On my Mind

First of all.

Y’all this album is so fucking good.

This is my current soundtrack.

On my mind. Right now, y’all should check out this hashtag on tweeter.  And related read this. See also this.

Please note: I only use the word woman/women very loosely and to include Genderqueer/Femme presenting living folks.

How are these things related? Here’s what I’m thinking.

On the hashtag you’ll see it relates to Ebony which is a traditional Black publication. A lot of Black women write/have written for it. If you look at some of the responses they fall in line with the other link.

Everybody loves to ask or demand Black women do work. Whether it is the exhortation to get ourselves out there and hustle. HUSTLE and get those bylines to show the WHOLE goddamn world what we can do.

I’m here for it.

There is a trap in it. When the places that are supposed to be here for Black people, women in this case fucking fail. This is exploitation and as a larger issue, I see this constantly with freelancing. This is another reason why I hate it so much.

For me personally, living with my particular set of marginalizations I cannot fuck around with people who don’t pay what is agreed upon.

While there is an absolute cachet to scoring those home run bylines, there is peril. As with any industry, when you’re loud about how those in power fuck up, shit gets real. I’ve watched it play out time and time again from writing groups to twitter etc.

We say, hey fuck you pay me. Or say, this editor at X magazine will not respond to my need to be paid. And things can get so bad. Part of the reason for this is that nobody trusts or believes women, especially Black women.

If we say, I’ve been mistreated-BOOM suddenly we’re just being big ole meany face bully gossips. Echoes of rape culture and sexism and Misogynoir.

Y’all know.

Now, the person who started the dialogue about Ebony, has been subject to shitty ass trolling especially from other Black folks and from supposed professionals within Ebony. Ebony is not some little three person zine struggling for postage money. This is huge money, this is old money and like so many other things will celebrate Black women out of one side of their mouths and steal food off their table and talk shit about us from the other side.

This is from the big leagues. This is supposed to be the right way to be a writer or to be an activist. These are the people who’s nod we’re supposed to earn.

And they treat us like this.

So, some people like me decide, you know what?

Fuck your legitimate money.

nope
[image caption: A still from Godzilla. Lookng up at Godzilla, it looks like she is yelling. Underneath there is all caps white text that says NOPE]
Not that I won’t occasionally get me some but overall, nah.

For a variety of reasons.

So, as y’all know if you read me regularly, I have my donation area and my tipjar and my venmo. It is how a lot of people I know who put in a hell of a lot of work help ourselves survive.

For the type of work I do, for the type of activism I prefer and how I am able to create the shit I’m good at, patronage (YUP we’re going there again) is an ideal model. I have my dayjob and that mostly pays my rent and I have my art. When the mundane parts of my life are paid for, I’m a motherfucking artist juggernaut.

And a lot of the time, my tipjars and whatnot make up for the intense emotional labor I am prone to do in spaces where, a lot of folks don’t appreciate shit.

So then along comes this person who abused their platform to really shit on those of us who aren’t operating within spitting distance of legit money acceptability.

I’ll quote from the post I linked to above:

They discourage Black activists and organizers from Liberation, and inspire them to chase individual fame and fortune from white power. They reinforce respectability and funnel shared resources into their own crusty Black hands. They use us when needed, but abandon us when necessary.

This is why I will not and cannot fuck with people like this. And the person who started the bullshit about what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of the hustle and doing the work is the type person who helped drive me away from freelancing.

This culture of deciding that you ONLY count if you are acceptable. If you don’t tell, if you are a Good Negro, if you get by in an acceptable way is pure fucking garbage. There is nothing revolutionary or cute about replicating the macro world problems in a microcosm.

Nothing.

That said, there is money in aligning yourself with the “right” way.

I mean, that blogger is making some coin right?

Ebony is still making them coins.

I respect the hustle. Y’all know the old saying, don’t hate the player, hate the game. I hate the game.

Fuck that game.

