Black bishop, suspended for ‘hateful conduct,’ is reinstated by Twitter


NOTE: This story includes a term that may be considered offensive.

(RNS) — Twitter has restored the account of an African-American bishop of the Church of God in Christ that was suspended after he used a racially sensitive term.

Bishop Talbert Swan, the pastor of a church in Springfield, Mass., and the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said he believes his account was restored on Tuesday (Sept. 4), after he deleted a tweet that included the word “coon.”

The website says that term is sometimes used as an insult about a black person. But Swan said the meaning of the word depends on the context and in this instance referred to “a sellout or someone who is speaking or doing things that is not in the best interest of the African-American community.”

On June 2, Swan tweeted in response to a suggestion that he follow someone with whom he disagreed, “No thanks I’m on a no coon diet.”

Swan, who is also the leader of the Church of God in Christ’s Nova Scotia jurisdiction, told Religion News Service he was glad to have regained access to his account. Initially he believed he had been suspended permanently after receiving an email from Twitter that said, “Your account has been suspended and will not be restored,” and that cited “hateful conduct” as the reason.

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