[Image Post + Essay] On Performative Anti-Racism

Originally posted on Patreon July 29, 2020


Source: On Korean Artists Using Their Platforms to Say that Black Lives Matter

If you’re on social media, I’m sure you’ve seen people show their support of Black Lives Matter as a movement while making it clear that they don’t give a damn about Black people in “their” spaces. 

The folks in fandom with #BLM in their bios or in their display names who tweet snide and shitty things about Black people in their fandoms. The folks who use their – or their celebrity or political favorite’s – donation to charity to say that they care more about Black people than… Black people do. Fans, businesses, and celebrities known for literally making Black people stress out from how they talk about us all were performing anti-racism and professing to be ready to unlearn antiblackness.

Even SM Entertainment got into the swing of things when they released a statement in June about how they were “new to the conversation” (despite hiring Black people to dance, write, record demos, etc for them for decades). 

But it’s all been incredibly performative.

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Black American Privilege: A Poem

Black American privilege looks like

Being barked at in the elevator at your Miami university,

hours after weeping with your friends

in the English department,

following Trump’s election.

It looks like being told that you’re

“pretty for a Black girl”

Over and fucking over.

It looks like having people touch your hair

Everywhere.

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Some tough truths for you…

Originally, this was a tweet thread I did last night.

You’re not going to convince me that any white person who is super hostile at the mere idea that fandom is racist by default and design (especially the folks who just love to tone police fans of color and call us mean/bullies for being done with racism in fandom) is an ally or that they will be any actual help in the horrifying future we’re heading towards.

No one who frames fans of color talking about racism in fandom as bullies, ideological purists, haters, cops, antis, etc actually cares about people of color (outside of their sometimes treasured tokens).

People who think that harassing people because they talk about racism in fandom will NOT be using their privilege or visibility to fight racism online or offline.

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[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.

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Why Write About Fandom Racism At A Time Like This?

The short answer?

We live in a racist world and that world doesn’t stop existing when someone crosses over some kind of threshold to fandom.

The long answer?

In fact, because fandom communities are insular and twist themselves in circles to avoid engaging meaningfully with things that disturb the peace that they’ve surrounded themselves in –

The racism that folks have as baggage lugged around offline? Gets stuffed full of more racism and carted around to other fandoms.

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On Korean Artists Using Their Platforms to Say that Black Lives Matter

I didn’t expect that I’d be writing about the Black Lives Matter movement in the context of Korean pop and hip hop music – or their fandoms.

But that’s what this post is actually about – barring some all too necessary backstory about fatal antiblackness and police brutality in this country.


Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi created the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 as a hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) in direct response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who had murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin the year before.

I remember the birth of the movement, but more than that, I remember watching the news when Zimmerman was acquitted. I remember clearly feeling anger that that man killed a child only a few years older than my oldest nieceling and was going to get away with it. Because we watched as we were told once again that Black lives didn’t matter.

I say once again because the United States is one of many countries to make it clear that Black people – our lives, our opinions, and our hopes – do not truly matter to them. The United States has a history that started with the Triangle Trade, kept on going through Reconstruction Era white supremacy up to the Civil Rights movement and –

Just hasn’t stopped.

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This Shit Is Hard (On Current Antiblack Events)

It is very difficult to create meaningful, hopeful content at a time like this when we are watching Black people around the country protest our continuing oppression and the fact that our murders can now be recorded… and ignored because somehow that’s not enough proof of wrongdoing.

We live in a country that claims to be better than everyone else even though

  • We have over a hundred thousand documented COVID-19 deaths specifically because the administration does not care about us and politicians do not care about us and once they saw which communities were disproportionately affected – and dying – just sort of Kanye shrugged their way out of caring or acting
  • Our literal infrastructure – bridges, dams, etc – is crumbling around us as I type this
  • Thousands of Puerto Ricans died in Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and the mainland has never once treated them with the respect that they deserve. As recently as February 2019, when I took off from a flight from San Juan, the island was not 100%
  • One in like five children in the country are either food insecure or are starving
  • If someone loses their job in this country, they lose their health insurance and that of their family as well
  • the Navajo Nation and Native communities are being left to fend for themselves during the COVID-19 crisis in another act of obvious hatred that is linked with a genocidal desire for their nonexistence
  • At the end of the day, it never has been better than most countries out there.

So yeah, it’s hard to create right now.

But on top of that:

It’s hard to get on social media and see anything that can truly distract me. My timeline on twitter is full of photos, videos, and texts about the protests around the country. It’s full of people showing that even in the middle of a pandemic and increasingly public antiblackness, they’re still going to find time to be antiblack on fandom/stan twitter.

