Today I saw this tweet from @YBAC: It’s easy to know y libs hate fox news: they hate facts,abore truth,their so idealistic they run from reality,& r intimidated by intellect
Given the 140 character limit on Twitter I can understand the need to shorten words, but this tweet was simply misspelled. Wanting to help this person make his partisan message more impactful, I sent the following: umm…it’s abhor* truth…they’re* so idealistic…i’m just saying..it’s tough to make a call on intellect with misspellings.
In my opinion I was not implying that the tweeter lacked intellect. I was stating that it is difficult to suggest an entire segment of people are intimidated by intellect when this tweet was misspelled. Now, I am not perfect. I have sent a tweet or two containing a misspelled word, but I immediately tweet the correction. I would not have been so quick to suggest this correction had I not also received the following from this same person: I think your talented and want to know if you find interest in our organization. What do u think of our mission and our service?
This is clearly a repeat offender.
Let’s dive further into this story. This person contacted me after reading through my bio on LinkedIn. I let it go when they misspelled my name in the reply to me. I passed on correcting the afore-mentioned tweet. I could not let the typos continue, though, in a message that was clearly seeking support. Logging back in after work (key point), I see this: U want to question MY intellect over some typos on twitter? You couldn’t finish college & cant find a job. lets call a trus.
Now, if I were someone who hadn’t talked myself through the struggles of not being able to finish paying for school, I would have been offended and hurt by this suggestive statement. My inability to finish college had nothing to do with lack of intellect. Further, if this person had actually paid attention to my bio on LinkedIn, they would have seen that I am, indeed, presently employed.
Here’s the ground up meat of this tale. This is someone who wants to develop a support network for their political organization: Young, Black and Conservative. In the offending tweet this person stated that liberals are intimidated by intellect. I won’t go into how that generalization cannot possibly be the foundation for any useful argument. I will, however, state that one cannot underestimate the importance of being intelligent in a forum as public as Twitter. If you are tweeting your own personal thoughts that have no association with any professional organization, make as many typos as you choose. Doing so, however, makes you appear as though you do not care about your personal brand. When you make these statements in representation of your professional organization, though, you had better be as close to perfect as possible. Not only are you representing your organization, but you are representing the people who work within that organization. Further, as an organization entitled young and black, you are representing two additional segments of society; and, I, for one, am tired of the stigma of ignorance that is placed onto both young people and black people.
Someone’s character is not judged solely by their time in the spotlight, it is judged by their time in the shadows, as well. I would hope that you would want yourself and your organization to be judged as professional and worthy of support based on well-researched arguments and intellectual discourse. My correction was only to help. Your response validates a notion written about in the Miseducation of the Negro: black people refuse to be led by black people for fear of one upstaging the other. I apologize if you think that I was trying to upstage you when I was only trying to help. In the future I hope your political statements are better researched than your attempt at an attack on me.