent of it is negative with songs like “blame it on the alcohol”, and “jerk”, you take that and start talking and having conversations on sites like Facebook and Twitter – it’s a hot mess.

Again, I don’t want to be like I’m judging at all but I’m begging for celebrities, music artists, athletes and the like to please think about having some sort of online etiquette when having conversations with the general public.

Twitter / Rob Stewart: #uknowublackwhen is a tren ...

Is there a solution?
I hope so? I’ve had conversations with a few friends about having a conference directly for minorities on social networking etiquette and we’ll see how that goes. Also there is the BarCamp Diversity idea. Although I think it comes down to people with followings and influence to educate others in a positive way – but in the mean time …. #THINKBEFOREYOUTWEETPEOPLE!

I’m done . . . for now. Your thoughts?

I’m closing the comments, if you want to talk about it, use the FriendFeed chat below. Thank You.

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