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Tag Archives: racism

Content Note: Mentions of abuse and rape

Dear Self,

“I never needed to worry about you.”
“I don’t know how you’re still even standing.”
“You are handling all of this like a pro!”

Whenever anyone in your life uttered these words, you used to feel a great swell of pride.

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Look, the election affected me. I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t. I drank. I raged. I cried once. I allowed my mind to rush through all of the possible ways in which I could do my part to clean up this mess. Then it hit me [again].

This is not my mess. Therefore, I am not required to clean it up.

I did my job. From the looks of it, me and mine did our jobs a hell of a lot better than white people. Story of the United States of America, amirite?

But I’m not here to patronize or demonize, white friends. I’m here to cheer you on from the sidelines. You have acknowledged that the racialized system in power from which you benefit has fucked all of us over AGAIN. You are out there on the streets, talking to your representatives, writing letters, signing petitions and forming grassroots organizations. White friends, you are out there trying to fix the mess that your culture made, and I love you all the more for it.

I just can’t, nay, I won’t be there to help you clean it up. Mammie don’ left the plantation, and she takin’ the good seasoning with her.

So, I will be over here making my set of Lisa-Frank-Only-Wishes-She-Had-This-Vivacity pom-poms and working on my endurance, because real talk, white friends? You’re in for one hell of a rough ride.

As a kick-off to my long-term cheerleading routine, I’m gonna leave you all with Samantha Bee’s wonderfully insightful post-election monologue. Girlfriend has definitely earned an invitation to my family’s next barbecue.

So, good luck, white friends. Seriously. As part of the demographic that’s been cleaning up after your demographic for nearly 500 years, you do not have an easy task before you.

Well, shit.

Wait, let me try that again.

My first Readercon experience provided me with a wide berth of raw emotions, ranging from the elation that sprang from meeting and reconnecting with some of the most creative and progressive minds in the industry, to fiery rage at the bastion of New England Liberal Racism that still permeates the northeast, subsiding on the elitist fallacy that ‘smart people can’t be racist’.

How’s that? You want more, huh? I shouldn’t be surprised. I made a name for myself with my Twitter rants over that weekend on the much-needed progress needed at Readercon when my intention was to lay low and collect data all submarine-style and what not.

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[TW: Racism, Misogynoir, Mentions of Racialized Sexual Assault, Gender Slurs, Strong Coarse Language]

I did not come to play with you hos. I came here to slay, bitch. – Big Freedia

I’m probably about one of a million black girl bloggers who is posting her thoughts on Beyonce’s latest visual foray. Being on that weird cusp of Generation X/Y, aka hitting certain milestones on parallel with her Beyness, I never understood the commitment or zealotry of her fan base…until now when Beyonce had reassured us that black excellence was still alive and kicking. Or at least is trying to find a new face.

Because if Lemonade has done anything, and no doubt it’s done a lot, it’s reiterated with electric fury that the world only allows cishet white men with Fuck You money to use it to say Fuck You.

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Because I’m done.

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Eight years ago, I picked up this little gem from the Wheaton Public Library. I had been wallowing in the midst of a six-year hiatus from writing fiction due to school and self-degradation over my ability to craft sentences free of dry, academic rhetoric, and at some point between red cup parties in Allston and swag events in the Back Bay, it had been recommended that I read Virginia Woolf. Stemmed wholly in the ignorance of 20th century feminist struggles, I became and grew more aghast with each page as Ms. Woolf struggled to find a place where she could simply enjoy doing what she loved most. Determined to enjoy the freedom given to me by the 21st century, I picked up my pen once more and began to produce prose. What I did not produce until recently was a clear and concise understanding of how much my gender and my race would be so intrinsically linked with everything that I loved, specifically those things within the Land of Geekdom. Read More »

The biggest detriment to being an adult nerd is the requisite of picking and choosing the avenues down which your nerdom can traverse. Let’s face it: we’re [mostly] insanely busy adults and we only have 24 hours per the Earth’s rotation, so prioritization is a necessity. Between daytime job, participating in science-based awesomeness, running a writing group, and occasionally diving into sinkholes, a lady has to sadly let some things fall by the wayside. That being said, you can imagine my numerous rounds of self-immolation when I discovered that I missed the Trek Con in Chicago last weekend. Read More »

UPDATE: I posted the original open letter on my old Tumblr blog and thought that would be the end of it. Apparently, I have discovered new evidence that may indicate how Facebook racially targets its users, so I have tweaked my old entry a bit. Read More »

I went to go visit my aunt one day before she went into the hospital for her first round of chemo, and we sat there watching The Big Bang Theory. My aunt, an upright, God-fearing woman, staunchly proud of her southern roots, confessed to me that she had never shown an interest in BBT because it was a show about nerds.

I inferred her statement to mean that, until recently, nerd/geek culture had not found a place in my aunt’s world for whatever reason, so, instead of going off on my usual tirade about the latent racism, sexism, homophobia, and geek-ism that runs rampant in BBT (rest assure, I will go on about it in this blog ad nauseum), I let my aunt in on a little part of myself that I had only shared with the male members of my family. It was at that moment when I realized that I had inadvertently been contributing to a social stigma that’s been haunting black women for over 100 years.

I was ashamed to admit that I am a black nerd girl.

I picked and chose to whom I “came out of the nerd closet”, most of these ceremonial outings were attended by Caucasian or Asian heterosexual men because those are the demographics that make up all of Nerdom, right?

Wrong. Wrong. OH SO MANY WRONGS!

Why, you ask? Why did I hide such an integral part of who I was from those for whom I care? Because, deep down, I was [and still am] struggling with society’s concept that black women are supposed to think, act, and talk a certain way. Black women are supposed to like certain things. Black women are supposed to believe in God. Black women are supposed to have certain priorities. Black women are suppose to obey their older family members without question. Black women are suppose to marry black men. Black women are supposed to have black babies. Black women are supposed to be loud, abrasive, direct, aggressive, strong, endearing, maternal, uncompromising, and invulnerable. According to society, black women are supposed to exist within this narrow box because the rest of the world can’t comprehend anything else, and we don’t want to take the time to understand ourselves outside of the color of our skin, or outside the “confines” of our gender, our culture, our socioeconomic status. We don’t want to, or are deathly afraid of, stepping outside of the Box.

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen of both cis and trans natures, I can’t stay in the Box anymore. I can’t be what my mother, my father, my aunts, my uncles, my brother, my cousins, Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey want me to be anymore. 

I want to be able to bitch slap Chuck Lorre in the face and say, “Hey, you narrow-minded shit, the Higgs-Boson was not definitely discovered; six years of Penny’s inferiority complex isn’t funny; social anxiety disorder is NOT something to be taken lightly; and by the way, I DO exist!”

I want to be able to go to a heavy metal concert and not be tagged as self-hating or self-denying.

I want to be able to go to a Con as Thor if I feel so inclined and not have my life threatened.

So, now is when I begin to do so.

Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I am a feminist. Yes, I am a Skeptic, an Atheist, and a minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Yes, I am a writer, a lover, a novice spinner, a martial artist, a runner, a swimmer, a hiker. And yes, I would rather see Within Temptation and Nightwish than Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

And yes, I am black.

So this is me, stepping outside of the Box. Come join me, if you can. Image