So I’ve been thinking about this reaction today cause I think it’s instructional about power. And the way the internet changed our experience of power and how that confuses people.
I’ve said before on here that I equate power to access to money, information, decision making rights, decision makers, and the reach of your ideas.
But in reading @aliciagarza book a month or so ago and my experience of Covid and being a CEO, I wanna adjust that. Power is the ability to determine your life as impacted by access to money, information, decision making rights, decision makers, and the reach of your ideas.
I think that’s an important distinction and I’m so grateful her writing gave that to me because that is why power feels so personal. Because it’s about what you can do to change your own life.
Now the internet unbundled access to money, information, decision making rights, decision makers, and the reach of your ideas.
You don’t need money to have some sense of how you’d push back on a doctors summary dismissal because internet. You don’t have to have “connections” if you wanna let the writer of a novel that made a tourist attraction of your people, you just write it out on these here internets
That is power and our experience of power is so socially different than it used to be. We flex the power the internet and social media as an extension of the internet gave us quite a bit.
But our institutions have not changed the way power flows through them. In our institutions: organizations, companies, centers of education - we still have to accumulate power over time or garner it with money.
This has created obscene frustration for young people especially. It makes no sense. If power can run this way outside of these walls, why can’t it run differently inside of them.
So leaders are facing accountability for a power structure that no longer fits.
The thing is, this is still a wildly unstructured space with few good rules or norms for how to manage this new flow of power and that has created massive harm alongside massive change. We have gotten both and have not yet figured out how to minimize harm while keeping the good.
Now, it’s not like institutions can recognize this. They are just obstinate about keeping power running the same way. Neither deal is really working for us. And as much as any economic circumstance - this is making people lose faith in institutions.
But I would also say we are confused about it on here too. I think that’s where a lot of the “blue check” discourse comes from.
It is assumed that a larger reach of ideas (larger acknowledged by an official source follower count) must mean that you ALSO have access to money, information, decision making rights, decision makers.
And sometimes that is true, but the way people accumulated audience on here is often just the reach of your ideas penetrating within certain ecosystems. So you may have a large audience but lack the other things.
There are inciting events, usually around something lots of people are angry about, that touch a nerve and get you many more followers. Or you create something that folks connect with.
Which brings me back to this lady here.
Cause she equates power to the follower count and is immediately trying to straw man into “that means you must listen to me because you must be accountable to me”
As a Latinx woman, I find that happens quite a bit on here with white folks demanding audience of non-white people.
There are times when I’ve seen white folks really puzzle at why the unspoken rules of the social world you cultivate works different than the rules they are used to in institutions. For which power runs totally in their favor at all times.
I think this is gonna be an existential crisis for institutions from the workplace to community spaces to ecosystems (think “Hollywood” or “Tech”). Primarily because all the rules around power are unspoken but understood by lots of folks.
But the social contract on here being so different running in such a different way will continually break the power contracts at those places. We are going to have to reckon with the movement of power in ways we really never have.
Or at least ways we haven’t since the printing press, which I’m guessing was the last inflection point that was this painful to navigate.
I’m really curious about how we make a social consensus. Because we will have to intentionally grapple with what it means for those things to stay unconnected and identify when moves are being made to reconnect them.
I do believe we are sometimes more comfortable with those things just being connected so we can cognitively put people in different categories. “Power good” “Power bad” is easier than “what do I believe your responsibilities are when you have a large audience but little money”
It’s a lot for our human brains. And the cognitive load is evident. It makes us act really familiar with people on here who we don’t know and have little to no social obligation too.
Power is many things but it is never agnostic - it can help or harm - but it can’t do “nothing”. And because white supremacy has cornered the market on power before now it’s put in a lot of work to make itself invisible and agnostic.
Anywho, there is a lot the workplace can learn from this social space. There is also a lot of creation we haven’t even approached here because of the white relationship to power and the majority of people with decision making rights over the architecture of this space being white
Power is a personal experience with a lot of emotion tied to it. We won’t get away from that norm setting because of that. What’s clear to me is that there is a vested interest in washing it of it’s importance and keeping things as they’ve been.
I’ve had quite a few people message me about her continuing to be shitty about me. Which is not the point of this thread. She’s blocked but yes, I know, I’m also aware and comfortable with my fatness and don’t think it disqualifies me from boundary setting or thinking about power
Even this I think is instructional. You have a cis, white, presumably thin, woman in my mentions talking about something parallel to what I had been talking about but not the same subject. When I decide to opt out, it inspires wrath.
She cannot groc why a fat Latina has any remanent of power. So clearly she must be punished for not extending that reach of ideas to her and then quickly makes herself the victim. This is not a dynamic WoC are unfamiliar with.
“You are allowed in this space if you agree with me and support/help me. Otherwise you will be punished”. The difference is the places where I have some power that would just not be extended to me in most institutions. And that is enraging.
Gonna add this @polotek thread here because I think he does a good job exploring some of the nuances I was exploring.
Adding Sydette’s thinking here too because it brings up a lot of good points about monetization.

