[Stitch Talks Ish] Episode 6: When Black Lives Matter, But Black Opinions Don’t

Episode Notes

Transcript

Hello, darlings!

So this is episode – officially, Episode Six-  of Stitch Talks Ish. In the timeline, it’s Episode Seven because we had a bonus episode last month, I believe to celebrate the release of Yoongi’s second mixtape as Agust D, D-2. So, if you haven’t listened to that episode already please go check it out.

So this episode is called when “Black Lives Matter, but Black Opinions Don’t” because I have spent pretty much all of June and part of May realizing that for a lot of people, you know hashtagging, sharing petitions, and donating that is really all They think they have to do to be antiracist whether in fandom, in public, in their day to day lives, whatever.

They do the bare minimum, which is publicly perform antiracism.

They’ve bought the books. they own White Fragility. They share their few friends of colors’ GoFundMe ease and cashapps. They really do care about racism in the abstract.

And of course, they definitely don’t want Black people being killed because we’re Black, but they also don’t really care about us as people.

My recurring example has been, some of it is in the Kpop fandom, But people with Black Lives Matter and their bios or in their display names on Twitter have been incredibly antiBlack – and like… to/about me on top of that, right.

Like so if you are in fandom and you’ve seen, like, what we’re calling the “archive of our own discourse”, and it really isn’t discourse, it is that the archive, unlike a bunch of other places, has yet to make the simple statement that Black Lives Matter and that they in their organizations stand against racism in all forms in all places, including fandom.

They haven’t done that.

Meanwhile, SM Entertainment, a Korean entertainment company has managed to make a statement. if YG or JYP Entertainment come out with statements First, I’m going to lose it because that’s going to be ridiculous.

But anyway, because of comments that I made, including comments that I made that are taken out of context by you know, racists, I’ve been getting a lot of direct harassment once again when people retweet me or share my content telling people to read my work or care, people will respond like “Stitch is a bully who hates my ship and wants fanfiction to be in her own making” or whatever.

And it’s like really frustrating because one of my friends –

They recommended me for Kpop stuff. And a Rey/Kylo shipper was like “Don’t listen to Stitch, she’s a bully” – and it’s actually “he’s a bully” cuz I got misgendered through all of that which is great and keeps happening.

And it’s just like, these are people who have Black Lives Matter in their headers, they’re sharing petitions, they’re sharing tweets, and they really have convinced themselves that they care so much about Black lives and Black issues. Even as in some cases, they harass, slander, attack, ause Black people in their fandoms, you know?

I saw Franchesca Ramsey – she does MTV’s Decoded, I believe – she shared a DM that she received. Someone sent her dm with a racial slur and like a wish for violence to happen to her. And she couldn’t reply to – not reply, she couldn’t report DMs on Instagram, and so she shared it on Twitter.

And the thing that caught my eye was the person who sent her this just truly violent, hateful message has Black Lives Matter in their header, you know, in their bio on Instagram.

And, you know, I saw that a bit with some of the Kpop fans.

Right before BTS made their statement – because I primarily care about BTS. So those are the fans I see. Maybe it was happening elsewhere. Probably it was happening elsewhere – But you had this just really messed up thing where like people would make were making threads like “block all of these people, they’re antis, who hate Yoongi because of the Jim Jones sample on “what do you think”.

And so they blocked – they had a block list of people who apparently were maybe largely Black fans in the fandom. And at the end of the thread was like, “sign these petitions to show that Black Lives Matter”.

And it’s like…

Black Lives cannot matter to you, if you think Black people don’t have a right to voice our various opinions about things.

Black Lives cannot matter to you if you are attacking someone on the internet because they talk about racism in a way you don’t like.

Black Lives can’t matter to you if you are willing to ignore someone’s thoughts and experiences with antiblackness because they don’t make it palatable to you –

You know, this past week I have been misgendered. I have been compared to a TERF while being nonbinary. I’ve had people subtweet me and insult me.

All of this is because I talk about racism and fandom in a way that does not soothe egos… and that isn’t coolly unbiased and because somehow anyone thinks I have power in fandom –  and I know they can’t possibly think that because if I had power in fandom, they would probably leave me alone.

