There is a unique creature that one finds in the wilderness of Black Twitter. This specimen can usually be found championing for the rights of Black men while simultaneously throwing Black women, Black Trans persons, Black members of the LGBTQ community or anyone else who is not a Black male under the bus.
At first glance, one may think this creature is extremely conscious of intersectional activism and is down to fight the cause of ALL Black people because they frequently quote Malcolm X and have Maya Angelou as their profile pic on Twitter. Be cautious though because this being is not a friend or an ally.
In most scenarios they blend in with the rest of woke Black folk, almost to the point that you think about inviting them to the next “destroy gender binaries” rally. You almost think they won’t protest “Scandal” simply because Olivia Pope is dating two white men. You almost think they will stand behind a Black woman who is proud of her sexuality–
–Until Beyoncé drops a new album and decides to talk about sex again, and they’re furiously typing thousand-word think pieces about the willing self-degradation of Black women from Queens of Egypt to self-hating bad bitches with no regard to Black women’s sexual liberation or Black female agency.
We over in the Black Feminist realm of social media refer to these people as members of “Hotep” or “Ankh” or “Ashy-Ankh Wearing” twitter. The titles deriving from the frequently used Pharaohs and Queens of Egypt rhetoric, regardless of what part of Africa our ancestors are actually from, thrown around by this group of people.
Realizing someone close to you is Hotep is a rough insight to have. It’s even worse than finding out your best friend or older sister or favorite play cousin isn’t woke. At least sleep folks can potentially be saved and taught the ways of consciousness. Hotep, on the other hand, may be a lost cause because they think they’re woke when they’re really just patriarchs in kente-patterned hats.
Fret not friends, I have a compiled a short list of ways to tell if you or someone you love is part of “Hotep Twitter.” this list is not all-inclusive but merely hits the general trends displayed by members of Hotep Twitter. Someone may be Hotep if:
1. You were so busy creating memes about the unfair victimization of Ray Rice as the face of domestic violence that you “forgot” to acknowledge the tragedy of the Black woman he was dragging out of the elevator. It is very true that black men get disciplined and vilified far more than their white counterparts for the same actions. This doesn’t mean you can completely ignore the Black women they are taking their anger out on.
2. Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” cover art interrupted your listening of Boosie’s last album because why doesn’t she love herself? Doesn’t she know if she put her clothes on men will start treating women as a whole with respect? How could she be so irresponsible?
3. You’ve reposted an image of a Queen in Ancient Egypt and lamented that if only Black women would get back to living this way we, as a people, could rise and return to Africa to take our rightful place. There are already people in Africa? Not a problem! We’ll just nudge our way back in there and have no issues whatsoever in our communities the second we hop off the plane and stand on African soil (not South Africa of course, clearly North or Central Africa).
4. You tallied up the amount of Black men in the Buzzfeed catcalling video and subsequently went on a campaign about the racist nature of the video and gave no damns about the woman being harassed hundreds of times in a span of 10 hours because clearly “the white man wants you to believe only brothers catcall.”
5. You think Black Women were selfish for leaving the Black Panther Party due to their multiple experiences with sexism because they should’ve put Black rights over their female whims. Didn’t they see that if they would’ve only waited a little longer the Party would’ve gotten to their rights and needs as women.
6. You enjoyed the film Dear White People except for the gay parts…”’cause [you] ain’t with that gay shit” and watching two men engage in a romantic interaction might get some of the gay on you.
7. You feel like Black women and Black Trans persons are being tools of the white man by highlighting areas of exclusion and oppression within the Black community because can’t they see the Black man is beat up enough already? Why won’t they just shut up long enough for Black men to get free then we’ll talk about their issues…eventually.
How you choose to deal with said person, after you have identified them as Hotep, is completely up to you. My recommendation is to cease and desist all contact with said person for the rest of your natural born life. If that is not an option, you can purchase them a used copy of some type of Black Feminist work such as Audre Lorde’s “Sister Outsider,” Patricia Hill Collins’ “Black Feminist Thought” or the Combahee River Collective Statement and hope some nugget of wokeness sticks. If that fails, well like I said, there’s always the ‘act like they died’ option because only you can prevent mass faux-consciousness.
If you have self-identified as a member of Hotep Twitter and you have made it to the end of this post I highly suggest perusing the suggested reading mentioned in the paragraph above. You can also check Black Twitter for a variety of hashtags such as #blackpowerisforblackmen, #yesAllWomen, #DudesGreetingDudes or any other insightful hashtag based off an intersectional activist politic.