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More from @karlitaliliana

29 Mar
Definitely worth connecting this story.
The second story will get less traction because it’s a Latina at a local outlet but it really shows the prevalence of white male dominance and its point of view in a newsroom.
Read 4 tweets
28 Mar
@IfeomaOzoma Thank you. Please feel free to give feedback. I wanna put it in a blog post but want to make sure I’ve taken feedback before I’ve codifed that way.
@IfeomaOzoma Free but not obligated! Saw that I left that out.
@IfeomaOzoma When I think of the compliance piece I always think of that scene from Hitch where Will Smith tells the dumpy dude that he has to dance between the 10 and 2, anything outside of that is not accepted. We tell professionals of color about a between 10 and 2 to abide by all the time
Read 4 tweets
28 Mar
I’ve had lots of time in bed this year and while mainly that has meant sleeping and caring for my body, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how nb-Latinx people can be a part of multi-racial coalitions in a way that isn’t harmful.
I’ve been super lucky in my career to have learned from and loved incredible Black leaders. To have had space to understand moments in which I fell down in my leadership and to over time do my part in solidarity building by backing those people up.
I think that’s important to say cause I think of some of the things that came out of my mouth in my early 20’s as I squared with Latinx erasure and leaned on begging for visibility from Black communities and I feel the full body cringe.
Read 36 tweets
28 Mar
I have so many feelings about all of this. I saw this doctor while I was on campus @USC. I wasn’t assaulted but had a very uncomfortable experience with this man. I really ascribed it as “creepy” at the time and never got healthcare on campus again. Glad survivors demanded care.
I got the paper work for the class action, stared at it for months, but I just didn’t have it in me to do the work it would have taken. I don’t regret the choice. It was the best I could have done for myself. I’m so glad the university is going to pay for ignoring this.
All my awe and care and hopes for healing for the 700+ women who made @USC accountable for a predator.
Read 5 tweets
4 Mar
This is a good article that makes clear how sketched out folks get once you hit on interventions that actually de-segregate the workforce.
At its lowest point in the pandemic, tech had close to 500k open jobs. This report predicts close to 800k open jobs right now. The US produces 56k CS grads and 24k bootcamp grads a year. We couldn’t close that gap even with 100% hiring of those grads.…
You would think the most resourced companies would approach their talent gaps in a way that success = transitions as many viable candidates into employment as possible. Instead it STILL sees success as how it can screen out as many “unqualifieds” as possible.
Read 11 tweets
3 Mar
If you meet up with someone for a socially distance get together and they are constantly getting too close or taking off their mask, even after you have asserted your boundaries, these people are violating you boundaries and will violate other ones when given the chance.
In the last week, I’ve had no less then 5 friends ask me about how I would deal with this. Baby, let me tell you, it does not get more basic than creating a boundary for your own safety from a dangerous disease that has knocked so many of us down and taken so many of our elders.
If at its most basic, folks are more concerned with their own comfort than your needs for safety. Run for the hills. At very least reassert your right to determine what makes you feel safe.
Read 4 tweets

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