Sunday, October 07, 2012

John Boyle's Twitter Problem

Another Day, Another Twidiot
John Boyle | Asheville Citizen-Times | October 6, 2012

And here we go again.

Thank you, Twittersphere, for yet another example of stupidity in action. Let’s call it Twidiocy.

In the most recent case, a Buncombe County GOP volunteer was tweeting out some blow-by-blow from the presidential debate Tuesday night.

Should be innocuous enough, right?

Nope. This guy apparently was TWI-M — Tweeting while impaired, mentally.

“Obama sounds nervous, scattered, white,” the volunteer tweeted.

Say what?!? As one of my colleagues put it, “That sounds like a racist’s order at Waffle House.”

Other Tweeted gems included, “somebody gettin’ his (expletive) whooped!;” “enough about ya damn grandmother, already;” “Did Barry just crap his pants?;” and “You’ve had four years, ya big dummy.”

Classy way to address the president. Do these guys think this stuff will not make its way around the media world?

Buncombe County GOP spokesman Nathan West seemed to have a good handle on this Friday when I talked to him.

“In his exuberance of being excited about the way Romney was wearing it out, he got a little excited and sent out some messages like he was talking to his buddies instead of making public comments,” West said. “The language is what aggravated me the most. It was a very poorly worded point.”

The volunteer has since given up his access to the account, and, I’m thinking, learned a valuable lesson.

“If he didn’t, it’s going to take a baseball bat to the head,” West joked.

In the great scheme of things, this is a minor dust-up, but it is intriguing to me because, if the Republicans aren’t aware of it, they have a little trouble attracting African-Americans to their cause because many perceive them as insensitive and uncaring about African-Americans.

I’m not saying that’s a fair assessment; it’s just the way it is.

The tweets play right into that. Once again, the guy may have had a point — the president seemed pretty stiff at times — but it got lost in the stupidity of the moment and language.

“What this shows is with the rise of Twitter, everybody has a microphone, and this is the kind of nonsense you see,” said Chris Cooper, head of the political science and public affairs department at Western Carolina University. “Also, I think the Republican party has realized it cannot be successful as the party that has lost all non-white voters to the Democrats. It’s opinions like this that, when they become news, it makes it a lot more difficult to do that (attract non-white voters).”

John Hayes, president of the Asheville branch of the NAACP, said the tweet shows a distinct lack of historical perspective. Hayes said the commentary may point to a more disturbing mindset still prevalent in some corners of America, even after more than three years of Obama’s presidency.

“You still have people who don’t believe a descendant of Africa has any right to be president,” he said.


First of all, to say that someone "sounds white" is not racist. Not even close. It's an observation. Some black comedians base their observational stage act on impersonating whites and the way they sound, talk, walk and express themselves. This used to be very popular, especially among self-hating liberal whites in the 70's and 80's. Black comedians also make fun of fellow blacks in the same way by exaggerating some expression or idiom to bring out the humor. Also, we have seen this President, his Vice-President and his Secretary of State straining to sound black, dropping their g's with Southern accents, claiming to be the "Preezy of the United Steezy" and saying, "Ah don't feel no ways tired" and "they gunna put y'all back in chains." So, this breathless faux outrage over a simple and honest observation of a fact falls flatter than an Aunt Jemima pancake.

Secondly, it makes no sense whatsoever to condemn a tweet as racist in one breath and then later say you understand the point being made, as Boyle has done: "Say what?!?" ... "Once again, the [tweeter] may have had a point — the president seemed pretty stiff at times." Is the esteemed columnist implying that white people seem stiff as compared to black people? Is that a racist comment? You can't say the tweet is offensive and wrong and yet it really makes a perfectly legitimate point.

Third, Boyle questions whether or not this collection of tweets on debate night was a "classy way to address the president." Is that what we're supposed to do now, only address this dufus amateur in classy ways? Is that how Boyle and others in the partisan press addressed President Bush. I wouldn't have the time to document the perpetual insults cast his way during his tenure. Right here in Asheville you would have to search long and hard for a respectful appellation applied to our own Rep. Tim Moffitt. So, Mr. Boyle, don't begin to lecture me on how to address your favorite president. We've never had a king in the White House and you can't chide me into conjuring up one.

The reason progressives and their mouthpieces in the media are attracted to this story is because they think that making hay out of it will somehow injure the reputation of their political enemies. In their rush to validate their own peculiar politically-correct take on the story, some journalists have taken tweet to the street only to find, to their bemusement, that most normal people get it: the president turns on and off dialects, idioms and manners of speech to pander to different audiences, whether black, white, latino or muslim. Frank Fraboni reports, "Some people agreed with the remarks, others said they were confusing but were within their rights."

So, keep a workin' own it, y'all. Ya ain't found nothing no ways yet. Looks to me likes y'alls is just sniffin' each others butts.


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