October 30, 2014

A month ago, I wrote about an East Bay political blogger who had posted a bigoted, anti-Asian item on Twitter.
Steven Tavares writes about local politics—including the Oakland mayoral race—on his EBCitizen blog, some of which is reprinted in the East Bay Express. He also follows local sports on twitter. After Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was fired at the end of September, Mr. Tavares tweeted on his Steven Tavares@eastbaycitizen twitter account that he was “waiting for my Uncle Eddie to call and tell his suddenly timely joke about the #Raiders hiring a Korean coach named Win Soon.”
As I wrote at the time in an Oakland Elects column entitled “Completely And Totally Inappropriate, Wrong, And InexcusableOakland Elects September 30, 2014, bigoted so-called “jokes” making fun of Asian names used to be common in American life. They have almost completely disappeared from public sight in recent years, but Mr. Tavares seems to have been under the belief that it was allright to pass on this particular bit of racist ugliness.
I called upon him to provide an explanation and a public apology to both the East Bay’s Asian-American community and to East Bay citizens in general.
As far as I can tell, Mr. Tavares did neither.
But that was not the end of it, apparently. Following the publication of my “Completely And Totally Inappropriate, Wrong, And Inexcusable” column, a reader pointed out that this was not the only time Mr. Tavares had engaged in racist bigotry on twitter. They invited me to do a little more research on the subject, which I did.
I didn’t find anything inappropriate on Mr. Tavares’ East Bay Citizen twitter feed, though, with almost 20,000 tweets on his account, there’s a possibility I may have missed something. However, it was a completely different matter when I found an earlier twitter account of Mr. Tavares—Steven Tavares @StevenTavares—which he appears to have stopped using in the spring of 2012.

What I found were several disgusting tweets associated with Mr. Tavares that are…well…you’ll have to read them for yourselves and come to your own conclusions.
By far, the worst one came on July 1, 2010, when Mr. Tavares retweeted “It’s the 1st, I know niggas out doing the most with they welfare checks lol.”

I’ll pause for a moment and let you re-read that, if you like, and allow it to sink in.

 The July, 2010 tweet came from earlier tweet by someone from @Its_MelP, who appears to be an African-American rapper out of Detroit. Like far too many rappers, ItsMeLp is fond of talking about his niggas and “bitches” and “hoes,” in exactly those words.
Mr. Tavares, who does not appear to be African-American and does not avertise himself as a rapper, seems to believe that it’s acceptable for him to do the same.
And so, on July 20, 2011, he retweeted something that he apparently thought to be a joke, “Want a smoking hot girlfriend? Set that bitch on fire.”

No, on second thought, it’s hard to decide whether Mr. Tavares’ “niggas and welfare checks” or his “setting that bitch on fire” retweets would be characterized as his worst.

Several of Mr. Tavares’ retweets are of “jokes” deliberately demeaning to both African-Americans and women, simultaneously.
On February 19, 2010, for example, Mr. Tavares retweeted “Yall I feel so bad for TigerWoods. He shoulda fukked black bitches. Dey better at bein side chicks than these white hoes.”

Or on January 17th of 2011, two days following the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, he retweeted “’To all my niggas and my bitches and my bitches and my niggas wave yo' mothafuckin' hands in the air!’ – MLK.”

Or on August 9, 2010, a tweet of his own creation: “HOW IS #TIGERWOODS SUPPOSED TO CONCENTRATE? On green he’s fighting 18 holes with a club. In the hotel room, he’s fighting 16 hoes with a rod.”

Mostly, he throws around the two words as if he feels he is inside some boyz-only club where such is acceptable. Mixed in are retweets referring to things like “this nigga has on a turtle neck lol” or “that’s a big nigga lol” or “Real niggas eat ice cream in the Winter” or, simply and succinctly, “Nigga get a job!!”
And, finally, in a revelation, perhaps, of Mr. Tavares’ feelings towards the LGBT community, he sent out a tweet of his own composition on September 17, 2010, that read, “The _#49ers have too much bitchy testoterone going on right now. In other part of SF it's called a hissy fit.”

If the person posting all of these offensive and bigoted tweets on the @Stevetavares twitter feed is not the Steven Tavares who operates the EBCitizen blog, then he is the victim of an elaborate and vicious hoax, and the EBCitizen Steven Tavares has good grounds for a lawsuit. The @Stevetavares twitter account has a picture that looks remarkably like the EBCitizen Steven Tavares, and the @Stevetavares twitter account is linked to the EBCitizen website.

But if the EBCitizen Steven Tavares is, indeed, the owner of the @Stevetavares twitter account and the author of those tweets, he has a lot of explaining to do to the citizens of one of the more diverse communities in the United States.

I’ll reserve any further expression of opinion after I see if Mr. Tavares chooses to respond.