Dear Black Twitter Culture,
The Black female body has been degraded throughout history: physically throughout slavery, mentally through sexualization, and emotionally, by “jokes” and slander from the community it aims to support most of all: Black males. “If the purge was real, who y’all raping?” Attached are pictures of four Black female celebrities: Rihanna, Beyoncé, Zendaya, and Nicki Minaj.
The post itself was offensive, sickening, and disheartening to say the least. Yet somehow, even worse were the replies. Ranging from “Nicki Minaj in a heartbeat” to “This post is terrible…but Zendaya, of course,” it becomes all too clear that rape culture is very much prevalent, acceptable, or seen as “just a joke” within sections of the Black community. This truth is apparent on social media sites, especially Twitter, where people are able to share their unfiltered opinions in 140 characters without a second thought.
In the wake of various sexual assault victims coming forward to reveal their abuse, it is increasingly necessary to be supportive of sufferers by staying mindful of the language used surrounding sexual violence and the emotional turmoil experienced by the many victims who remain unspoken. 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime, but only 1 in 3 women report it to the police, meaning that many victims are friends, relatives, and other social media users. While Black Twitter is agreeably the source from which the rest of Twitter gets its memes, hashtags, and trends from, rape culture is accentuated by a subgroup of this unit: introducing, Hotep Twitter.
Hotep Twitter is a subsection of Black Twitter. Its members are primarily misogynistic men who believe they are enlightened and aware of “what’s really going on” in the world. However, instead of uplifting all members of Black and minority communities, these members target other minority groups, namely proclaimed feminists, LGBTQ+ individuals, and any person who disagrees with the notion that the Black male is the supreme individual. The hypocrisy is clear: their focus rests on elevating Black men while simultaneously degrading Black “sisters” and other marginalized groups within the Black community. Rape survivors unfortunately fall subject to the obscene opinions of those who label themselves “hotep.”
According to Kemet translation, “hotep” is interpreted to mean “peace,” “be satisfied,” or “at ease” and can be thought
of as a traditional greeting in ancient Egypt. Those who use this term tend to think they are in touch with their Egyptian roots and culture, and may in fact have knowledge of African history. Yet, hotep users combine this knowledge with an off devotion to off-the-wall White supremacist theories. A common conspiracy theory that many of the Hotep users believe in is detailed as follows:
Feminism is a product of the White man to prevent reproduction of Black families. Feminists hate men, so Black feminists will not produce offspring with them, and therefore the lineage of the Black individual will cease to exist. The same concept continues within their attitude toward the Black LGBTQ+ community. The belief is that being anything other than heterosexual is simply a ploy to stop the production of the Black race. This mindset is echoed in the following tweets and memes:
Because hoteps buy into the idea that a cisgendered heterosexual Black man is the supreme individual, the concept of male on female rape isn’t taken seriously. Hoteps instead try to justify rape, or play the oppression olympics by comparing it to slavery. Recently, when a victim of rape, or another form of sexual assault has come forward, Hotep twitter’s reaction has been to support the rapist if a Black man (i.e. Bill Cosby) or otherwise blame the victim and excuse the fault on the part of the perpetrator. This train of thought is not only problematic and misguided, but in fact, very threatening to the progress of love and acceptance in the Black community. Instead of supporting women as the sisters they should be, Hotep users tend to police the usage of the woman’s body.