A great bard by the name of Toni Morrison said it best, “I’m always annoyed about why black people have to bear the brunt of everybody else’s contempt. If we are not totally understanding and smiling, suddenly we’re demons.”
A few years back I had a major Come To Jesus moment while promoting my debut novel, Hollowstone.
My editor dropped some truth which rocked me to my core. When you make an artistry, a national pastime, an Olympic event, out of delivering epic takedowns to evil racist white folks both online and in person, your reputation tends to proceed you.
For the life of her, my editor couldn’t understand how I managed to have garnered so many enemies. After all, according to her, I’ve always been very regal, intelligent and amicable. Then she saw some of the exchanges and this was her expression.
“Oh I see why they hate you,” she said after a reading a few exchanges. “You talk to them as equals. More than that, you talk down to them. The same way white people usually talk down to minorities. A black person is never supposed to talk down to white people. That goes against everything we’re taught.”
Which is why more than a few have gotten a few irate at my tone this past week on Gail Simone’s social media page. Which is also why I was left with little option than to hold aloft my sword and transform into Midnighter.
A little backstory is in order. I’ve been proud and honored to call Gail Simone one of my good personal friends for many years and I’ve been a fan of her work as an artist and an activist for far longer than that.
When young women of color have expressed disappointment at comics not properly representing them, I’ve watched Gail take time out of her schedule, go off the record and personally reach out to those young women and let them know they are valued. What truly impresses me about Gail is that much like myself she’s someone who welcomes critique and always strives to step her game up as both an activist and a creator.
Gail’s wisdom and friendship has resulted in me evolving as a feminist/womanist/human being and I like to think I’ve been a positive force for this beautiful and amazing woman. Because iron sharpens iron, she and I periodically have some excellent thought provoking discussions on equality and institutional oppression.
Unfortunately many white bigots like Mike Aronson take issue with Wakandans speaking their truth.
White bigots like Mike Aronson who sadly have to learn the hard way that when you come for this Once and Future King, you best not miss.
Unfortunately not everyone is as wise or as lovely as Kat Burkard. In another thread Gail and I were discussing the heat Troy Adkins was catching for performing at President Trump’s inauguration. I explained that Adkins was still benefiting from white privilege as the worst one to catch the most heat was Chrisette Michele and while I didn’t agree with either Adkins or Michele performing, I thought it was 50 shades of effed up that the black woman was being singled out and crucified.
Now keep in mind, neither Gail nor I were arguing or even disagreeing, at all. We were having an amicable discussion. Enter Billy McCormick who demanded that I prove where white privilege came in.
Instead I did him one better and gave him the hometraining his daddy should’ve provided by informing him not to insert himself in adult conversations and to keep it mute when his betters are speaking. Lil Billy decided to throw a temper tantrum and after repeated warnings Gail promptly blocked him.
Unfortunately Gail Simone coming to the aid of a black friend was the equivalent of her defying the third law of thermodynamics because a few more covert Nazis decided to make with the dogpiling, gaslighting and harassment. Specifically these two Gorgons:
And the repeated attempts at white fragility and white woman tears continued.
“I don’t favor violence. If we could bring about recognition and respect of our people by peaceful means, well and good. Everybody would like to reach his objectives peacefully. But I’m also a realist. The only people in this country who are asked to be nonviolent are black people.”
-The Original X-Man, First Class, Brother Malcolm
And when the Imperial Wizards refused to take a hint, fee-fees got hurt and asses were kicked.
And the bigots also learned that the rest of Gail’s elite squad stays ready.
To Shannon’s point, somehow I surmise this isn’t the first time Jodi has misused her son. In fact I have it on good authority there is an inebriated gent in a bar right now singing karaoke off key:
SHE CLAIMS I AM THE ONE
BUT THE KID IS NOT MY SON!
SHE CLAIMS I AM THE ONE,
BUT THE KID IS NOT MY SON!!!
And when Gail tried to warn them yet again, some fools, namely Billy McCormick, insist on vacationing in Chernobyl.
But here’s the real rub. None of of the white bigots who attacked Gail and myself were Trump supporters. In fact they were all the very liberal fauxgressives you would find wearing a safety pin and breaking their arms from patting themselves so hard on their backs for “resisting” the new regime. These are the same white folks who will condemn Trump but will cheer on white bigots like Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep and Lena Dunham. See it’s real easy to point fingers at the other side, especially when you’re committing the same sins they are. With allies like these……
“First, I must confess that over the last 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 the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er 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 can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”
Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
And that ladies & gentlemen is the crux of equality. Equality means that if I come out of pocket with a trans person, they are well within their rights to hand me my ass. Equality means that I may have every reason to despise a female co-worker but she’s still entitled to equal pay as I am if she’s doing the same job. Equality means that just because you spew some bigoted bile in a roundabout/passive aggressive manner doesn’t make it any less poisonous. Equality means that if you can’t be bothered to care about my feelings, my mental health and welfare when you engage in racism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry, I’m under no obligation to be polite when I read you the riot act. Equality means that if my hand is forced, best believe I will handle business by any means necessary. If that bothers you, then don’t let the necessary occur.
Best case scenario, you’re going to get called out and taken to task. Worst case scenario, you’re going to get called out and taken to task by someone like me. As McCormick learned.