Beware The White Savior

Golden Child

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Matthew 7:15-20

There’s been a lot of discussion in the past few days about callout culture, lynch mobs, double standards, leaders, messiahs, false messiahs and the whatnot. It’s not lost on me that this all happened on Easter Weekend.

A couple of people were inquiring why I requested my piece, The Double Standard of Diversity to be removed from Jim Hines’s blog. Some assumed it was the comments. No, the comments I wasn’t bothered by and the specific trolls who I had history with, I called out and shut down. It was actually Jim’s racism and homophobia that I demanded my post be removed from his blog.

He did a lovely follow-up where like most white fauxgressives, he played the hustle of the naive white boy who is still trying to learn from his mistakes and still learn from it all.

What Jim conveniently omitted was the bigoted email he sent me Friday night. There’s a reason he ran off the internet to go play Mario Kart. He got busted on his racist BS.

I know you didn’t think I was done with your racist ass, right? Jimbo You didn’t think I was going to run from this, right?

For those of you just joining us, my piece, The Double Standard of Diversity had been accepted into Hines’s Invisible 2 diversity-themed anthology. He also made it a guest post on his blog.

Enter some familiar trolls Mukka and a few other familiar assholes. In a classic derail attempt they began crying BIG SCARY BLACK MAN and pointed to some comments I made years back flinging the feces and stirring it thoroughly.
Now understandably some commenters who didn’t know me expressed concerns, so did others who may not have heard the whole story or didn’t know I had apologized or whatnot. Jim and I had previously chatted and I explained what transpired. Nevertheless when I decided to speak up and shut the trolls down, Jim Jones broke out the white sheets in grand fashion in the following email:

“Thanks for the update. I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to sort out what’s going on here, separate complaints about “tone” from things that might be considered harassment or otherwise crossing the line, and what—if anything—to do on my end of things.

Most of the screenshots and things people are complaining about are from 3-4 years ago. I didn’t see your posted apology, but it does seem like you’ve moved away from some of the more violent rhetoric.

At the same time, the concerns are coming from a lot more than a few “white fauxminist bottom feeders.” Reading your post, you also accuse these people of being losers, sociopaths, thugs, and so on. You say it’s okay to have and voice concerns about someone, but you come off as completely unwilling to listen to those concerns.

The other factor I’m looking at is the backstory with Steve Berman and Lethe Press. I think you have a valid complaint here about being asked to “take the gay” out of the story. At the same time, it sounds like some of the hostility and anger is more personal than professional, and that makes me question some of the details. For example, you say in your linked blog post “There was no Publisher. This racism and homophobia was all him.” But multiple other people, including other contributors to the anthology, have said that requirement came from the publisher Prime Books, not Steve Berman. How Steve should have handled that request from the publisher is one thing, but that’s not where you went with it.

I don’t plan to pull your post. I still think you make some good and important points. But unfortunately, I will not be including it in Invisible 2. I’m too uncomfortable with what now looks like blurring the line into personal vendettas, and the hostility you still seem to have for your critics.

Yours,
Jim

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My response:

That’s not going to work for me. You’ve crossed some lines that I need to point out to you.

1) Tone argument. Big No-No. When someone has been harassed or received death threats, I’m not going to be “polite” or “professional” about it or address it in what whites deem appropriate. Tone is subjective. Tone does not negate truth.

2) “but you come off as completely unwilling to listen to those concerns.” You just stated that I moved on from the problematic rhetoric. Clearly I was listening to someone, a couple of ladies in fact when they pointed those concerns out to me years back. What I am unwilling to do is engage a couple of trolls, who I already had a long history with for your entertainment.

3) “But multiple other people, including other contributors to the anthology, have said that requirement came from the publisher Prime Books, not Steve Berman.” Yes Jim, that’s what Steve lied and told everyone. That wasn’t true. I caught him in a lie and called him on it. Furthermore, when someone engages in racism and homophobia, I tend to take that personally as would any decent human being. The fact that you’re white-splaining to me my first-hand experiences is seriously inappropriate. Which is ironic given that you asked me to share my firsthand experiences.

4) “I don’t plan to pull your post. I still think you make some good and important points. But unfortunately, I will not be including it in Invisible 2.”

This is the part that I have a serious problem with. I probably would’ve respected you more if you had inquired about the “backstory” of Berman and Lethe Press prior to you running the blog post. I probably would’ve even respected you if you had decided to pull both the blog post and the invitation to Invisible 2. At least you would’ve been consistent.

But leaving up the post, getting a lot of traffic and saying that some excellent and important points were made and then in the same breath saying that you don’t want to put it in your book because it’s not a good look for you, I’m pushing a vendetta or whatever.

The only reason I submitted to you was for the publication opportunity. It is certainly your right not to include my piece for whatever reason or excuse. With that being said, I’m going to request that you delete my post from your blog immediately. I’m too uncomfortable with what’s now coming across to me as some duplicitous White Savior agenda.

