The term “Uncle Tim,” a play on the racist term “Uncle Tom” often used to deride African Americans perceived as working against their own racial interests, trended on Twitter Wednesday night after Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) gave his rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress.
Country music star John Rich of “Big and Rich” blasted the microblogging site’s CEO Jack Dorsey over the trend:
Hey @jack and #Twitter @verified WHY are you allowing "Uncle Tim" to trend on your platform? This is hate speech plain and simple against @SenatorTimScott You would never allow this to happen if it was being levied against a liberal politician. #Hypocrites
— John Rich (@johnrich) April 29, 2021
So @Twitter, @TwitterSafety, @jack… can you explain how "Uncle Tim," which you are helping to promote by listing it as trending, doesn't violate this policy?https://t.co/ASict4XHsi pic.twitter.com/zoo4dI0XP6
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) April 29, 2021
Congressional candidate Lavern Spicer said the company was “complicit in racism.”
Racist Twitter had “Uncle Tim” trending last night in reference to our man Tim Scott.
Y’all know Twitter only let’s trend what they want.
So they are complicit in RACISM.
— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) April 29, 2021
Twitter’s official policy supposedly bans racism from the platform.
“You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease,” that policy says.
But many conservatives noted an apparent double-standard when the racism was aimed at an African American conservative.
“‘Uncle Tim’ is trending on Twitter right now because apparently it’s okay to use racist epithets as long as they’re directed at a Republican,” Townhall’s Eddie Zipperer said.
"Uncle Tim" is trending on Twitter right now because apparently it's okay to use racist epithets as long as they're directed at a Republican.
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) April 29, 2021
“Twitter would never let a pejorative trend against a Democrat, but has no problem with ‘Uncle Tim’ and ‘Lady G,'” Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross said.
Twitter would never let a pejorative trend against a Democrat, but has no problem with “Uncle Tim” and “Lady G”
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 29, 2021
After massive backlash, Twitter reversed course Thursday morning and said that it will no longer allow the term “Uncle Tim” to trend on its platform.
“I can confirm that we are blocking the phrase you referenced from appearing in Trends,” a Twitter spokesperson said, according to The Washington Times. “This is in line with our policies on Trends, specifically: ‘We want Trends to promote healthy conversations on Twitter. This means at times, we may not allow or may temporarily prevent content from appearing in Trends until more context is available. This includes Trends that violate The Twitter Rules.”
Scott reacted Thursday morning.
“It has been an amazing morning with so many good people calling, but the left has doubled down,” he said on Fox News. “You cannot step down out of your lane according to the liberal elite left.”
“What they want for us is for us to stay in a small corner and not go against the tide that they think is America. Their America and my America are not the same if they think that discriminating is the fastest way to end discrimination.”
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