by Scotty Reid, BTR News – In 2004, an email chain letter attributing comments to Serena Williams that were insensitive to Black men was particularly nasty. The chain letter featured false quotes like Ms. Williams announcing she had “stopped dating black guys” because “a white man is the only real choice for a successful black female.” The smeared was debunked by Snopes but Serena Williams seem to be especially offended that anyone would attribute such anti-black statements to her and that they were readily spread mainly by black blogs but includes even white-owned online platforms like The Grio apt to contribute to the racial click baiting for profits at the expense of high-profile public figures like Williams.
About the 2004 smear, Williams stated,
“Words cannot express how upset I am to find out that someone has deliberately attempted to ruin my reputation and image.
I would never, ever, under any circumstance, be so disrespectful. Whoever decided to write this garbage does not know Serena Williams. It is not my thinking nor my being. I want to find out who is behind this, and have them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I am hoping that there will be more policing of the Internet, in order to find out immediately the origin of this kind of treachery. No one deserves to be humiliated and defamed this way.” according to Snopes.
Nevertheless, Serena Williams finds herself the target of racial smears upon the announcement of her engagement to the multi-millionaire internet tech cofounder of Reddit. No news on whether Williams will protect her assets with a prenuptial agreement considering her net worth is 33.33 times what Alexis Ohanian.
Taking advantage of the news, a website put out a fake article once again claiming that Serena Williams said something disrespectful about Black men to explain or “justify” her decision to be engaged to a non-black man.
The click bait generated tens of thousands of social media shares and solicited thousands of comments that were disrespectful to Ms. Williams and were indicative of emotional first reactions about perceived slights towards black men. All of this negative energy was based on a fake story that was later shared on several other “news” platforms without any obvious fact-checking.
Serena Williams has been particularly vocal on the issue of black men being killed by police in the United States expressing fears for the black males in her family, tackling the issue of “driving while black” and she has drawn the ire of slave catchers (police) unions across the country because of her outspokenness on racial injustice.
Anyone paying attention to Serena’s social/political activism would immediately recognize such disrespectful comments about black men was suspect and not be so quick to spread nasty rumors about a person doing more than most in confronting an element of 21st-century slavery through the prison system.
Let us hope Serena Williams continues to do what she thinks is best in confronting a racist system that preys upon black men, women, and children and not be distracted by the rumor mill.