Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blue Eyed Devils

Seeking Avalon: This Is What I See

I've tried to stay out of RaceFail for the most part. Not necessarily because I am a coward or because I wanted to avoid the issue. Mostly because I didn't feel like it was my turn to speak. I felt, in many ways, RaceFail, outside of the terrible things said by members of the SF community, was at its heart a way of fans of color to connect. A way for them to say, "Hey, I'm here and I really wish you would stop saying and doing things to hurt me." I am a white woman from the Midwest. When it comes to race, I am more than well-represented. So, I kept quiet and let the people who have waited for DECADES to have their voices hear speak.

I see now that I made a mistake.

While I was being quiet and listening in, but holding my tongue, others decided to speak for me. The others that called fans of color names like orc and nithing. The others that devalued their experiences. The others that fought very hard to keep these voices silent by doubting their identities and casting ridiculous agendas upon them. The others that try to paint the outrage and anger these POC feel as mental illness as the above link shows.

I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm not like these OTHER white people. That I'm so different and a special snowflake and all that. I'm not. It makes me ashamed to admit that those white people are in my tribe. Those people that say such vile, hateful, awful things are my neighbors and my relatives and my friends. I don't know any of the white people directly involved in Race Fail personally, but I still have to claim them. I still have to own up that I come from a culture, a white culture, that creates that and SUPPORTS that in ways both subtle and obvious.

And I am sorry.

I'm sorry for every POC that has felt insulted and belittled by a white person in this discussion. I'm sorry for every potentially awesome conversation derailed by a white person that was uncomfortable with the concept that they DO have White Privilege. I'm sorry for every POC that has felt scared or angry or hopeless because a white person refused to hear their voice. I'm sorry that despite there being a black President of the United States, we white people are still up to our dirty tricks.

It hurts. I'm not going to lie. It hurts to know that I look like the bad guy. It hurts to know that there are POC who will hesitate to speak to me because of what white people have said or done to them. But then, I guess that is the point. And indeed, it sucks to have the tables turned.

But maybe that is the point. Maybe only by understanding what it is like to be judged by the color of your skin and by the words and deeds of others simply because they look like you do, will we finally get it. The thing is, with our heavy backpacks of privilege, I'm not sure that the people that need the lesson most are getting it.

It makes me sad. It makes me angry. But most of all, it makes me feel ashamed.

Monday, February 9, 2009


This blog will be undergoing a few changes here in the next couple days. I've made a decision about what to do with this space and that is to use it to focus more on my actual writing and weed out the clutter. In a couple days, I'll actually make a post with substance.