The Memphis Flyer, Twitter and the flava in your ear

wendi twitter profile pictureHigh point of the week: The Memphis Flyer included me – little old @wendi_c_thomas! – in their annual Twitterati discussion. The frame on this year’s discussion: How and why we Twitterers (Tweeters?) get our 140-characters-or-less on.

The Flyer included me under the category “Politicians, Thought Leaders and Trolls.” Ahem. I’m not an elected official and having dealt with more than my share of trolls, I would never be one. So does that make me a thought leader? Like a Pied Piper in your head? Or the flavor in your ear? I’d like to think it does.

Joe Boone (@Memphidelity) talked to me about the exchange Memphis City Council member Shea Flinn (@flinnshady) and I had last month prompted by this blog post about how spaces signal who is welcome and who is not.

I’d just returned from a fabulous trip to Montreal, where public spaces are designed to be pedestrian friendly and encourages mass transit. Contrast that to parts of Memphis – I’m thinking of Overton Square and especially Bar Louie, which has a growing list of unwelcoming incidents.

shea flinn on twitterShea’s point: That it’s hard to know when you get chilly treatment somewhere if it’s because you’re too preppy, your race, your height, whatevs.

My point: People who are members of marginalized groups have a very keen sense of when it’s an immutable characteristic (like race or gender) that’s turned them into a persona non grata – and to question whether people can accurately tell their truth is some bull. 

Boone correctly noted that some observers on Twitter thought we were about to go at it, but Shea and I know each other in real life. You can be a little more terse with someone you’ve met as opposed to someone who only exists as an avatar.

All very interesting things to think about. And now, I’ll bounce out to some Craig Mack… Y’all don’t know nothing about that!

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