Thread Collection: Scapegoats (6/6/2019)

Originally posted as a thread on Twitter on June 6, 2019


Can we all agree that it’s beyond fucked up that across multiple fandom spaces, Black people IN fandom, when critical OF fandom (usually for racism/racist fan works), are seen/portrayed as ATTACKING or POLICING “real members of fandom” and ruining fandom for THEM?

I got accused of attacking people when I was nice, when I was actually mean (mocking folks who were missing the point on my posts), and even now when I don’t engage.

My tone and interactions changed, but the reactions didn’t because I’m Black and critical of fandom spaces. (I bet a lot of other Black fans can tell you how they were always seen as threats even when genuinely nice about explaining racism to nonblack people or talking on their own blogs. No matter their tone, they were threatening to fandom.)

That’s because to non-Black fans, Black fans are a really handy scapegoat because of the universality of antiblackness, how everyone reads Black people as threats, and how easy it is to set tons of folks on Black people for minor offenses. Let’s also talk about how this POV framing Black people IN fandom as aggressive outsiders who don’t get fandom or who don’t deserve to be in fandom tends to come from:

  • #FFFFF women wild with power
  • other fans of color content with the PickMe proximity to white approval

We’re talking about people who know full well that Black people have been in fandom writing fic, trying to settle in our squee, and building our own communities for DECADES

Deciding that we don’t belong because we’re critiquing fandom not just where they can see it, but at all. Note: No one is required to be nice about explaining their experiences oppression to an individual who doesn’t get it, but I did try. Because I’m a genuinely nice person.

But when I realized that I was being made monstrous even when I toned down my gentle snark, I stopped. I stopped being nice.

And then, I stopped engaging.

Not that that stopped people from pulling shit like lying on me in tweets I was tagged in or turning me into a boogeyman out to kinkshame the masses

Being Black in fandom is hard. It can be horrifying. And the people making it that way are people who should know better. They’re people who should be better.

Problem is?

They think that Black fans are inherently unworthy of proper treatment and that they ARE better… than us.

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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