#CallEmOut: dream hampton Gets Dragged

mess

Man. What I’ve witnessed on Twitter these past two days have been juicy at best, but disappointing at worst. I love everything about the #BlackLivesMatter movement because I’ve longed for a movement like this for some time. It felt like we sat idly while injustice took root in this country’s psyche and I found it infuriating. But like so many people, I thought that little ole me couldn’t do shit about it. But here comes the birth of this movement simply called Black Lives Matter, made up of several activists (regular people) tired of the mistreatment of black Americans. The most visible workers in the movement to me are Deray Mckesson and Johnetta “Netta” Elzie, along with the help of a myriad of activists on the ground. Following these two on Twitter and seeing them actually do the work and really risk their lives is nothing short of inspiring. For the first time, I feel like we can be free because of people like Brittany Packyetti, Brittany Ferrell, Patrice Cullors – anybody committed to black liberation. But this is not a perfect struggle, hence: struggle.

Two days ago prominent hip hop journalist dream hampton felt like Bernie Sanders’ camp was in the wrong for contacting Deray because she felt that he was not the proper representative for #BLM. Here’s the tweet that concerned her:

And dream was not happy:

https://twitter.com/dreamhampton/status/633308371127566336

Deray responded:

dream’s argument was that #BLM the organization should be the only one contacted, not individuals (who are actively doing the work):

https://twitter.com/dreamhampton/status/633309017931128832

https://twitter.com/dreamhampton/status/633310408766562304

Maybe if she said, “why didn’t Sanders contact the organization?” and left it there then dream hampton would not have come off as dismissive, especially since she mentioned Deray. But apparently Sanders’ and Clinton’s camp have tried to reach out to #BLM chapters who did not wish to speak to him:

https://twitter.com/wavyblackwoman/status/633345603766882304

So me being outside of the loop, was wondering “Then why is dream mad? And why come for Deray of all people?” And then the bomb drops yesterday. #BLM activist Erika Totten got into contact personally with dream hampton to get some clarity. And boy did she. (This is a long read and depending on your device you may have to open the pics of the screenshotted convo seperately):

*cue #BLM twitter’s jaws collectively dropping*

I mean shit got real, real quick. dream hampton’s language in those text messages came off as very opportunistic and shady and I found it startling. It was just as Deray says, “everybody ain’t interested in our freedom.” Some people cannot see past their own desires for the greater good and this is the behavior that stops movements dead in its tracks every, single time. What I like about this very public exhange, aside from the juiciness, is that it exposes the inner-makings of a movement. The trial and error of it, the truth of it. Not everybody involved is always down for the cause and I am proud of my generation of activists for not only doing the obvious work, but for weeding out the perpetrators as well. From the outside looking in, I wouldn’t have known this prominent black feminist journalist was like this in real life. I would have idolized her and thought she could do no wrong and thinking like that of others is damaging. Seeing dream’s tweet:

https://twitter.com/dreamhampton/status/633324871225856001

puts it all into perspective of the kind of dismissive person she actually is, which sucks. And I wasn’t the only one. It seems as if Deray and Netta truly had a personal relationship with hampton and looked up to her. Peep Netta’s heartbreaking reactions:

And Deray summed it up swiftly in one tweet:

But it’s Netta that puts this whole situation into perspective:

https://twitter.com/Nettaaaaaaaa/status/633776408733581312

This is a movement in its youth that is bound to run into roadblocks and although we might disagree, or worse, do what dream hampton did, in the end we all deserve to get free. In the words of Deray, “I love my blackness. And yours.”

Natsai Todd

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12 thoughts on “#CallEmOut: dream hampton Gets Dragged

  1. The entire movement is imploding because of a petty squabble among it’s “leadership?” OK. I think the biggest problem here is that all parties involved could NOT help but air their grievances in public.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erikas actions are definitely in the realm of petty but if dream is doing the damage that she’s doing I thought is was necessary that dream got aired out.

      Like

  2. when you ID dream as a ‘hip hop journalist,’ I know you’re not familiar with her and her work. this is the dream dream has always been: direct, critical and nuanced.

    Like

  3. Is it possible to find some middle ground between your feeling that Dream handled herself badly here and attacking her entire character and integrity based on one incident? I actually interpret that message exchange very differently than you — and she’s not a friend of mine, so it’s not a matter of emotional solidarity. I can also see how you read it and why others see it that way. But I’ve seen Dream do a lot of good work, and I also see that she was trying to defend a friend who was not feeling great about how things were going down. In this, I see someone who was trying to be a great friend. This assessment based on one text exchange is very character assassinating, sad and as unhelpful as you accuse her of being (which maybe she was being).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t character assassinate I expressed my disappointment in her behavior. I haven’t dragged her name in the mud I just exposed this incident. She’ll have to lick her wounds, but she’ll recover with her legacy intact. I just see that there’s a negative aspect to her. I accept that people are flawed and what she did was selfish.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m talking about things like this: “puts it all into perspective of the kind of dismissive person she actually is, which sucks.”

        I don’t think she actually is a dismissive person. She may have behaved dismissively here. But haven’t you ever made a mistake and not wanted people to assume you are like that all the time? We can’t do this kind of character assessment every time a leader makes a mistake. That’s not movement building.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. But I’ve heard that she has a history of this behavior but in the end to each their own. There’s some behaviors that’s indicative to people’s character if you ask me. I’m curious to see how DH will approach this because this was quite suspect. The movement will carry on though I have no doubts there. This was just a case of telling it like it is.

        Liked by 1 person

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