*
Talib Kweli says Twitter's employees are the problem, not its policies

KC Orcutt

 // Nov 11, 2017

Adrien Vargas // REVOLT

This past week, Talib Kweli found himself on the receiving end of violent threats and racist hate speech, with alt-right attorney Jason Lee Van Dyke targeting the emcee on Twitter.

As a result of the exchange, during which Kweli shared the already-public business address of the attorney, his account was suspended by Twitter. With many upset by the actions of the corporation and Kweli locked out of his account, the veteran emcee has turned to Instagram to share his latest commentary on the situation.

Breaking: Genres | Basic understanding of genres
Breaking: Genres

The rapper posted a screenshot to Instagram that featured a tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. In the reposted tweet, the CEO addresses the fact that his company recently verified the account of white nationalist Jason Kessler, explaining that "our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered."

Below the tweet, a question is posed: "When Twitter puts a verified check mark next to a white nationalist's name, is the company endorsing that person?"

Kweli gave his own reply, addressing his own recent experience with the social media networking site to explain his position.

"The answer is yes," Kweli begins. "The day after Twitter verified the Nazi loving Jason Kessler, they locked my account for posting the public business address of a lawyer who is a violent white supremacist, a proud boy, which is an organization Jason Kessler was a member of while he organized the Charlottesville march where Heather Heyer was killed. This lawyer made many threats, killed ppl n---r and autistic faggot. It seems @twitter is more interested in protecting the reputations of violent white supremacists and supporting those these white supremacists love and follow. Twitter has now halted their verification process. I guess if white supremacists like Jason Kessler can't be verified, nobody gets to be."

He then offers his own perspective that Twitter's employees are more of an issue than the company's policies regarding verification, hate speech and more.

"Hey jack you and I spoke about this," Kweli continues. "Your verification process ain't broken your employees are. They are not trained to recognize racist dog whistles and they haven't studied enough critical race theory or sociology to understand the way marginalized people are abused by the white supremacists twitter insists on coddling in the name of a flawed idea of what fairness is. Your people need training."

At the time of this report Saturday (Nov. 11), Kweli is still unable to access his account. As previously reported, he was informed by Twitter that he will be able to post again if he agrees to delete the tweet containing the public address of the man who threatened him. The 42-year-old has since responded that getting back to Twitter is not his main concern. Instead, his primary focus is on the larger issues behind how the company, such as how Twitter handles harassment, and calling for change.

Although his access to promote his music on Twitter is currently halted, Kweli is gearing up to release his eighth studio album, Radio Silence, which is set to drop next Friday on Nov. 17.

Take a look at Talib Kweli's recent statement in full below.

The answer is yes. The day after Twitter verified the Nazi loving Jason Kessler, they locked my account for posting the public business address of a lawyer who is a violent white supremacist, a proud boy, which is an organization Jason Kessler was a member of while he organized the Charlottesville march where Heather Heyer was killed. This lawyer made many threats, killed ppl nigger and autistic faggot. It seems @twitter is more interested in protecting the reputations of violent white supremacists and supporting those these white supremacists love and follow. Twitter has now halted their verification process. I guess if white supremacists like Jason Kessler can't be verified, nobody gets to be. Somebody send this IG post to @jack hey jack you and I spoke about this. Your verification process ain't broken your employees are. They are not trained to recognize racist dog whistles and they haven't studied enough critical race theory or sociology to understand the way marginalized people are abused by the white supremacists twitter insists on coddling in the name of a flawed idea of what fairness is. Your people need training.

A post shared by Talib Kweli (@talibkweli) on

Video
From the top