Unpopular Opinions: I haz them

I posted this as a comment on Persephone, but I also want it here on my personal space.

I have thought long and hard about this issue (i.e. “Do I agree with Persephone’s editorial decision to publish this?” “Do I agree with the content?”, etc.). Ultimately, I realized that my opinions or thoughts on these questions are irrelevant, as the piece is already out there and now all I can do is comment on it.

First of all, as anyone who reads my own blog knows, I write about Jezebel quite regularly. I am extremely critical of Jezebel as a whole and more specifically, in racial and ostensibly transphobic matters. Moreover, I contend that Jezebel is not just problematic in matters of race but openly racist in its permission (tacit, implicit, at least), to allow someone like Tracie Egan Morrisey to post some of the comments and remarks she has made throughout the years. That tacit permission, to me, is identical to the White person’s silence when they witness a blatant wrong and do nothing to correct it. A sin by omission, to use a popular metaphor. I don’t want to extend my remarks about Jezebel’s racism because, as I said above, I have written dozens of time about it (anyone can pursue the archives of my blog to find such instances).

Also, I think it is important to clarify that I am not an expert on racial matters, like MizJenkins is, or at least, as she has been crowd appointed (not necessarily by choice, but by popularity). I am, however, a visible (visible, as in “by appearance”) racial minority in a country where racism and White supremacy are quite pervasive. I have written about this before and everyone is invited to read an analysis of my racial situation at Racialicious if they so desire.

However, I do take issue in a personal attack that transpired as a result of this post: the semi pile up against MorningGloria for her unfortunate use of the word “crazy”. Now, let me tell you this: calling someone crazy as a synonym for bad manners or a behavior one doesn’t agree with is ableist. It is. Because it further stigmatizes people with disabilities. However racist? We cannot know. And this is where I think we are obliged to apply the principle of “the benefit of the doubt”, especially because of the implications of tarnishing someone’s reputation by labeling them a racist. There are consequences in that. Such a label could affect someone’s employment opportunities, someone’s social life, someone’s advancement possibilities. And to be fair, we can say many things about MorningGloria but to this day, I have to see one shred of evidence of her alleged racism.

You want to know the lesson I learned from this? That we should be careful about crowd appointed internet heros. No matter how right they might be about some issues, they also risk turning their own, personal experiences in universal dogmas. And there is not such a thing as a universal, one size fits all experience when discussing racial matters. Let’s not forget that crowds are responsible for lynchings, not individuals in use of their critical thinking abilities. We should always try to remain in full use of ours.

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