Talib Kweli Speaks On Being Silenced By Twitter For Posting The Business Address Of An Alt-Right Lawyer

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Update 11/11: It’s now been three days since Talib Kweli has been locked out of his Twitter account, but the hip-hop legend is still finding ways to get his message across. In a new Instagram post, Kweli responded to Twitter’s recent comments in which they call into question their own verification process, halting the ability to get verified altogether. In Kweli’s eyes, it’s not the process that is broken, but a problem with the actual employees at Twitter and their idea of fairness.

Kweli wrote:

“The day after Twitter verified the Nazi loving Jason Kessler, they locked my account for posting the public business address of a lawyer who is a violent white supremacist, a proud boy, which is an organization Jason Kessler was a member of while he organized the Charlottesville march where Heather Heyer was killed. This lawyer made many threats, killed ppl n***** and autistic f*****. It seems @twitter is more interested in protecting the reputations of violent white supremacists and supporting those these white supremacists love and follow. Twitter has now halted their verification process. I guess if white supremacists like Jason Kessler can’t be verified, nobody gets to be. Somebody send this IG post to @jack hey jack you and I spoke about this. Your verification process ain’t broken your employees are. They are not trained to recognize racist dog whistles and they haven’t studied enough critical race theory or sociology to understand the way marginalized people are abused by the white supremacists twitter insists on coddling in the name of a flawed idea of what fairness is. Your people need training.”

Talib Kweli has been silenced by Twitter following an exchange with an alt-right Texan attorney. As an activist, Kweli has not been one to hold his tongue when speaking out against injustices, and because of that has frequently become a target for extreme right groups and figures. But after Jason Lee Van Dyke used violent and racist hate speech toward both Kweli and his supporters, Kweli posted his already public business address to his more than a million followers. For this reason, Twitter locked Kweli’s account and threatened to suspend him unless he removed the tweet.

Kweli’s team notes in a press release that this follows a long line of seemingly bizarre standards, where people like Kweli, Rose McGowan, and Jemele Hill lose access to their account for speaking out against injustices, while often times it is the people using hatred and racism whose Twitter rights are being put first, even receiving the coveted Twitter verification checkmark.

In comments exclusive to Uproxx, Kweli points out the differences between McGowan’s and his own situation, as McGowan’s Twitter was locked when a private phone number was shared. “If you’re posting someone’s private information for the sake of harassment,” he says by phone, “then that’s a violation. I agree with that and think they are right to have that policy.”

But Kweli notes that a lawyer is a business, and sharing a business address shouldn’t be a violation. “If a business or a business owner is being racist, is being violent, is being sexist, is being homophobic; I feel like it’s not just my right, but it’s my duty as a citizen and community member to share that business’ contact information so that people can confront and demand accountability,” he says.