Before I go any further, there is one important point I need to make. With all the racist angry black man and agenda pushing gay man homophobia, I forgot to include this in the email. Jim mentioned there were people expressing concerns and they weren’t among the trolls, the stalkers or the white fauxgressives. He’s right. In fact, this might be the one thing he and I absolutely agree on.

WHICH IS WHY I WAS NOT TALKING TO THEM, TALKING ABOUT THEM OR ADDRESSING THEM AT ALL. BECAUSE WHAT I WAS SAYING DID NOT APPLY TO THEM.

And fuck Jim and anyone else for lumping them in with the bastards I have a serious grievance with. That’s a common derailing and deflection that white folks pull.

White Bigot: HE’S ATTACKING ALL GAY PEOPLE.
Me: Not all of us, just you, Dan Savage.

Several of Jim’s readers either didn’t know me, the whole story, didn’t know I had apologized, etc. In fact, more than a few didn’t know me from Adam and actually came to my defense and gave me the benefit of the doubt. Why would I turn around and insult them? I may or may not have agreed with all of their comments but they were perfectly fair and I had no issue with them whatsoever. Which is why I wasn’t addressing them. But in case any of them are reading this, I’ll address them now.

Thank you for the kind and wise words. God bless you and I sincerely mean that.

See I used to hear this shit all the time on Livejournal and it used to drive me up the wall.

“There are people on the internet who don’t agree with you and they aren’t losers and stalkers!”

No shit Sherlock. It never occurred to anyone that there might be a legit reason why I never mention or reference legit individuals with valid complaints. Several in fact:

1) I’m listening to them. I’m lurking and reading silently and perhaps I don’t comment because I don’t want to disrupt their space, their discussion.

2) I don’t want others to argue with them on “my behalf” which is why I don’t bring attention to them.

3) Maybe I don’t agree with them and they are completely wrong but they are otherwise perfectly lovely people, aren’t harming me or anyone else so I leave them be.

4) Perhaps I’m not losing sleep over what other people think because I recognize they are entitled to their opinion and I’m under no obligation to argue with them.

5) Maybe, just maybe, I like the fact that they hold me accountable and I appreciate their honesty. And maybe just maybe I’m taking their feedback into account.

But no one ever considered that.

This is why white fauxial justice is ultimately full of shit. If I were to engage (no matter what I say) I would’v been criticized for bullying, not minding my tone, being crazy, pushing an agenda or saying some other fucked up bigoted shit like Jim did.
When I sit and listen and don’t talk back then I get falsely accused of not listening.

#DoubleStandard

Kinda like the double standard of Jim Jones’s follow-up.

“Sometimes people get angry. Get over it. People have every right to be angry, resentful, bitter, and so on, especially when they’re dealing with systemic imbalances and prejudices.”

And yet you Jim were lecturing me about my tone in that email and I had to call you out on your bullshit.

“I think it’s important to be open to the possibility of growth and change. We all screw up sometimes. Some of us worse than others. Recognizing mistakes and trying to do better is both difficult and important.”

And yet you were still lecturing me on what happened, wagging your index finger and telling me, “WELL I ONLY SAW ONE LINK SO I KNOW THE WHOLE STORY.”

“Part of Upkins’ post involved criticism of Lethe Press/Steve Berman as homophobic and bigoted, based on an interaction over a story Upkins submitted to a Civil War anthology  Berman was editing for Prime Books. I don’t know what actually happened here, and I think it’s totally valid to complain about being asked to “remove the gay” from a story.”

You don’t know what actually happened here? You seemed more than qualified to whitesplain to me my firsthand account. And you Jim of all people should know why victim blaming is 50 shades of fucked up. There’s a million appropriate ways Jim could’ve handled that shit and even if he had said something along the lines of I get that there are two sides to every story and you make some strong points, he would’ve been fine. Hell even before posting the blog post if he had asked me to use another example that didn’t name names or something like that, he probably would’ve been appropriate.

But no I get the anti-blackness and whitesplained to that I’m fueled by a personal vendetta which is interesting because that’s the same BS excuse Berman used when I called him out. What vendetta? He and I had been friends for years prior to this incident. What personal issues? There were none on my end. Unless Berman has some personal issues and told Jim something I don’t know about. Oh yes, Jim got Berman’s BS line of personal agenda, that’s why he felt confident enough to lecture me. Because a white man said it, it must be fact.

None of it however refutes the points I just made.

Furthermore falsely claiming I have personal issues or a vendetta/pushing an agenda is a classic derail white folks like to utilize.

Oh yes, I’m just a regular Emily Thorne.

Revenge

Furthermore, this isn’t the first time Berman has done some shady shit towards writers. So why these bigots are trying to paint me like the crazy black man with an axe to grind, is beyond me. But that was cute though.

You didn’t find this in your background check Jim? No.

“At the same time, “multiple others” who were involved with the same project have said what happened was more along the lines of the publisher deciding they already had several stories with gay protagonists, and didn’t want to add more. While I think that’s still worth discussing, that expectation came from the publisher–Prime Books, not Lethe Press–and Berman was simply working within the publisher’s guidelines.”