And it has been jarring to see these people turn around and be like, “Oh my god, Black Lives Matter. sign this petition, you know, support Black people out there” while they’re making fandom a further hostile place for the Black people in their fandom.

You know how I have beef with Rey/Kylo shippers?

Not all, like… many some of the Rey/Kylo shippers who were really really fixated on punishing john for John Boyega for not liking their ship and for his, his one “who lays the pipe joke” in December and who’ve been really antiblack This whole year so far, have turned around and some of them were like, like hyping him up wholeheartedly like “john is great, great that he’s using his platform”.

Other people I saw someone say that he was being paternalistic towards Black women by saying that Black women needed to be protected and yes, Black women do need to be protected.

Black women are incredibly vulnerable a population and Considering that the people, the cops, that murdered Brianna Taylor are still free, and that the tallahassee.com website felt comfortable posting the relatively explicit details of the violence done to that 19 year old Toyin who was murdered, you know –

We do need to be protected

Black women (and Black non binary people who are occasionally lady aligned like myself, I know, it’s complicated roll with it) need to be protected.

And you had people who are just like, “yeah, we care the most about Black Lives Matter”, even as they were slandering him.

And I’ve talked about this… just like the idea that it just seems to be like a game like everybody’s caring about Black Lives Matter now, but they don’t really seem to care about Black people ever.

And so It just seems like this was all very performative that they can say Black Lives Matter, they can share the petitions, they can talk about how cool it is that that change is happening-

But at the end of the day, these are still people who go on their fandom account or their main account or whatever… and they talk shit about the Black people in their fandom communities, especially if they don’t like them.

These are people who still cling to stereotypes.

These are people who weaponize whiteness against Black people – who weaponize anti Blackness, period.

And they think that because they’ve signed a petition, because they’ve donated 50 bucks, because they bought a copy of White Fragility that they get it and they don’t.

Like if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, oh, man, “I’m one of the people stitches talking about”, you don’t get it. Just letting you know…you don’t get it.

And at the end of the day, I don’t know that these people will ever get it because society is set up in a way that kind of rewards them with this like superficial allyship like “yay, You’ve donated. Yay, You shared a petition. Yay, You recommended books to read by and or about Black people”.

But it doesn’t have any consequences for the kind of antiblackness that we’re seeing: the shunning the lying, the name calling, just the mistreatment.

The thing that makes it clear that even at this very present point in time, that there is no room in fandom for Black people, especially if overarching fandom people – Lots of people in fandom – don’t like them. Like multiple people who, who have spent the past two weeks like shitting all over me… cannot tell you that they’ve ever interacted with me or my work.

And that’s fine. I write very long essays. I don’t really like interacting with my work after a point.

But they don’t read my work. Some of them can’t read my tweets, because I will be chain blocking forever because they’re really awful.

But they don’t reach out.

I have the contact form on my website. Nobody ever goes, “Hey, I saw a tweet that said such and such and such and such. What’s up with that?”

Nobody ever says, “Hey, I was reading your article on weaponize white womanhood. What does that mean?”

They’re playing a game of racist chicken.

I mentioned that in my statement about anti Blackness done in service of the archive.

And they’re doing this at the same time that they have Black Lives Matter splashed all over their profiles, their timelines, their feeds, and they don’t see that you cannot say that Black Lives Matter and believe it, if you are also saying, “only some Black people get to be free in fandom – get to be free on the internet”.

 You can’t do that.

Not and mean it, not and be actually antiracist.

You do that as somebody who is sharing hateful commentary about me or any other Black person.

As somebody who’s willingly believing lies from people who don’t interact with me.

You do that as somebody who’s sending racial slurs to Franchesca Ramsey –

What you are is a racist hypocrite.

Big one

And I don’t know when you’ll realize it. Hopefully soon and hopefully far away from me.

But unlearning anti Blackness, unlearning anything isn’t easy.

I didn’t start out a level 100 social justice bard. Like 10-15 years ago, I was completely like, “what is this?” And I’m Black.

So I don’t actually expect people, especially white people, especially nonBlack people of color, to understand Blackness because it’s not something that is taught to us except by cultural appropriation and stuff.

