#TweetLikeThe1600s Should Not Exist

#TweetLikeThe1600s Should Not Exist

This problematic and offensive slew of tweets depreciates the severity of slavery and the experiences that our ancestors faced.

Black Twitter is a lot of things, and right now it’s looking like it’s a little problematic. A hashtag called #TweetLikeThe1600s is the most recent slew of “funny” posts trending on Black Twitter. The posts feature captions that are meant to portray life as a slave in a comical manner.

Because servitude is funny, right?

After reading a few of these posts, I threw side, left, front, and middle eye at the audacity of these posts. No, I’m not overly sensitive. No, I don’t like to complain; I’m a young, Black woman growing up in the U.S. who is exposed every day to the mental, physical, and emotional scars that slavery has left behind. I am exposed to the institutions that keep us at a disadvantage and forever within a state of mental bondage — a state that has warped our perceptions of ourselves and our history so much so that we think shit like this is funny.

I know damn well our ancestors didn’t risk their lives, the lives of their families, and endure gruesome treatment and punishment just for their experiences to be turned into the butt of a joke. The posts are not laughing at slavery or former slaves, per se; however, it’s disrespectful to make light of such a serious and traumatizing part of history. Are we going to start making Holocaust jokes now? Will we construct tweets about how “funny” it would’ve been to be hauled off to a gas chamber? What’s next after that? Making memes with captions about smallpox blankets and forced Indian migration?

See how f*cked up this is? I feel dirty for even making it.

I don’t care how “funny” some Blacks may think these posts are. I don’t care how irrational some Blacks think I am being for rebuking these posts — I will not allow disrespect of our history and blatant hypocrisy to occur. Aren’t we always the ones talking about how slavery should never be forgotten and our struggles should not be erased? We spew this rhetoric and in the same breath defile every experience and sacrifice our ancestors made for us. We turn their harsh reality into something we use for entertainment.

Non-Blacks will tell us to “get over” slavery and we will list 12,048,342,795 different reasons why it still affects us today, but in the same breath, we reduce the pain, heartache, and legacy of slavery to an ignorant and atrocious 250 character post.

For a long time, Blacks have used humor as a coping mechanism (along with religion and creative outlets like music and poetry). We’ve been taking our negative experiences and putting a positive spin on it, either through the production of heart-rending and raw music, spiritual dance, or a really bad joke. As much as I wish we were serious and mindful at all times, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying; so no, I don’t want to condemn us for trying to bring some light to our lives; however, these posts are not a good example of using humor as a coping mechanism -- they’re just sad and trashy — and they should’ve never existed.

I hope this trend dies down soon, but who knows how long these posts will continue circulating, given the current state of our generation and what we find humorous; after all, we think the “no lacking” and “tide pod” challenges are entertaining. For any Black person that likes and shares these posts, I hope y’all keep that same energy the next time a non-Black person wants to diminish the severity of the institution of slavery.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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