We’re sure that when Washington Post National Reporter Chelsea Janes went to cover an event for Sen. Kamala Harris, she didn’t expect her day would end with Black Twitter dragging her to hell and back.
See, what happened was the journalist, who is white, was live-tweeting a book tour stop Harris had at D.C.’s Politics and Prose Book Store to talk about her newest work “The Truths We Hold.” Given that Harris went to HBCU Howard University, that is also in D.C., it’s no surprise that Black women from her alma mater were there.
That, and Harris is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, so you know her soror sisters showed some serious love after the California senator mentioned her affiliation with the historic organization.
How do AKA’s show their love? With their “skee-wee” call.
But Janes, who clearly isn’t well-versed in Black culture and is oblivious of the concept of content clues, was shocked by it all, tweeting that people were “screeching” in the audience.
In a now-deleted tweet, Janes wrote, “Member of her Howard sorority are in the room, and screeched when she mentioned her time there. Did not expect to hear screeches here.”
Now, is this faux pas the biggest deal of the day? Nope. Does the skee-wee sound a little pitchy? Absolutely.
But given how much Black women have felt under attack the past week and how often mainstream media fails us, it should come as no surprise that folks had words for Ms. Janes, pointing out how ridiculous and tone deaf her Tweet was, the importance of cultural competency and why newsrooms needs more journalists to color to cover politics.
After being royally read for filth, Janes eventually apologized, stressing she was only trying to convey the “excitement” in the room.
And then she got a little condescending….
While, her initial tweet may not have been done with malice, the damage was already done…and Black Twitter was not going to let her forget it.