That’s the only way Blackness is truly taught.

But too many people are super comfortable with being ignorant, because they don’t like being uncomfortable and we’re seeing a lot of like A lot of it – Not just in fandom, but of course my primary sphere is fandom – But everywhere, like people really just do not like the idea that, you know, maybe the archive of our own could say or do something or both about racism in the archive.

And again, because I keep saying it – nobody actually listens to me – the real thing I am saying about the archive of our own is that they need a stronger offensive content policy and a stronger harassment policy, both of those things, and actual consequences for people in fandom who are harass[ing] others, and who harass the people working for the archive.

But whatever:

At the end of the day, the people who need to internalize what I’m saying and be better aren’t gonna do it. They’re going to continue to rely on secondhand stories. They’re going to rely on misinformation. They’re going to keep telling themselves that they are not racist because they looked at a Black person in fandom with approval once.

But they’re still going to be incredibly antiBlack on fandom Twitter.

Because while Black Lives Matter in that they don’t want to watch another nine minute video of a Black person being murdered, Black people, especially the ones who are inconvenient (like me), and won’t let them just play at anti racism in and out of fandom – don’t matter.

I saw someone say that I was using Black Lives Matter and I wonder if they realize I’m fucking Black –

Like I’m not using shit in my writing: I’m talking about my experiences as a Black person in fandom – many of which are pretty fucking terrible because fandom as a whole, incredibly anti Black.

And right now, as we watch people, literally use Black Lives Matter – lots of non Black people are weaponizing celebrity donations, their fandom donations, whatever – a lot of non Black people are going and using Black Lives Matter and these murders to gain social capital and fandom.

It is wild to see anyone go, “that Black person over there must be doing it too”.

I do nothing for clout.

But I do plenty out of frustration with how insistently antiBlack fandom is and that’s where we’re at at this point.

So if Black Lives Matters truly, ask yourself, why the idea of unlearning anti Blackness is so rage inducing when it comes from me. Ask yourself that and ask yourself  – seriously, ask yourself – how much of the vitriol, the anger at my existence  – people are so mad that they see my name –  How much of that do you really think, is because I am a bad guy, (which I’m not) and how much of it is due to the fact that fandom is anti Black and unwilling to change any of that?

About Zeenah

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.
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6 Responses to [Stitch Talks Ish] Episode 6: When Black Lives Matter, But Black Opinions Don’t

  1. Peoria says:

    Just wanted to say hi and let you know I’ll be getting some new essays up by probably by the end of this weekend. I’ve got some stuff up already but I know things just keep coming. Would your bard play clarinet, bassoon or french horn to start? Bagpipes, Sousaphone and steam organ are all options once you’re into the epic levels– 100th, that’s music of the spheres territory. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: [Stitch Talks Ish] Episode 6: When Black Lives Matter, But Black Opinions Don’t — Stitch’s Media Mix – Geeking Out about It

  3. Was interesting to read a first hand experience. I don’t entirely relate because I haven’t directly experienced what you have, however I find it terrible to think that you are experiencing this level of racism. For there to be no racism in society, there needs to be no sort of prejudicm toward anyone in any ethnic community. Though I think it is hopeful that people are beginning to realise these issues.

    Like

  4. ljones1966 says:

    They do the bare minimum, which is publicly perform antiracism.

    They’ve bought the books. they own White Fragility. They share their few friends of colors’ GoFundMe ease and cashapps. They really do care about racism in the abstract.

    And of course, they definitely don’t want Black people being killed because we’re Black, but they also don’t really care about us as people.

    I like to call this “psuedo liberalism” . . . or “paying lip service”. This crap has been going on since the abolition movement of the early and mid-19th century. This was certainly the case during the later years of the Civil War and the immediate post-Civil War years, when a good number of Northern Americans, especially the “Radical” Republicans called themselves being concerned about the welfare of the newly freed slaves. Mind you, they didn’t give a rat’s ass about Northern blacks. And within a decade after the Civil War, they openly stopped caring about the Southern freedmen as well.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Black Voices Matter 2: Allyship | I think, therefore I exist.

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