Despite speaking in French, she added a heavy dusting of American expressions. There is often a flourish of pride when a French person slips into English. The way ‘small town’ rolled off of her tongue, it felt almost like an invitation to an elite club. ‘You know what I mean?’ it seemed to say. ‘Of course you do, you get it.’
—My first article for VICE is up now! Go read it!
Look, we all know that I am a privileged, middle-class white girl. I’m actually even paler than most white people, though I’m not sure how that interacts with my privilege. And I have said some things with regards to race, political correctness, and privilege in the past (and in a state of profound ignorance) that I am beyond embarrassed to look back upon. I like to think that I am growing and learning every day, with the help of some of the amazing people I read and have discovered in the past year or so. I cannot say how thankful I am to have found some of these people who take the time out of their day to talk about the realities they face and struggles they endure so that we can start to understand and try to change things for the better.
And, though I cannot fully empathize or comprehend, I feel a deep sense of frustration with the HBO show that must not be named, and beyond its obvious classist implications and complete detachment from reality, the willful racism on display everywhere from its cast to some of the staff members’ Twitter accounts is nothing short of sickening. I am embarrassed because this stuff is in many ways associated with who I am and what I stand for, the kind of writing I do, and the things that I believe. And you know what? People have every right to assume that most, if not all, white people are complicit in some way because — let’s be honest — this system, and this constant media whitewashing and demonizing/ignoring of PoC works heavily in our favor.
But the fact that people would go so far as to mock these valid criticisms, to shame the people who have come forward with their hurt and their profound disappointment that, once again, a show that is set in one of the most diverse cities in America and purports to tell “our story” completely ignores them, is abhorrent. Your racism, and your silencing of these criticisms, is not “chic,” it’s not “ironic,” it’s not “edgy,” and most of all, it is not “brave.” You are not going against any kind of current, you are participating willfully and, dare I say, gleefully, in a system and a culture which renders a huge portion of our population perpetual “others.”
This is not some overblown SJ attempt to “collect my people,” but for the love of God, this isn’t a niche interest. This isn’t people bitching for the sake of having something to complain about, and it’s certainly not a result of any kind of boredom. I understand that, as a writer, I am lucky enough to have a platform and some kind of influence, no matter how small it may be, and it blows my fucking mind that people will continually take such a profound, important platform just to say, “Yea whatever LOL jk fuck u.”