WHEN CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM?

Originally this thread on Twitter.


For the purposes of this thread/post: fandom = generative/transformative fanwork creating spaces including the hybrid music fandom spaces of idol fandom AND to a lesser extent gaming/cosplay fandoms which are seen as Outside Communities


CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM AFTER A COUP ATTEMPT IN THE US?

No.

Because while the people involved WERE racist, connecting their online radicalization with the radicalization possible in fandom spaces is WRONG and trivializes real issues. After all, it’s not like there are real racists in fandom who seem to enjoy harming POC in fandom… They’re not looking to recruit or anything… Right?

CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM WHEN A VIRAL VIDEO OF A BLACK MAN’S MURDER GOES VIRAL?

No.

Because we should be devoting our time to retweeting useless petitions and sticking BLM in our bios to fight “real racism” instead of unpacking antiblackness aimed at Black people here. Talking about racism in fandom as if it matters when George Floyd was murdered is so disrespectful to his memory. In fact, he would’ve wanted you to stop talking about racism and join me in performative social media activism rather than express yourself and your frustrations!

CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM WHEN FANS OF COLOR ARE BEING HARASSED BY RACISTS IN FANDOM?

Um… no?

Because there are Black men being murdered in viral videos and no one’s talking about how bad that is and how it impacts them. Don’t you care about real racism? And besides, the people harassing fans of color in any given fandom are just trolls. Don’t pay attention to them… but also don’t try to suggest that we should do anything to make racist trolls and their troll games unwelcome in fandom. Then you’re just as bad as racists in fandom… not that those exist or anything.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT FANDOM RACISM WHEN A FAN DOES SOMETHING CLEARLY RACIST TO HARM FANS OF COLOR?

No??

Because that’s bullying and policing and you’re actually just jealous of their creativity in fandom and are falsely claiming that they’re racist now for saying slurs previously… and also for being actively racist in fandom, I guess. But they’ve acknowledged their white privilege!! What more do you want from them? When does the healing start?

CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM WHEN FANS OF ONE CHARACTER OR PAIRING SLANDER A BLACK ACTOR FOR OVER A YEAR?

No we cannot because the problem in the Star Wars fandom is that John is a misogynist to Reylo shippers, not that the fandom is antiblack to him and lies on him endlessly.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM WHEN SOMEONE WRITES RACIST FIC/DOES RACIST ART ON PURPOSE?

How do YOU know they did it on purpose/to harm?

What if that’s their kink? Maybe YOU’RE the racist for not letting this fan vibe? Something something mammy trope not being racist… You’re really just kink shaming some poor baby who just wants to get their id on. Maybe YOU should be run out of fandom??

CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM WHEN WE REALIZE THAT A THING FANS HAVE BEEN INTO/DOING IS ACCIDENTALLY RACIST?

No?? Because even if you’re offering solutions, you’re just shaming people?? Fandom is supposed to be about escapism/fun, not accuracy and empathy?? Stop hurting me??

CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM WHEN “NOTHING IS HAPPENING”*?

No.

How dare you try to ruin our safe space by bringing politics into fandom, a notoriously apolitical space where fiction/fandom don’t affect reality? If things are fine, why are you trying to make them un-fine by talking about racism – a thing that clearly isn’t happening here because I don’t see it and neither do my PickMes.

(* something is ALWAYS happening.)


At what point can fans of color – and some allies who don’t overstep – talk about racism in fandom?

We can’t talk about it when the world offline is racist, when fandom is racist to us/characters or actors like us, OR when things seem quiet.

We’re accused of policing people and bullying them for simply pointing out issues we see in OUR fandom spaces on our own accounts, and for, often, suggesting solutions or simply wishing that kind of racist content or behavior wasn’t allowed and accepted by fans/fandom.

Meanwhile, WE are the ones bullied and pushed out of fandom at overwhelming rates because fandom consistently and CONSTANTLY reaffirms itself as space for whiteness and white fans (with some tokens aligned with such like Black fans excusing antiblackness for example)

White people in fandom either directly or indirectly (by only boosting BIPOC who agree with them) keep setting the terms. They keep trying to tell fans of color and allies when we can talk about racism here… all while saying WE are policing THEM.

No thanks.

So, if someone tries to tell you that now (whenever “now” is for you) isn’t a good time to talk about racism in fandom because there’s too much going on or… that there’s somehow nothing going on and you’re ruining their buzz? Point out that there’s no better time to talk about racism in fandom than the present because fandom is racist… in the present.

Oh, and it’s not like people can tell you what to do or when to do it.

Isn’t that their point after all?

About Stitch

Stitch writes about what needs to be written.
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