I think it’s been far too long since we had a good meaty internet controversy (of course, I hate to go a single day without one). And as far as sensitivity landmines go, this controversy is a doozy.
Shanna Malcolm, Destorm and Jason Horton teamed up with Russell Simmons’ new All Def Digital YouTube channel to create one of the more charged conversation topics in new media since Ray William Johnson left Maker Studios. The video, called “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape” showcases the hero of the Underground Railroad jumpstarting her legend by blackmailing her rapist slaveowner master with a sex tape of him nailing her. Let’s forget for a moment the anachronism of a video recorder in the 1800s and concentrate on the real quandary: Can a race make fun of itself (or others)?
YouTuber ChescaLeigh apparently feels strongly against that point — at least in terms of racially-charged words such as the “n-word” and its derivatives. ChescaLeigh got jump started on the topic addressing former African-American “Clueless” star Stacy Dash calling out Oprah over her views on Obama and Trayvon Martin. This sparked a referencing of the Harriet Tubman video,which led into a Twitter exchange between ChescaLeigh, Shanna Malcolm and Shane Dawson(?!).
While Shane was apparently PR-savvy enough to delete his contributions to the conversation, you can see his involvement based on the reaction comments by ChescaLeigh. Apparently (and confirmed in the video above) Dawson, allegedly the “unnamed YouTuber” in question, took umbrage with what he saw as an attack on his close friend Shanna, and his fans really took off from there, slamming ChescaLeigh with the sort of invectives that she rails against. Where it all goes from here, who knows? Welcome to the Wild West of the World Wide Web.