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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Savannah chapter.

Hashtags, originally used to connect social media users that are all speaking about the same topic, have evolved. Not only in the topics that are “hash-tagged,” but in their purposes. They are now used to empower, to make declarative statements and even to address social issues. However, do people really mean their hashtags? Or are they using them because it’s the trend for their friends or their demographic? In this series I will be discussing a few hashtags that I have observed or personally experienced, come with hypocrisy by their users. I want to explore these hypocritical situations and ponder a few questions along the way. We will discover whether, the users didn’t think about all the scenarios that hashtag includes, or is it simply like everything else, conditional in its application? And more importantly, what are the implications of the hypocrisy on our communities as a whole?

Part 1: #Trustblackwomen … except for the one that developed the Covid-19 vaccine

Exhibit K
Meet Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Shanta Corbett. This 35-year- old beautiful, intelligent, educated and passionate black woman was born in Hurdle Mills, North Carolina. She attended the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she obtained her doctorate. She is a professor at Harvard University, and she developed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Valid Concerns meet Research or No-Search

Research has shown, and it’s not hard to verify if you look at social media, that many black Americans are not only cautious of the medical field in general, but extremely distrusting of new medications and in this case, the
newly introduced COVID vaccine. The real question and concern is, what are people doing with their distrust? Those that are cautious of the vaccine go a few different routes: A., They consult a medical professional they do trust, maybe another black person that they know is knowledgeable and would not lie to them. B., they do their own research. C., They choose not to take the vaccine and choose to boost their immune system in other ways that are more natural. D., They choose to wait for it to be out a little longer Or E., they remain in a state of distrust without research and also go to the public encouraging them to not trust and sharing their conspiracy theories and opinions as facts. An example of this is, saying to not take the vaccine because the entire medical fields is out to kill black people and they want to use the vaccine to do so. They then reference previous experiments that were extremely harmful, traumatic and deathly such as the Tuskegee experiment (I want to note here that the descendants of the Tuskegee experiment have taken the covid vaccine and encouraging other black people to do so). The plot thickens.

This hashtag became popular after Roy Moore was defeated in Alabama senate elections, mostly due to the vote of black women. It is a declaration of what we all know: from the home to the office, from the classroom to the hospital, you can trust a black woman to get the job done. You can also trust that she will never steer you wrong. Tasks that seem impossible or insurmountable, can be accomplished with a black woman at the helm. Part of the “Black Girl Magic” that we cheer about, is the magical ability to, against all odds, survive, thrive, conquer, blossom, and do amazing things! Black women can do anything. Black women like Dr. Kizzy.

Good intentions, bad execution

Those people in aforementioned option E, I’m sure they think they’re doing their part to prevent their fellow black brothers and sisters from experience harm at the hands of the medical field. I dare say they even use #trustblackwomen in their rants. There’s just one problem: they’re negatively affecting the efforts of one of the black women that is the type of black woman, we are encouraged to trust. Dr. Kizzmekia’s efforts that include: educating on the vaccine in various black American forums and spaces, participating in programs that motivate youth and underprivileged, calling out the former president on lack of diversity and sharing information on her platforms every chance she gets. Imagine taking all that on, developing a vaccine to attempt to save lives (black ones included), staying resilient despite attacks from the media when she speaks out, being a black woman (and a dark skin one at that) in leadership in the virus and immunology field at the US government level, and then learning that the #trustblackwomen hash tag, does NOT apply to her. Her community is rejecting her work (which by the way, begin in 2014, NOT 2019) and not considering her fight to be in that space and look out for them. I wonder if the people in option E, even know that there is a black woman, running things. I wonder if they know, their choice to not research and spread their uniformed opinion like a virus, is potentially harming one of the lives they’re supposed to be trying to help. The hashtag should still apply, even if it doesn’t fit our personal agenda. Not to blindly trust a black woman, but to at least see the black woman, hear out the black woman, review her information and, even if you don’t agree, respect the black woman enough to let other people decide if they want to trust her, for themselves. Sometimes, “no- search” should coincide with “no-post”.

Tiffany Wright

Savannah '22

I, Tiffany Nicole Wright am a kind (and I’m most proud of that), quirky, goofy, magical, blackety black, hot-nerdy, semi-accomplished, uber-creative, baddie with a FUPA, overtly-resilient, unicorn-ish woman. Jacksonville, FL raised me. While there, I received a B.S. in Biology in 2008 and became a member of the greatest Sorority in the land, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. 11 years later, I finally found my balls, embraced my true passion and left Corporate America & Jacksonville. Since the Fall of 2019, I let Savannah, GA rebirth me. I currently attend the University by the Sea, Savannah State, risking it all to reach my next chapter in my journey to becoming a professional screenwriter and choreographer. I’m matriculating through my B.F.A., majoring in Visual and Performing Arts with a concentration in Theatre, Minoring in Dance. 3 years ago, I launched my brand MsDevotedTiff Productions, to showcase my writing through digital content and visual media. I have been fortunate enough to have my short films and parodies, screened in film festivals including: LOL JAX (FL), SSU Indie (GA) & Dumbo (NY, semi-finalist) Film Festivals. The assumptions about, underestimations of and lack of permissions given for black woman to be multi-layered, are what drives my storytelling. I tell my truth, usually with a humorous or performing arts twists. I’m “In Living Color” meets weird Al Yankovic (oops, did I just date myself?) with a huge splash of Beyoncé “Lemonade” vibes.