It’s been over a year (this piece was originally supposed to go up in June 2021) since the Organization of Transformative Works’ Board of Directors, Chairs, and Leads released a statement of some solidarity with fans of color – particularly Black fans – in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the worldwide protests against antiblackness, police brutality, and white supremacy that shifted the world on its axis back in 2020.
The OTW – and its “child”, the Archive of Our Own – has yet to make any meaningful inroads into making their segment of fandom accessible, welcoming, and safe for fans of color. In fact, racism done in the name of the Archive of Our Own specifically has increased to some extent with fans of color being subject to increased attacks including shunning, slander, and direct attacks on their fandom and offline reputations for going “perhaps this space could be… less racist”.
Today has been full of people talking critically about the AO3’s failures in response to a viral tweet about ao3 as “the fucking fan fiction dream complaint” and yet another moment of folks in fandom going “well i don’t see valid complaints so they don’t exist. As I am still locked due to the horrifying antiblack harassment from February and the fact that I’m multiple fandoms’ favorite punching bag for no actual reason beyond the fact that I write about racism in fandom like this… I’ve reposted some of today’s Twitter thoughts here.
Let’s talk about racism in The Archive – again. Not just the AO3 but the idea that archives are judgment free and therefore bias free and everything SHOULD go and be hosted/archived… Including objectively harmful and RACIST content.
Recently, @dhifantasy posted about how the latest AO3 update was about image embeds… When everyone else is at least once again pretending to care about moderation and racism in User Generated Content and their TOS.
Oh sorry not gone because guess what, people keep lying on me (and Rukmini) in this whole AO3 thing amd like I actually state clearly what I’m about but these smooth brained racist mother fuckers turn off their reading abilities when they see me referenced (ffa.rocks/?t=2609548751)
(Aside from the fact that even if the OTW reached out to ask me if I could come on as a consultant, I wouldn’t do it because
a) full time job where I’m valued and
b) I’m not willing to fling myself into THAT racist fire, the anger at the idea that people could pay me for anti racism training is one that is actually been going on as long as I’ve had a patreon.
Nevermind, again, that 90% of my content on racism in fandom is free and either here or on my site. Or that the people who hate me won’t read it anyway. I’m apparently the only person in fandom who cannot charge for my work in fandom – which I’m already NOT ACTUALLY DOING.)
Anyway: I wonder how many of those racist little worms still have blm in their Twitter bios? (That link is a fail fandom anon mobile version which means that anons can and will say all kinds of nasty shit they want about fans of color like me, Holly, and Rukmini even as they pretend they care about anti racism in fandom. Tagging won’t solve this shit either. Like these people don’t know me and they apparently can’t read and yet… Here they are.)
Getting your hands on good academic texts can be difficult.
That’s why I’ll be sharing my reading list for my classes (along with digital copies of some of the books) in the literature department. You don’t have to read everything (I know I certainly won’t), but it’s a good start if you’re curious about what literature majors do all day when they’re not wailing about being a literature major.