When I stumbled across (fell into the wondrous world) of the hash tag #AskRachel on Twitter last night, it was a spiritual experience… one that I’ve realized deserves a few words put down to paper.
Black Twitter, as a multifaceted and immutable element in what the Twitterverse at large becomes engaged in, went the fuck off on the mystery and the madness that is the story of Spokane NAACP chapter President Rachel Dolezal. As a White woman that somewhere along the line made a seemingly conscious and deliberate decision to claim Blackness as her identity (read: accessory and aesthetic) of choice, her story spurred Black folks to scratch their heads, re-read articles for clarity, and Google repeatedly to ensure that this was not satire. This was not a joke. This hoodwink had actually happened and the cat was out of the bright-orange bag. The years and years of positioning to access power accumulated by Black people and reign as supreme overlord of White Saviordom, Spokane style, had come to a screeching halt.
But what followed in response has been beautiful—the utilization of her story, her name, her tryery, her gall, her attempted embodiment at that Black spirit which is elusive and ethereal—to spotlight the beauty, the hilarity, the memories, the family, the elite club of melanin made miracles that makeup Black America, make up the diaspora, make up the frontier of healing as resistance. #AskRachel is as funny as it is poignant, drawing on the multitude of experiences that many Black people share with the visceral sensation of a spontaneous celebration… one of unadulterated and soul felt Blackness. This is the work being done in the hearts and newsfeeds of Black folks—a cultural, critical, come-for-those-who-come-for-you work of awe, creativity, wit and ancestral humor. Critique is by no means curative… but you’d be a damn lie to tell me that it is not therapeutic, not a first step in connecting and cultivating a consciousness that prioritizes truth and says to those who wish to side-step the sharp tongues and salty spirits of tired Black people, “Nope. Not today, Satan.”
A few of my favorites include:
Mary J. Blige didn’t need any hateration or holleration in this what?
- A) Dancery
- B) Dance Soirée
- C) Both A and B #AskRachel
tweeted by @singerboi3890
What do black people do on a Sunday afternoon after church?
TRICK QUESTION! Church ain’t over yet!!
tweeted by @OI_Romey_Rome
“I am your mother, not one of your ___ friends.”
- Nappy Headed
tweeted by @imfromraleigh
#AskRachel If R. Kelly’s mind is telling him no, what is his body telling him?
- Go home Robert you’re drunk
tweeted by @cbenajminrucker
So you black? At what time exactly was Usher in his drop top cruising the streets? #askrachel
tweeted by @le_debut
Where is Hillman College? #AskRachel
tweeted by @deray
And so spiritual is the revolution and spiritual is the laughter! It is times like these where re-tweets seem to constitute a prayer to the divine, a wish thrown into the well of Black Twitter, a dream sent out into the world in the form of a read or a ham or a 140 character limit “got-that-ass” proclamation with the hope of a return on an investment in saying what’s on your mind because ain’t nobody got time to stay silent and stay dying, too.