Dexter Thomas

The premise of Dexter Thomas' argument was fairly well-intentioned: Black Twitter shouldn't be thought of as this monolithic group that comes down on the progressive side of issues all the time.

The columnist penned an article at the Los Angeles Times arguing that black Twitter, "like white Twitter," is made up of a diverse group of people with a variety of different opinions about a variety of different topics. They're not this kumbaya liberal group that is wondrously accepting of all isms.

Eh, but that didn't really need arguing, and the way Thomas went about proving his point wasn't all that effective. He cherry-picked a few examples of black Twitter users being transphobic to prove his point. 

He used the Tyga-transgender-side-chick story and presented as exhibit A a few tweets from black people who tweeted nasty comments to the Los Angeles rapper who is said to be having an affair with a transgender woman. 


"Not everyone doing this was black," Thomas wrote. "But it was black Twitter, the active community on the platform that is most in tune with hip-hop music culture, that led the charge." Thomas made the argument while never providing statistical proof that it was black twitter users who overwhelmingly slammed Tyga for his alleged relationship with a transgender woman.

Plus, Tyga is a black rapper, predominantly known by black people who listen to hip-hop artists (especially hip-hop artists like Tyga, who haven't quite crossed over to the mainstream yet). The only reason Tyga is fairly known by the mainstream is that he's dating Kylie Jenner, so it's not really fair for anyone to take away black Twitter's progressive card just because Tyga is catching hell from, well, his base: black people who listen to and follow B- and C-list hip-hop artists (no shade, just facts).


It goes without saying that people of all races, ethnicities and political affiliations can be homophobic. 

Also, no one said that black Twitter agrees on everything all the time. But the way that black Twitter users have pulled together to coin and promote social-justice movements like #BlackLivesMatters, #IAmJada,  #NotOneDime, #FireElizabethLauten and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown is fodder enough to safely characterize the de facto conglomerate as an entity that generally trends progressive. 


Black Twitter was not here for how Thomas, a guy who was hired by the Los Angeles Times to cover black Twitter, dropped the ball on his first official piece documenting the group.


Maybe Thomas should heed the advice from black Twitter, and run his analysis by people before presenting it, and if he wants to cover black Twitter well, he should learn the ins and outs of this group first. 

For more of black Twitter, check out The Chatterati on The Root.

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.