Out of curiosity, Mackenzie Morgan started searching Twitter to see what people were saying about Quakers.
Twitter is a platform where you can see what people all over the world are talking about at any given time, and you can scroll back a bit and see what theyâ€™ve been saying the past couple of days, but at one point I got curious what people are saying about Quakers, and so I started looking. Now I keep keyword searches for â€œQuakerâ€ and â€œQuakersâ€ (plural) and see what people are saying about us, and sometimes I get into conversations with them.
Weird Quaker Tweets
My name is Mackenzie Morgan, Iâ€™m a member of Adelphi Friends Meeting and Iâ€™m one of the hosts of â€œQuaker Faith and Podcastâ€.
So here are examples of a few of the kinds of tweets that I come across and see as recurring themes:
â€œLol He had a gun. This is Texas, everybody has a gun. My florist has a gun. I donâ€™t have a gun. My ancestors were Quakers.â€
Thatâ€™s a quote from the movie Ms. Congeniality. Thereâ€™s always a half dozen of those every time that movie is on daytime TV.
â€œUsing a candle for light to guide me to the next room. I feel like a Quaker. I think. Whatâ€™s a Quaker?â€
Itâ€™s pretty common for us to get confused with Amish. You also see ones where people say they saw a Quaker. They probably saw an Amish person.
â€œQuakers are blamed for fires and power outages that are actually caused by squirrels. Several states do cull them.â€
It turns out there is a type of parakeet that is called a Quaker and is an invasive species in North America so when it escapes from peoplesâ€™ homes, they turn into these wild flocks that cause havoc.
â€œIt was the Quakers who helped the slaves, not the Christians. So how come you never see black Quakers?â€
While nowadays, it might be a little more up in the air whether any given Liberal Quaker is or is not a Christian (although most of them are), 150 years ago this wasnâ€™t in question. We were definitely Christian back then and so trying to separate those out is a little weird. So those ones Iâ€™ll jump in and say, â€œHistory lesson! Back then, definitely Christians.â€
The second part of that of course saying, â€œWhy donâ€™t you ever see black Quakers?â€ You do. We definitely have black Quakers here in the U.S. Thereâ€™s not that many, but itâ€™s really quite a shame to see them erased.
â€œMy ancestors were F-ing Quakers. The only thing they were enslaving was oats.â€
This is a sentiment that youâ€™ll see often when people are talking about reparations or racism in the U.S. or anything like that, where someone will say that because their ancestors were Quakers, they donâ€™t have anything to do with whatever bad things white people have done to black people. This is one where Iâ€™ll pop in, because Quakers actually did own slaves up until about the 1770s. There were Quaker slave owners, there were Quakers involved in the shipping take that brought people from Africa to the U.S. to become slaves. Our hands arenâ€™t that clean either.
Hereâ€™s a tweet thatâ€™s from a Quaker:
â€œIf I had a nickel for each time I was asked about my Quaker upbringing and â€˜not believing in sex or electricityâ€™, Iâ€™d have $$$â€
So the not believing in sex thing might sound really surprising to people. Thereâ€™s this other group, theyâ€™re called the Shakersâ€“technically, their founder was a Quaker when she was youngâ€“but they are celibate. Itâ€™s kind of like, you think of nuns and monks who live in their little dormitories and donâ€™t get married and stuff, but this is an entire denomination of that. Thereâ€™s two of them left. And people get us confused with them so itâ€™s not uncommon for people to think that Quakers are all dead because well, youâ€™re going to run out of people as the Shakers are doing.
The electricity one, well, weâ€™re not Amish.
â€œWe just passed a place called â€˜Quaker Steak and Lubeâ€™. Do what you will with that, internet.â€
If you are not familiar with this restaurant, it is commonly found in Western Pennsylvania. They have all you can eat wings, so I see a lot of tweets that are about â€œgoing to Quaker for wingsâ€. I grew up in Pittsburgh so I knew what that was about but Iâ€™m sure there are lots of confused people.