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This right here illustrates why you Jim and are absolutely full of shit. For the sake of argument, let’s just say you’re right and that’s what happened (even though it didn’t). YOU’RE STILL WRONG.

How many stories with gay protagonists are too many stories? 1, 2, 14, 50? Notice we never hear that bullshit about cis straight white protagonists?

#DoubleStandard

Why are you even remotely entertaining this, Mr. WHITE ALLY?

Furthermore, when you’re the publisher of a gay press who is pushing homophobic guidelines and then turn around and write an article about the death of gay publishing where you take potshots at Christopher Rice and other gay writers for doing the same thing you were trying to do and failed at, it does warrant being called out.

#DoubleStandard

I seem to recall a publisher telling Jessica Verday that her story had too many gay protagonists, and fandom flipped its shit and rightfully so. But what, because the same demand is being made of a gay black author, it’s okay to shift the goalpost?

#DoubleStandard

Too many gay protagonists? Why is that a problem? Are Prime Books homophobic? Do they not like gay people? Is that what we’re saying? Should we maybe boycott Prime Books like we’re doing Indiana? Anyway you spin this BS, you’re still wrong, you’re disgusting, and you’re a hypocrite.

And you wonder why I pulled my piece from your blog.

You’re the same individual who’s pointing fingers at Indiana and the Sad Puppies Brigade regarding the Hugos debacle.

#DoubleStandard

Jim is worse than they are. Torgerson and his crew might be ravenous wolves but at least they aren’t in sheep’s clothing.

#DoubleStandard

This is par for the course how white folks operate. If it isn’t the Sad Puppy Pound declaring war on progress, it’s white double agents like Jim Jones paying lip service to diversity and the second real progress or real works begin, sabotage commences. This is exactly what Dr. King referred to when he said white fauxgressives like Jim Jones are the biggest stumbling blocks to progress in his Letter From a Birmingham Jail:

“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”

They never understood.

They want to bring up mistakes I’ve made 5 years ago. I’ve got news for them. I’ve done far worse. That’s why I got involved in social justice. To change and to be about the change. To learn, evolve and to help others.

It was never about e-fame or popularity or looking good. That’s why I never cared about what other people thought of me or engaged in this Mean Girls bullshit that Jim Jones.

I was about the work instead of the image. Which is why when my friends called me out on my male privilege, I knew the perfect opportunity walk the talk. Hollowstone, or rather the rewrites.

That’s why one of the major themes the YA tackles is patriarchy and male privilege. Not only was I trying to make right mistakes I made but use the book as an opportunity to bring awareness to other serious issues that are invisible in our society.

That’s also why when Felicia and a few of the trolls began harassing and trolling my page, several female readers pointed out that they couldn’t have possibly read the novel and picked the worst one to pull that fauxgressive garbage on.

You see I have nothing to hide. But I also have nothing to prove. Which is why I’m under no obligation to show my receipts to the morally bankrupt. Because as Jim illustrated, they’re far bigger monsters than I ever was on my worst day.

The kids today call it callout culture. When I was a kid, it was called Church on Sunday with Southern Baptists. When my grandparents were kids, it was called a lynch mob. It’s also been known as McCarthyism, a witch hunt, and a crucifixion.

Jesus

This is nothing new.

Arthur Chu wrote a wonderful piece on the racist witch hunt against Trevor Noah.

I especially appreciated this excerpt.

“I see it as problematic because I see it as too big a deal to be funneled into putting just one guy on trial and giving the rest of the culture a pass—because “scapegoating,” in the classic sense of the term, is all about heaping symbolic abuse on a symbolic target to avoid having to actually change anything about ourselves”

Let’s keep it 100, they were scanning his social media for a reason. When all is said and done, it comes back to race.

As the article also pointed out, Jon Stewart has said and done far worse than Noah and never once apologized. Adam Corolla and Bill Maher have done even more fucked up shit and still get labeled progressive.

#DoubleStandard

The problem with callout culture is that it’s another form of white privilege and hypocrisy.

It would be one thing if these were consistent but it’s no accident that minorities are held to a different standard. Otherwise The Man Show Daniel Tosh wouldn’t be a thing. And how many whites have said and done far worse, and we don’t hear anything out of them?

#DoubleStandard

Racist white folks using social justice to derail progress is even illustrated in this clip here:

#DoubleStandard

Trying to do a background check on me and all I needed was one Good Friday to expose your dirt.

What’s hilarious now is that Felicia, the idiot who was complaining about him featuring my post on his blog, is now complaining because I demanded it be removed.

Bye Felicia

All things considered, you have to appreciate the artistry of it all.

I wrote a piece on double standards and hypocrisy and white privilege. And Jim and some of his fellow fauxgressives prove my point for me in grand fashion.

And when your work speaks truth to power. That says everything right there.

*Drops mic*

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By Dennis R. Upkins