Yesterday, February 27, Mike Elk initiated a Twitter conversation about what he termed as the public trial of Woody Allen, accused of molesting his step-daughter Dylan Farrow. He was troubled by the public nature of discourse and what he perceived as unfairness towards Allen. Whatever – this is not where the trouble arises. At some point in his Twitter conversation, someone said that maybe Woody Allen doesn’t deserve the benefit of a doubt. He replied with this Tweet.
The Tweet was subsequently deleted, but let’s parse this out. Mike Elk is equating the systemic, white violence against Blacks in the South to (wait for it) DYLAN Farrow. A girl, now a woman, who said her step-father molested her. Wait. What? That can’t be true can it? Ok, so he says that by not giving Woody Allen’s the benefit of a doubt is like giving the accusers of Till(White, racist, lynch mob, police, the whole damn Jim Crow South) a benefit of a doubt. Woah. (besides offensive it just doesn’t make sense.)
So if Dylan Farrow is like the Jim Crow South then who the hell is Woody Allen?? Emmett Till. Yep, this so called “journalist” just compared Woody Allen to Emmett Till. Remember when Emmett won his lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes? Yeah, me neither. Remember when Woody Allen was found dead, his eye gouged out, and thrown in a river as a 14 year old boy? Yeah, me fucking neither.
Ok, so Mike Elk was dead wrong while Tweeting. It can happen – maybe not so spectacularly as this – but well, anyway he saw the errors of his ways and apologized, right? Right?? NO, he tweets this, as some sort of correction:
So Mike Elk thinks the problem is that he got the details of Emmett Till’s murder wrong, the details of the accusations wrong?? Oops, Till was accused of looking at a white girl the wrong way not rape. So if Mike Elk believes that if had used the name of a Black man who was lynched and accused of rape then it would have been ok. Details details. He is missing the fact that he is comparing the terrorism of White systemic violence against 1000’s of Black men, women, and children to an open letter from Dylan Farrow. It is ludicrous. It is reprehensible that a JOURNALIST can be walking around with his head so far up his ass that he can’t see his mistake. I have no other way to describe his white, male privileged attitude.
So Mike Elk continues to defend his position by Bullying people of color. In these tweets: here.
Which brings me to my decision to write this post. Mike Elk made a-historical and offensive tweet. He joins the countless white men that have equated lynching and murder of Black bodies to verbal attacks on white men. It’s not new but It’s offensive, Mike Elk, because it is minimizing the deaths and torture of Black bodies by saying it is the same as some hurt feelings or lost reputation of a white person. But it is one tweet, that actually doesn’t make much sense. No need to lose your entire career over it. But then you go and make it worse. You refuse to understand what you did, you refuse to apologize, you call other journalists who are people of color names and harass people of color on Twitter who tried to call you out on your bull-shit. You walk around wrapped so tight in your white, male, privilege mantle, that you can’t do the right thing. Do the right thing – Mike Elk: apologize, get some antiracism education, give more writing time to people of color journalists, write a piece about white privilege in progressive journalism.
And lastly, a Tweet from another person of color who you ignored, just show people that you were given a chance, people tried to tell you Mike Elk!
@MikeElk To mischaracterize a dead Black child that sparked a nationwide movement in the name of Woody Allen is completely disgusting.
** A caveat: I am technologically challenged and couldn’t figure out how to take screenshots of these tweets, this is the best I could do.