Author Topic: MY TWEETS BECOME A NEWS STORY  (Read 1415 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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« on: August 12, 2014, 03:01:04 pm »
A different sort of child support awareness
By: Barbara Grzincic  August 12, 2014

The original title was more than a little jarring — especially on Twitter, with its 140-character limit laying everything bare. From start to finish, here’s what it said:

Does The Child Support System Force Black Men to Be Responsible?  #nationalchildsupportmonth
Clicking on that link, I found a good, straightforward blog post by Keino Stephenson, founder of Baltimore-based, a private child-support consultancy and mediation firm.

In honor of August’s designation as National Child Support Awareness Month, Stephenson outlines several benefits that come from paying child support: it increases accountability; it binds non-custodial parents to their children; it provides much-needed income for the recipient families to live on; and, in some cases, it serves as a conduit to job training and other assistance for the payor.
Not a bad post at all, but not a word about race outside the title.  That struck me as a bit odd, but since Stephenson is himself a black man, I chalked it up to P.O.V.

Another reader, @reghud, was having none of it. His response:

“So there is a presumption that black men aren’t? I reject this prejudiced notion.”

Stephenson quickly concedes that his message “transcends racial and ethic groups.” @reghud points out that the title, as written, does not. The title works just fine without the racial qualifier, he notes.

Stephenson agrees. He drops the word “black” from the post and tweets the link again. The two men thank each other. @reghud retweets the conversation.

All this in bursts of 140 characters or less.

Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that @reghud (Twitter profile: “I make movies, TV shows, cartoons and other stuff”) appears to be Reginald Hudlin, former president of entertainment for BET and a co-producer of Django in Chains. Presumably, the man knows a thing or two about titles.

And no, the possibility of taking it a step further, into gender neutrality, didn’t seem to occur to either of these guys. But that’s really beside the point.

Social media can be a cesspool of disrespect, but this was one of the classiest exchanges I have seen — and one of the most productive. It gives Stephenson a much broader audience for his message about the power of child support.

It might not have been the exercise in child support awareness Stephenson originally intended, but it’s hard to imagine a better one.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 09:48:03 am »
Here's a link to the article.

(Remind me to teach you how to do links, Reg.  ;))
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."