BIG OLE CW on this post babes. There’s gonna be talk about racial harassment, death threats, rape threats etc through my career. I am not going to direct quote but it is going to be a ride.
In terms of internet writing I am ancient. I have been doing this shit for a long ass time. I’ve been involved in various kinds of bullshit over the years. For the I don’t know how many troll and rage and hate comments, messages and emails I’ve gotten over the years, death and rape threats have been a constant.
I remember the first death threat I took seriously and what I said to earn it. I was still figuring out my non-fiction work and was writing kind of airy arty farty proto essays mostly about sex. I had written about having been approached by a “Dom” who wanted to do some Gor based race fantasy shit I was not there for.
I was in the middle of my joyous slutdom and wrote about how bummed it made me to get constantly rejected in public by dudes like this but how uncomfortable it made me to have them want me to be their Black Pussy experience.
I got this email from an Angry Dom, from an email with a local to me IP address (remember when you could tell SO MUCH from just that) and from context clues I was 90% sure he knew who I was. It was one of those moments when I didn’t know what to do or how to feel. I’ve had people threaten and use violence against me in meatspace, I knew what to do in that instance.
I wound up ignoring him.
Over the years, I’ve made a lot of people angry with my words. When I had the audacity to suggest that fat people are human and shouldn’t be abused, I recall an angry pastor who prayed for my slow death. I’ve been threatened with death and rape for having opinions about poetry, for being Black and alive, for having a vagina and saying things.
Whenever I see people who seem to think that these things don’t actually happen, Or that the discomfort of white women especially is tantamount to the dangers marginalized people face when we say anything. Often, these things are not the same things.
In my experience, when publishing houses start to back up their authors who have in fact fucked up, often the “violence” comes off to me as so low key.
This might be a character flaw but look. If you’re getting absolutely fucking dragged. DRAGGED. It is uncomfortable. Sometimes it can feel scary, personal and like your life is in fact in danger.
It is not the same thing as having published something and opening your email to a hundred emails all saying, die nigger.
Not the same.
An example from my life.
A famous conceptual poet who’s name I’m not fucking mentioning because his stans are shitbirds, did some things and I wrote about them. Yes I fucked dragged him, dragged some other conpo folks, I went the fuck in. I did.
What that was, was yes a little violent in the context of yeah hard words.
It was not, hey u X poet you piece of shit I’m gonna murder you.
Not the same thing y’all.
This whole situation is one I feel like I will get embroiled in again. Not this one in particular because it is not my lane but, it is literally the same bullshit I have heard for so long.
The deliberate mangling of what censorship is, the wailing of a White woman who fucked up and is facing consequences and the ways in which the publishing industry will work to protect her and not the people she caused harm. I been here. I hate it.
If you have not experienced this, I don’t wish it on you. That said, I really want to encourage especially white people to really read all the links you can find in the Guardian there. I want you to go into it with the knowledge that you’re gonna feel some type of way and I want you to sit with it and not retreat into the kind of fragility that results in this shit happening.
Now some other links.
I am quoted in this piece by beloved Dena Rash Guzman in the Rumpus on Death threats.
I think that’s all.