Perhaps I shouldn’t be but there are still times when racism catches me completely off guard. Racism as a concept is demonic and foolish; still, there are occasions when I’m astounded by the ways in manifests in human behavior.
Over the weekend, there was a scandal involving Mommy bloggers in the UK.
Clemmie Hooper is a Mommy influencer. With 700K followers, a podcast and a blog dedicated to the things mothers endure, Hooper positioned herself as an advocate for a group of people often overlooked and underestimated by society. But apparently, either the pressures of the platform compromised her mental health or she always had a sinister agenda. Because recently, according to honey.nine.au, after being called out by another blogger, Hooper admitted to creating a fake account to troll and bully other Mommy influencers.
And when it came to Black mothers, she was outright racist. After Hooper was outted by another blogger, she came forward admitting that she created a fake account to post disparaging messages about other mom bloggers on a site called Tattle Life. Hooper said that she intentionally created the account to defend her family from the people making derogatory statements against them. There was even evidence of her using the account to disparage her husband.
In a brief apology, she posted in her [temporary] Instagram stories, Hooper wrote:
“‘It became all-consuming and it grew bigger than I knew how to handle,’ she wrote via Instagram’s Stories feature. ‘When the users started to suspect it was me, I made the mistake of commenting about others. I regret it all and am deeply sorry – I know this has caused a lot of pain.
‘Undoubtedly, I got lost in this online world and the more I became engrossed in the negative commentary, the more the situation escalated. Engaging in this was a huge mistake. I take full responsibility for what has happened and I am just so sorry for the hurt I have caused everyone involved, including my friends and family.’”
She used the connections she made with fellow bloggers in her professional life and the things they told her in confidence to attack them online. She discussed one woman’s mental health issues. One week, Hooper interviewed Black mom blogger Candice Braithwaite for her podcast. The next she told the world that she had engaged in sex work during her past.
According to Grazia Daily, Hooper did this for eight months.
In addition to the Black women who were victimized by Hooper’s words and actions, they were dealt an additional blow when those attempting to draw attention to Hooper’s debauchery were silenced. Fellow mom influencer Kelechi Okafor’s Instagram account was temporarily deleted as she discussed Hooper’s actions online because people accused her of harassment.
After Instagram attempted to silence Okafor, she wrote an article for Grazia, speaking about the most heinous aspect of Hooper’s story. She’s a midwife. In what can only be described as twisted, Hooper invited Braithwaithe onto her podcast to speak about the fact that Black women are five times more likely to die during childbirth than White women. Later, Hooper, under the pseudonym, would write that Braithwaithe “weaponises race” and is “aggressive.”
In her Grazia piece, Okafor wrote: “I took to social media to share my concerns about Hooper’s views with respect to her profession as a midwife. The Nursing & Midwifery Council is very clear on how medical professionals should behave and I believe that Hooper has brought the reputation of midwives into disrepute. I stated in my Instagram Stories that as someone who has suffered a miscarriage and was ignored by midwives and doctors about the level of pain I was in, it seemed clear to me that medical staff aren’t leaving their conscious and unconscious bias at home.”
Shortly after that, Okafor believes that Hooper’s supports reported her page causing its deletion within a couple of hours. After the support from other Black women, writing and tweeting about Instagram’s preferential treatment toward the offender, rather than the victims, they reinstated Okafor’s page.
In the days since all of this happened, Hooper has remained quiet. Her last social post was days ago. Instead, her husband has stepped forward with a statement on her behalf. Which also seems like a red flag. She didn’t want her apology to live on the page, where she would be held accountable in a more tangible way. Instead, she’s skirted away while the Black women she attempted to slander are left to deal with the aftermath of her actions.
This is a lesson in the way social media warps our minds, causing us to participate in alternate realities. But it’s also a story we’ve heard before of White women, with seemingly more power and influence, going out of their way to tear Black women down before they can achieve a similar level of success.
As of now, Clemmie’s page is still activated and open. But her behavior over the last eight months indicates that she might need to leave this mommy blogger/influencer life alone. Because it’s too much for her.