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Talib Kweli posts racist’s address, Twitter suspends him

The musician was threatened by the far-right lawyer

Artist, producer and activist Talib Kweli has been locked out of his Twitter account, following an online altercation with Jason Lee Van Dyke, a Texas-based, far-right attorney.

Kweli was locked out of the site after he posted public information about Van Dyke’s business. This was after Van Dyke used horrific racial, homophobic and ablest slurs against him.

Rather than do anything major to combat the relentless troll and harassment problem on its site, Twitter has chosen to focus instead on increasing the tweet character limit. Rose McGowan, who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein and the insidious culture of sexual assault in Hollywood had her account previously locked. White supremacists including  alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler have had their accounts verified.

In a statement, Kweli said: “Twitter saw fit to suspend him from Twitter but they think my posting of his public business address is to incite harassment. This essentially means they only care about their culpability, but they don't care about the community this ‘lawyer’ serves in real life. A lawyer who does this should have his very public contact info shared by everyone so that we as a community can demand accountability.”

Addressing his post which included info about Van Dyke’s business, he said: “If someone is claiming to be a defense attorney and they are making extremely disparaging remarks, unprompted, to and about women, black people, anti fascists, gay people on top of threatening to kill these people, shouldn't the community he serves have be able to have a place to call or an address to visit to express their grievances? If that is not the time to tell someone to contact a business, when is?”

“Getting back on Twitter is not my concern. Allowing a major corporation to say I harassed someone who tweeted me out of the blue making wild racist threats at me and those who support me is,” he added. “There is a community outside of Twitter that the lawyer is still a threat to. How can you not care about that community?”

Support workers at Twitter informed Kweli that he will be able to access the account again if he agrees to delete the tweet including Van Dyke’s business info.