February 5, 2019

Dammit, Barbara Ehrenreich, did you tweet something racist?


Photo of Barbara Ehrenreich by David Shankbone licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

Racism has a habit of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it, and sometimes that can mean from the people you least expect. Usually when that happens, it happens on mankind’s greatest public platform for shoot first, ask questions later, commentary—Twitter.

Except there were many questions raised when the lauded muckraking journalist and writer Barbara Ehrenreich went on the social media platform to take to task the forewoman of feng shui—Marie Kondo.

Kondo, who has published best-selling books on how to jazz up the otherwise mundane task of keeping one’s living space neat and tidy, now has a Netflix TV show—Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. And gasp, because she does not speak fluently, she uses a translator to communicate with her English-speaking clientele.

For Ehrenreich, who has published best-selling book on the struggles of the American working class, this was too much. As USA Today’s Sarah Day Owen reports, Ehrenreich took to Twitter to voice a rather off-color remark:

And to think, all this time, I’d thought the election of Donald Trump, the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, the month+ long government shutdown over the funding for a border wall, were signs of America’s decline as a world power. Where to begin after you’ve managed not to choke on your own fury? Well, maybe this:

This is what happens when a meme for a racist duck runs out of milkshake. It starts drinking the blood of people you once admired, and rather than scream in horror, you instead send your palm straight for a forehead-splatting slap. Take a break from twitter, Ehrenreich.



Michael Barron is an editor at Melville House.