Rochelle “Silk” Richardson created a firebomb on Twitter after blasting Marc Lamont Hill and Bishop Talbert Swan for perpetuating rumors that her sister, Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway, died because of complications from a long battle with COVID-19.
News of Hardaway’s death broke on Monday. The 51-year-old’s cause of death has not been made public. Former president Donald Trump, who embraced the sisters during his 2016 election bid, announced on social media that she had died “unexpectedly” at “her home” Monday. The duo is best known for endorsing Trump when he ran for president.
However, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who hosted a video series for the political commentating team, confirmed with The Daily Beast that Hardaway had been sick.
A tweet from Diamond and Silk’s page issued a call for prayers for an ailing Hardaway in November, but the Black right-winger denied the claim that she contracted the coronavirus in the fall. With that, Hill and Swan pointed out the irony of Hardaway’s death in two tweets that Richardson ordered them to “retract” Wednesday, accusing the Black men of defamation in two fiery tweets.
“I will NOT allow you or any other MOFO the opportunity to disparage, slander & lie on my sister & I,” Richardson wrote in response to Hill.
“Where’s your proof that my sister was ever hospitalized due to Covid and that we were fired from Fox? Investigate Before You Celebrate! You have until 12 noon today to retract.”
Hill tweeted on Monday that Hardaway was hospitalized in November because of COVID-19 and “fired by Fox News a couple years ago for spreading misinformation” about the virus.
“You cannot script this stuff,” he added.
The Temple University and political commenter responded to Richardson on Wednesday, offering up receipts and sources. He also dismissed Richardson’s claims that he was celebrating the woman’s death.
“No celebration here. I based my tweets about the hospitalization on news reports. As I noted yesterday, some (like Blavity) have since taken them down. (I have yet to see anyone retract.) Media reports of your firing are in numerous outlets. I was also told this by a Fox exec,” Hill wrote.
“I haven’t actually heard you say that the November hospitalization for COVID didn’t happen. But if you are saying that, then I accept that. And I happily retract. Regarding Fox, after reading your explanation in your book and countless independent reports, I believe you were fired.”
Hill added that if the “execs, news outlets, and sources are all wrong, then I’ll retract that too.”
“This feels more semantic than substantive, but I’m not invested enough in it to argue. Especially at a time where you deserve comfort and peace rather than contention,” he wrote.
As of Thursday morning, Swan did not respond to Richardson, who blasted him in a response to his tweet. The religious and NAACP leader also said Hardaway died due to COVID-19, adding, “the irony is palpable.”
Richardson told Swan he had until midnight Wednesday to retract his statement, or she would consider legal action.
“Well it looks like we have us another lying MOFO who calls himself a Bishop but acts more like a B!tch A$$,” Richardson wrote. “Where’s your proof that my sister died from contracting COVID-19? No Proof plus No Truth equates to a Lawsuit.”
Richardson’s tweets also unleashed a load of conservatives onto Hill’s and Swan’s pages, who crowded their tweets with backlash accusing them of insensitivity.
“Sue his a–,” some tweeted to Richardson.
Many Black Twitter users mocked Hardaway’s death on Monday, going as far as posting photos of a dead raccoon, a play on a derogatory term used to describe a Black person who betrays their race. However, some Black leaders condemned the masses for their responses.
“Anyone celebrating the death of a black woman just bc she’s in a different political party should probably think about how these false political leaders have brainwashed you into low-life behavior,” wrote author and political analyst Boyce Watkins. “Vote for whoever you want, but it’s pretty low to celebrate someone’s death.”
While Twitter pointed out to Richardson that the two deadlines had “come and gone,” she hasn’t posted any additional comments about the public spat on Twitter as of Thursday morning.