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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Media Matters, Cory Booker, Twitter and Me - A Fable of Race and Politics At 140 Words Or Less

Yesterday I tweeted this:
Sandra Fluke and her Flukepostles are the same people who buy houses they can't afford and then expect us to help them pay for it
I thought this was a never clever statement about the people who are clogging the nation with tomfoolery and divisiveness.

Within a few minutes I got this reply from LovelyLadyPA who has no information up on her profile (most Twitter trolls and flamethrowers prefer to remain anonymous):
She has 984 followers, so after you remove the spambots people use to inflate their numbers, she is a fairly small-time player in the Twittersphere (as am I).

As I usually do when I am attacked with non-sense, I check to see who follows the flamethrowing party. The first three people who came up were:
  •  Media Matters for America (Following 2,075 - 53,465 Followers)
  • Angelo Carusone (who uses the Twitter handle StopBeck and who is affiliated with Media Matters) (Following 9,546 - 26,821 Followers)
  • The Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker (Following 58,966 - Followed by 1,120,929)
 The fact that Ms. LovelyLadyPA is a relatively small-time player in the Twittersphere makes the fact that the Mayor of Newark follows her interesting to me.

I'll be the first to agree that no one is responsible for the idiocy of the people they follow on social media networks but claiming a lack of responsibility for stupidity is different from repudiation of same.

Media Matters for America is a Democrat hack website funded by George Soros that is so partisan they are foolish, so it's no surprise they follow stupid people.

Angelo Carusone is actually a fairly stand-up guy. I hate his politics and his unwavering partisanship, but at least he stands behind what he says and does. He's rigidly and naively partisan, so again no surprises.

Cory Booker has so far proved to be an able executive in a city that chews up and spits out lesser politicians on a regular basis. He is a Democrat (seriously, we're talking Essex County, New Jersey, here) but I would likely support him if he were to run for governor of my home state, The Socialist Republic of New Jersey.

But, I don't like stupidity. It sticks in my craw and frosts me to no end. So I tweeted the following to Media Matters, Angelo Carusone and Cory Booker:

@LovelyldayPA who spouts racist non-sense is followed by @StopBeck @MMFA and most disappointingly, Newark Mayor @CoryBooker
Was it a petty thing to do? Of course it was. This is politics. And anyway now that I've shunted your liberal argument against being offended because it is "petty" (next thing you're going to tell is to "chill"), imagine if I (a baby-boomer white male person) had made a similarly asinine racist tweet. Then imagine if a prominent politician following me didn't seem concerned about my similarly asinine racist tweet. Hopefully you've gotten my point in all this now.

A few hours later, after not hearing back I tweeted this directly to Mayor Booker:
@CoryBooker I'm wondering if you agree with or would repudiate the racist vitriol spouted by @LovelyLadyPA whom you follow on Twitter?

It's a simple question. No matter the reason the Mayor has chosen to follow her, he either agrees or disagrees with her words. Personally, I don't agree with them and would have no problem saying so in a public forum -- even if LovelyLadyPA was my sister or my mom or something. Again, in the small picture we all have better things to do, but in the big picture, a leader needs to have higher standards about the people he chooses to follow on social media. A white mayor would be sent out of town on a rail if the situation were reversed.

As expected, I never heard anything from Media Matters or Carusone but they are not elected officials that may someday govern me, so no big deal there.

More silence, so I tweeted the Mayor again:
I take ur silence as endorsement of vitriol spewed by ppl u follow on Twitter.

That got a reaction from Booker:
U know that is ridiculous
I know! Right? The original tweet was about socialists redefining America and had nothing to with race, hence my surprise that race was brought into this, except for the fact that I am white.

And another response from the Mayor:
Sad you are wasting time on this. By your logic, u following me means you endorse all I say. So endorse this: Jack should CHILL
Sorry Mayor, but you're wrong. Here's my logic:  If I am an elected official and I follow you on a social media platform and you say something stupid and inflammatory it's incumbent upon me to repudiate those words lest they attach themselves to me. This is not difficult. The standard is held firm for politicians on the Right, but somehow when someone points out a lack of standards by people on the Left, we are told to "chill."

I was seeking a repudiation of a blatantly racist comment made about me over something that had nothing to do with race. Although I do take the Mayor's first response as a Democrat-lite repudiation, I'm still wondering why it was so difficult to do.

Even though I was chastised for being a childish and churlish pain in the political ass, the offending tweet was pulled down later in the afternoon. So, yeah, there's your repudiation.

I thank the Mayor (or his people) for taking the time respond to my concerns about receiving racist comments from someone the Mayor is connected to via social media, even if the vitriol spewed at me was kind of glossed over by chastising me for my insolence. I remain a supporter of the Mayor's efforts in Newark and I wish him well.

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