Article Lead Image

Conservatives are now bashing Maya Angelou on Twitter

So much for resting in peace.


Miles Klee


Posted on May 28, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 5:52 am CDT

Conservatives are having a rough week. First they were up in arms about how the #YesAllWomen hashtag identified and challenged institutional misogyny; now they’ve been forced to contend with the death of a respected female writer of color.

The most excoriating right-wing response to Maya Angelou’s passing came from occasional Fox commentator Debbie Schlussel, who took the poet’s message of tolerance for Islam (delivered on the anniversary of 9/11), support of Palestine’s right to exist, inklings of communist sympathies, and unfortunate decision to speak at Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995 as proof of her racist, fundamentally anti-American character. Naturally, Schlussel was trying to get a rise out of “Black Twitter” and, playing the victim, retweeted furious replies to her blog post, which noted that she’d never actually read Angelou’s work and expressed the fervid wish that the author “rot in hell.”    

Buh-bye, Maya Angelou, America’s Most Overrated Crappy Writer Ever; Queen of Dreksville #tcot #gop #MayaAngelou RIP Maya Angelou

— Debbie Schlussel (@DebbieSchlussel) May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, Racist, US-Hating, Anti-Semitic Nutjob, Most Overrated Crappy Writer, RIH #tcot #gop #MayaAngelou

— Debbie Schlussel (@DebbieSchlussel) May 28, 2014

A quick search of “#tcot + Angelou” revealed that Schlussel was hardly alone in her deranged loathing for the beloved author. The so-called “top conservatives on Twitter” had a virtually inexhaustible list of gripes as to her influence on the sociopolitical landscape.

Maya Angelou: creation of white liberals using guilt as a weapon #tcot

— Brett Stevens (@amerika_blog) May 28, 2014

The death of #MayaAngelou can mean only 1 thing. More Obama funeral selfies. #tcot

— Coach Marc (@JJPatriot) May 28, 2014

To all the so-called “conservatives” upset that we aint crying about Maya Angelou: Toughen up: if u play nice you’ll continue to lose #tcot

— AlinskyForTheRight (@BruceNV) May 28, 2014

I can see RIP Maya Angelou becoming a national holiday now that the federal gov’t is run by black supremacists/racists/fascists/etc… #tcot

— josh (@joshforamerica) May 28, 2014

RIP Maya Angelou, most overrated poet of our time. #tcot

— Regulus de Leo (@RegulusdeLeo) May 28, 2014

Burn in hell Maya Angelou, you fat, ugly nigger cunt #p2 #p21 #topprog #uniteblue #tcot

— Fuck Eric Holder (@FuckEricHolder) May 28, 2014

Obama has turned America into the “Caged Bird” Obama supporter Maya Angelou was writing about. #tcot

— Jeannie-ology (@jeanniology) May 28, 2014

#Hater who thinks God approves of: => RT #PaulReverePress Maya Angelou hard core leftist propaganda poet dead at 86. // #libcrib #tcot

— Leonardo (@LeonardosRose) May 28, 2014

Aww. Maya Angelou died. Better notify her local election board or she will continue voting Democrat ad infinitum. #tcot #VoterFraud

— Doug Piranha (@Doug__Piranha) May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou dead! How will the country function without an angry socialist poet who hated America and all it stands for? #tcot

— imissgwb43 (@imissgeorge43) May 28, 2014

In a bizarre wrinkle, other conservatives chose to highlight Angelou’s anecdote about firing a gun at a home intruder (as well as her criticism of President Obama’s education policies) in the hopes of undercutting her image as a liberal voice. The result? An amusing schism between Second Amendment enthusiasts and the rest of the Tea Party peanut gallery.

#Poet RIP Maya Angelou. I remember the time she praised #guns b/c she used 1 2 stop an assault. #GunSense #2A #tcot

— Calvin Jefferson (@Capitalism_Rox) May 28, 2014

.@BJ_Schwartz Fascinating that the #tcot loons can’t decide if #MayaAngelou was a gun-loving ‘Murcan or a Jew-hating Castro-lover.

— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) May 28, 2014

But appalling as some of these reactions to Angelou’s death are, they’re not exactly novel; due to her closeness with Obama, she had long suffered this sort of tangential abuse.

Wonder if Maya Angelou has a poem about her Commander-in-Chief sleeping through #Benghazi and covering it up. #tcot

— Nyck Elodeon McTwist (@Nyck_Elodeon) October 24, 2012

Angelou’s own last tweet, as it happens, might be the perfect advice for her detractors:

Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.

— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014

Too bad God won’t get a word in edgewise till that font of sputtering rage dries up.

Photo by York College ISLGP/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: May 28, 2014, 4:12 pm CDT