My Letter to the Onion

The fallout and commentary about The Onion’s ugly tweet about Quvenzhane Wallis has me all in my feelings. As I read Racialious‘ article on the real hate people are sending out to this little girl, I got even more settled into my feelings. I am sad. I am mad. I started humming Mahalia Jackson, replacing “the troubles of the world” with “the fuckery of this world.” I needed to channel this anger somewhere. I needed an outlet.  

So I blogged this morning. That wasn’t enough. 

So here is the note I sent to The Onion’s Public Feedback account

To Whom It May Concern:


I adore The Onion, especially when your paper nailed the hypocrisies of politicians on choice. I liked you guys when you had spot-on commentary on the craziness of the last stream of legislation on conception. 

I liked you guys a lot ever since I was first exposed to you. 

Or at least I used to before I saw an ugly tweet about a nine-year-old actress named Quvenzhane Wallis come across my timeline. 

I think you are recognizing the pain of a very public faux pas that offended many. You have plenty of people defending your paper’s First Amendment privileges. Those privileges come with responsibility, even for a satirical newspaper. 


You know what you did was wrong, hence the deleting of the offense tweet. (Social media crisis tip #101: Never delete anything. Never deny it was said because someone has already grabbed a screen shot of your foolishness.) An even bolder step was pulling down your contacts off the website. (Social media crisis tip #102: Don’t hide. You will be found.)

I could delve into the race and gender issues filtering through that tweet. I could discuss the amount of privilege loaded in that tweet and splashed across social media. I could unpack the history of The Onion’s use of the word cunt to describe women who are performing “unacceptable” behaviors. 

But I’m not. 

The word was directed at a young girl who is 9. Would you want any person calling a young girl in your life the same crude, crass name? 

If so, there is something wrong with you and your life. 

Please take some responsibility and correct this. Offer a mea culpa. Fall on your sword. Say you are sorry and mean it. Own what you did. 

Sincerely, Me

Feel free to take some time to email The Onion. Kick some rocks. Stay off Twitter to keep your blood pressure down. Punch the air like Cuba Gooding, Jr. did in Boyz in the Hood. Hug the girls in your life, especially the brown ones, because this world is against them. Hug yourself, especially if you are a brown girl, for surviving this cruel world. 

Published by tianajohnson90

I am an oil-and-water combination of humor, ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, procrastination, and drive. I am an aspiring romance novelist who writes by the seat of her pants. Waging and sometimes winning a daily battle with procrastination, plots, characters, and the day job.

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