I don’t think it’s a secret as to why I did it, but in case you don’t know, Loren Feldman of 1983media did a video last year entitled “Techn****”, which basically put black people in a bad light. He asked where were the African-American tech bloggers and then proceeded to put on a parody of a “gangster” tech blogger that perpetuated many stereotypes that African-Americans already face due to ignorance of a variety of things. No I’m not linking to his ****.
Matthew Ingram asked if that means his content shouldn’t be allowed on Verizon.
But does that mean his content shouldn’t be allowed on Verizon’s mobile service? No. I think when it comes to comedy and critical commentary of all kinds — satire or otherwise — we have to offer a lot wider latitude than we might otherwise. Freedom of speech shouldn’t be just a flag that we wave from time to time whenever it suits us. It’s an important principle. Loren should be free to make and distribute his content, and others are free not to watch it. Somehow I doubt that a mega-corporation like Verizon is going to see it that way, however.
While Feldman does have a right to Freedom of Speech, that doesn’t mean customers of Verizon should support it nor hear it or see it.
As a customer of Verizon, I don’t want to contribute to Feldman’s bank account and I don’t want Verizon to do so either. If other customers feel the same then guess what? “The customer is always right". While that quote isn’t true, in this case we have valid reasons for not wanting his filth on the network where it can be spread and promoted. It’s promoting stereotypes that are perpetuated throughout the world on various levels and one that I as a black female do not wish to see supported on any level.
The video was degrading. He was degrading an entire community and it should not be supported by Verizon nor its customers. It hit close to home and not necessarily because it was true on some levels, but because it was negative on every level. It was an ignorant video and one that mocked a small percentage of the African-American community. Yet, that particular part of the community is the most profile and we can all guess why. Everyone loves drama.
While there may not be a bunch of African-American tech bloggers, there are numerous prominent African-Americans in the tech community. I follow a few of them on Twitter and one of them happens to be a mentor of mine: Wayne Sutton.
Maybe next time Feldman will think twice about playing pranks on people, let alone entire communities. Maybe you can laugh it off because it doesn’t relate to you. Maybe you can shrug it off because you really don’t care. I can’t and I’m not willing to stand by and play possum to the effects that it has on one of the communities that I’m apart of and the one that has the most significant role in who I am and how people may initially perceive me.
In the end, I feel like he was trying to degrade me because I am a black tech blogger, not a n*****. You ask where we are? Well here is one.