For the record, Lola uses “they” pronouns.
Thank you for the question. There is nothing wrong with that. The issue is that they spoke over myself and others while trying to “help”. I specifically told Lola that, seeing as big publishing is at least 98% white and otherwise not-marginalized, it would be inappropriate and a waste of time to seek out them out, even with a “white-ally” fronting us.
In the context of the BLM movement, DAPL, and the ridiculous amount of violence and danger faced by any marginalized population it was not a good idea on Lola’s part.
This is true regardless of bringing up any other marginalized identity. Without acknowledging the fact that poly, disabled, sex-working queers of COLOR will always face the most disadvantages, there is no effective way to help.
Lola offered services. They specifically mentioned work by POC in their request. Plenty of people, including myself, pointed out work already being done. I honestly do not think Lola realized that I created the group specifically for that purpose. I also doubt they bothered to research anything else I have done or am currently working on. If so, they’d have realized they were duplicating my work.
They offered help no one was asking for, ignored it when others repeatedly pointed out that they didn’t want it or that it was already being done, and then took the lead on organizing it — without even acknowledging the work of POC and other multiply marginalized folks. Regardless of whether they intended to hand over the reins to a POC, by ignoring the actual voices of those with those intersections of marginalization already, they proved themselves incapable.
When I specifically spoke of having a publishing company specifically for publishing marginalized voices (and, let’s face it, I am an expert on marginalization) they still stressed serving as the white face to get it to a bigger publisher, even after several other white people with experience publishing clearly stated why publishing in general is shit for marginalized voices.
Edited to add: The person Lola speaks of was actually called out the next day, for doing the same sort of thing: leading without asking on a different topic.
The most telling thing, though, regardless of any of this, was the subsequent deletion of the entire thread — in which a large amount of emotional and intellectual labor was poured — and prompt departure AFTER leaving many, many statements about understanding and giving apologies.
The point is, many of us in that group have the same intersections as Lola. Every single one of us has been called out at some point. But unlike Lola, many of those with some privilege choose to stay. Unlike Lola, someone like me can’t choose to ever walk away.
And this post is not accountability; it is an excuse. Rather than clarifying, seeking help, or stepping back, Lola instead got scared, hid the evidence, and ran away.
At the end of the day, running away is a privilege.
Lola Phoenix, I suggest you read the following article and then rethink yourself.
My comments when sharing on FB: By the way, this goes for any type of marginalization. Because #abuseculture removes choice. It removes options. It reduces rights.
If you can walk off in a fucking huff every time you get your damn feelings hurt, every time you are attacked, every time you are triggered, guess what?
You’ve got fucking privilege. And you damn well know you still have work to do. Until you can stand and face the pain, you’re just a privileged coward, and no damn ally of mine.
Excerpt from the article:
“Next, go out of your way to spend time with Black people in Black community settings. Many of us live segregated lives in which we have little to no interaction with Black people. Let’s face it, Black people make us white people uncomfortable. It’s because we’ve been socialized by a racist system to fear Black people.
Even if you feel comfortable around individual Black people, you most likely do not feel comfortable in a room full of Black people. You might have Black friends, but you probably socialize with them in white spaces. Have you ever been to a Black space and felt uncomfortable? Maybe you felt like no one wanted you there. Welcome to the everyday experience of Black people in white culture.
And when you go to a Black space, go to listen rather than lead. Learn to follow. Leading is a white privilege. Let go of it for a while and learn from those whose experience you will never have. Listen to Black people, and if what they are saying or how they are saying it makes you uncomfortable, so much the better.”