It’s hard to see some of the same incredibly antiblack fandoms – and fans – who police (yes, police) how Black people in fandom can care about antiblackness in fandom and who attempt to punish us (by dogpiling us, lying on us, disrupting our fandom existence, shunning us if they can) when we speak up… tweeting about how get that #BlackLivesMatter and pretending that they give two shits about Black people and fatal police brutality and antiblackness.

(It’s been hard as hell seeing non-Black people say like outright that they “don’t have to” talk about what’s happening to us and what’s affecting the Black people in their fandoms because “fandom is my safe space” when Black people have never had a guaranteed safe space in any fandom – not from the antiblackness of the outside world and not from the antiblackness of our peers in fandom.)

It’s hard to realize that the hashtags and the online activism and the donation chains will dry up by this time next week because people really think this ends at any point other than rebellion, resistance, and rising up together.

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[Book Review] Gluttony Bay (A Sin du Jour Affair #6) by Matt Wallace

Gluttony Bay Cover.jpg

Title: Gluttony Bay (A Sin du Jour Affair #6)
Authors: 
Matt Wallace (Twitter)
Rating: So Funny I’m Gonna Die, So Highly Freaking Recommended
Genre/Category: Politics, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Food, Cannibalism
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Tor.Com Publishing

Order Here: BARNES AND NOBLE AMAZON (KINDLE)

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I’ve been doing drunk reviews of Matt Wallace’s Sin du Jour series from the start because well…

I like drinking.

I also do it because I want to and it’s fun.

I started Gluttony Bay, the penultimate book in the series, while sober. I made it to the end of the first chapter before I straight up needed liquid courage to tackle this book. (If you’re wondering, I went with a rum-vodka-juice mix in my Homecoming glass.)

Matt’s one of my favorite authors and people. He’s writer goals to the nth power. He’s one of like five authors I feel comfortable talking to in my reviews (and then showing them to him afterwards). He’s cool as hell.

But man… Gluttony Bay had me all kinds of fucked up.Read More »

[Book Review] Greedy Pigs (A Sin du Jour Affair #5) by Matt Wallace

Greedy Pigs Cover

Title: Greedy Pigs (A Sin du Jour Affair #5)
Authors:
Matt Wallace (Twitter)
Rating: So Funny I’m Gonna Die, So Highly Freaking Recommended
Genre/Category: Politics, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Food
Release Date: May 16, 2017

Publisher: Tor.Com Publishing

Order Here: BARNES AND NOBLE | AMAZON (KINDLE)

Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Me being me, tha’s basically the only kind of review I do. There are so many spoilers. But also… not enough spoilers.

SYNOPSIS

The Sin du Jour crew caters to the Shadow Government in Greedy Pigs, Matt Wallace’s fifth Sin du Jour Affair

“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”

Politics is a dirty game. When the team at Sin du Jour accidentally caters a meal for the President of the United States and his entourage, they discover a conspiracy that has been in place since before living memory. Meanwhile, the Shadow Government that oversees the co-existence of the natural and supernatural worlds is under threat from the most unlikely of sources.

It’s up to one member of the Sin du Jour staff to prevent war on an unimaginable scale.

Between courses, naturally.

REVIEW

Holy fucking shit.

That was my reaction to both starting and finishing Greedy Pigs and I’m sure it’ll be yours too!

If you’re new to my semi-sober reviews of Matt Wallace’s Sin du Jour series, you should know that he never fails to deliver the big blows and some major WTF moments in every single book of the series. Greedy Pigs isn’t an exception and like the previous four books in the series, it had me all kinds of fucked up at the end.

And at the middle.

Hell, at the start.Read More »

[Book Review] Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace

idle-ingredients-coverTitle: Idle Ingredients: A Sin du Jour Affair
Author: Matt Wallace (Twitter)
Rating: So Freaking Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Urban Fantasy, Demons & Angels, Food, Politics
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Tor.com

Pre-Order Here: AMAZON | AMAZON (KINDLE) | BARNES AND NOBLE

Note: I received an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this book from the publisher (but I have also preordered the book on my own). All opinions and thoughts expressed, however drunkenly, in this review are my own. There are also some spoilers for the upcoming book so if that’s not your thing, come back after February 7th when you’ve read the book!


When we last left the Sin du Jour crew at the end of June 2016’s Pride’s Spell, everything was coming up roses. Everyone was alive, the crew got to see an angel in action, and my OTP was finally hooking up (I say as if we’re farther along than halfway through the series…).

So why is it that I found myself making ugly noises before I even finished the first chapter of Idle Ingredients?Read More »