‘Twas just before Christmas, and all through the world,
People reflected on 2013’s most shocking and absurd.
Boston got bombed; Zimmerman was not guilty
The NSA was spying on us; Miley had turned filthy.
And as December’s days dwindled, we could all rest assured
That Paula Deen’s comments were the most racist we’d heard.
But as Justine Sacco boarded a plane,
She posted a tweet that would make all that change.
Not knowing the world wouldn’t take it so light,
She tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding, I’m white!”
While powered down for the ten hour trip,
Her post went viral—it happened so quick.
As her tweet was spread all over the world,
We all asked the same question—“Justine, what were you thinking, girl?”
You see, Justine was not like most folks—
By virtue of her career she knew better than most.
As a PR Exec, her job was to not say something stupid
And protect the image of brands like About.com and ok Cupid.
So as you can imagine, her words created a problem
And made her boss at AIC think, “Maybe Justine’s just not so awesome…”
By the time Justine got off the plane in South Africa
She’d lost everything—her career, her reputation, her income!
The World Wide Web was all in a tizzy,
By an internet jury, she’d been tried and found guilty.
“It’s a misunderstanding!” you could say, “a slip of the tongue!”
But of all her tweets, this was not the only racist one.
So a virtual mob was created and grew
People were outraged and threatened her death; —though in retrospect that was probably undue.
She was trending everywhere; everyone wanted to know
#HasJustineLandedYet; had she yet turned on her phone?
As a public and a culture, we tend to forgive a lot,
Just look at Chris Brown—even Rihanna gave him a second shot.
But racism is something you believe in your soul,
You can be racist, but you’ll surely be labeled a troll.
Now Justine’s ill-advised tweet is a cautionary tale,
It’s also a punch line—a story to regale!
And if you seek an example of how quickly things escalate,
Look no further than Justine Sacco’s shameful “tweetgate”
So let this be a lesson: on the web, you are what you share.
And before you press “send” you MUST be aware
If it’s a career (especially in PR) that you are pursuing,
Watch what you say on social media, for it could be your undoing.