Twitter blasts insult the reader’s intelligence

Twitter can be silly sometimes

1. I was critical of an aggregation of Twitter stuff that a friend put together and shared here on Facebook. I was rude in my comments.
2. While it was inappropriate for me to be obnoxious on another’s page, I still firmly believe that using twitter to blog is ridiculous.
3. Instead of composing a proper thesis and discussing it, the tweet-blaster gives us 140 characters at a time, like leaky faucet.
4. notice that these “thoughts” aren’t even 140 characters, because when you come to 130ish, you need to stop to move on to the next one.
5. the argument for doing this is, your audience is on twitter. I categorically reject this. It’s an excuse to be lazy, lowering the bar.
6. I wanted to say “it lowers the level of discourse” on that last “tweet”, but couldn’t. It ran the message over 140 characters.

Take a breath…this isn’t Twitter, after all.

7. So-called writers who take to twitter in this fashion rely on others to aggregate the blast into a coherent form. That’s unreliable.
8. A couple of weeks ago, I saw E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post re-tweet the FIFTEENTH part of some NYT gal’s tweet vomitus.
9. He said, basically, “here’s some stuff to read, go find this woman and read the rest of what she had to say. Assuming you can find her.
10. Have you noticed that, at the beginning of each of these “tweets”, I lose two characters in the hopes this “essay” stays organized?
11. This isn’t how thought leaders work. This isn’t an acceptable way to grow an audience. Thought leaders establish a premise, then they
12. (see what happens when you hit the 140-character wall in mid-sentence?) Now your next tweet looks feckin stupid, and you lose the reader
13. Thought leaders, like Jamelle Bouie of Slate, write essays that provoke thought and comment. Here’s his latest.
14. Bouie isn’t looking for a cheap appeal to someone with a minute and a half to glance at their phone. He wants to discuss an issue.
15. Reject tweet blasts. Don’t pander to the people who do them.

 

Jerome Smith, Baldwin, and RFK (via @JarvisDeBerry)

Jerome Smith was a young civil rights activist and Freedom Rider in 1963. Arthur Schlesinger, in his book on RFK, recalls that CORE described Smith as a young man beaten more than any other CORE worker at the time.

Jerome Smith stood up to RFK

It was no surprise to anyone that Smith had no kind words for Bobby or his brother:

“Mr. Attorney General, you make me want to puke.  I don’t care what you think, and I don’t care what your brother thinks either.”

Smith was a man of the streets, not academia, or the entertainment world. He’d been in the streets, on the buses, working to register voters and advocate the cause. In the 1963 meeting Jarvis DeBerry mentions in his article about the film, “I Am Not Your Negro”, he was arguably the wokest person in the room.

Baldwin Documentary

jerome smith

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but having seen “Hidden Lines” last weekend, it’s time I did. The movie is about Baldwin, so it’s not surprising that some things get left on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to Jerome Smith (assuming they shot his remarks at all. Jarvis explains it:

Because that section of the documentary focuses on Baldwin’s friendship with the playwright Lorraine Hansberry and her premature death at 34, it is Hansberry’s disgusted response to Kennedy’s hemming and hawing that is given attention.  But Hansberry’s decision to snub Kennedy by standing up, bidding him goodbye and exiting the room wasn’t the most demonstrable display of disgust.  The most disgusted response, which isn’t in the documentary, came from New Orleans’ own Jerome Smith.

So, it’s no deep conspiracy that the woke young man got left out of the documentary. He just got overshadowed. I learned something new today, that Smith was from New Orleans. I’d not read Schlesinger’s book (it came out in 1978) when I was teaching American History in the early 1980s. I certainly would have highlighted this encounter, if for no other reason, because Smith was a local guy.

Now I want to go back to the classroom. Gotta win dat powerball.

(cross-posted to NOLA History Guy)

Will there be justice for Joe McKnight?

Will there be justice for Joe McKnight?

Joe McKnight was shot dead in a road rage incident on December 1st of last year. The shooter, Ronald Gasser, was originally arrested for manslaughter.  That’s mainy because Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand never met a white guy with a gun he didn’t like. A grand jury saw things differently, however, and indicted the shooter Gasser with second-degree murder. That’s a distinction with a difference, because second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence. Gasser’s looking at life as a plantation slave.

Joe McKnight – murder victim

This is serious business, and the JP DA’s office must clean up the public relations mess Normand left them. Gasser, can afford private counsel. They’re hard at work, making motions to suppress evidence:

Among several claims, the motion states Gasser’s confession was not obtained “freely and voluntarily, but (was) made under the influence of fear, intimidation, threats or other duress, or because of promises or other inducements.” The motion also claims Gasser was not read his Miranda rights, and that investigators seized evidence without issuing a proper search warrant.

This is pretty much pro-forma for defense attorneys. It’s going to be tough for them to convince the court that a guy who started his self-defense claims as soon as he got out of his vehicle was intimidated or coerced.

Sheriff Normand can’t help himself

joe mcknight

Sheriff Newell Normand, of Jefferson Parish (T-P/NOLA.com photo)

Of course, the Sheriff tossed the ADAs on the case under the bus:

“Our arrest is only as good as a prosecution,” Normand said. “We accomplish nothing if we make an arrest and we can’t put ourselves in the best posture to reach a successful prosecution.”

Yessir, that’s cooperation to get criminals off the street, I tell you. While Normand’s latest presser was a far cry from his December temper tantrums about social media, he really needs a PR consultant. He needs someone who will tell him to shut up and maintain his dignity. Jefferson Parish is already a #shitshow of politicians who don’t know how to act.

Still, at this point, things look good in terms of justice for Joe McKnight. Gasser is not an appealing defendant, even though he’s a white man who shot a black man.