That game and trying to play it really almost killed any desire I had to ever write another essay. These behaviors hurt me in what at times feels like an irrevocable way.

On the other hand, it does fire me up. Knowing that I am doing exactly what I need to do in order to be the best creator I can be is amazing.

Yes, these things are still exhausting and painful. It hurts me as a Black Femme/mostly womanish type person to see Black women shit on each other to get ahead.

It hurts my actual soul. It hurts my heart because these are the tools of White Supremacy and if we can’t stop using them against each other what chance do we have of expecting White people to not use them against us?

Now here’s the thing.

I have zero expectation of agreeing with or kumbayahing our way out of it.

What I hope is that at the very least we stop shitting on each other for cash.

I know, we ALL need to make money. Y’all know I am about that hustle and grind life. But not at the exposure of people who are also marginalized.

Let’s not. We can do better.

 

 

Musings on Patronage

After a really great month for my Patreon, Like the best month ever and I celebrated with some stickers for my planner, a couple of thrifted books and a double credit card payment. I also got a nice lil tip in my Venmo that netted me a couple of coffees and some time to sit down and make some plans.

This morning, I got a long rambly angry note from an anonymous person at a throwaway email address all about how they KNOW I take advantage of people and how I am a (this phrase is verbatim) Welfare Lady in Waiting and how I’m just fleecing people because my writing is not good enough to get the big bucks and shit from publishing.

Now, aside from the sheer saltiness and the fact that they cherry picked things I post about freely on social media as examples of how I’m rooking folks into funding my lavish lifestyle, I noticed that what came across was that this person is bitter as fuck but follows me closely.

Obviously their welfare lady in waiting thing is a racist as fuck, sexist as fuck and comes from what I think is probably a place of hurt that I, a Black person has dared to carve out an artist life of sorts.

Let’s use a super famous and successful White person as an example here. Now, I cannot stand her for many reasons, but Amanda Palmer is gonna be our example.  She literally makes more money per thing than I do in a year.

Cruising through the top writing creators, most of them make anywhere from 1200$ up through 12,000$.

The thing is, there is a very long and rich tradition of patronage to artists. All kinds of artists, writers, painters, singers etc. Folks giving people money to live so they can create is something that has gone on forever. What I find interesting about modern life is that in reality, often the argument I hear from people against my own search for patronage is wrapped up in age old stereotypes about Black people.

The uppermost layer revolves around the idea that unless you are extraordinary, if you don’t have ties in the world you work in you have zero access. If you are not the right negro, often the gatekeepers want nothing to do with you unless they are tickled by you.

If you can be an exotic pet for them to talk about to their friends. Or they will fuck you or display you or, at worst steal from you.

Some of those things have happened to me. Way back when, I had the “opportunity” to deal with some mentors who were older White men with money and pretty much they wanted a literate fuckdoll. They wanted to be the one to say they bagged the next Maya and I wasn’t having it.

I have read a lot of artist bios and in so many, patronage of one sort or another was the way through. It provided what we as humans need and what we creatives often need to make our work great.

Stability.

Less stress.

Time.

Now, Whiteness alone doesn’t necessarily protect an artist from being taken advantage of but often it protects against the insults and accusations.

You can even be an actual fraud and frankly, if you’re white enough a lot of people won’t ostracize you. Granted, some fare better than others, but, I think history shows us this is pretty true.

I think I’ve been painfully aware of these things since I was a baby potato writer dreaming of having patrons. I remember reading Henry Miller when I was 14 or whatever and after jerking off, I’d dream about mailing pages to publishers and getting wired money and having beautiful places to visit, having that life and writing wonderful broken things.

I outgrew thinking that was my path, but looking back, I see where Blackness became the thing I believed would keep me from having that access and support because I didn’t know about any living Black creators who had it.

I couldn’t have said it at that age, but I felt it.

I think that’s all. This topic/area has been on my mind because I’m writing about things that intersect with Blackness, patronage in the arts, fraud, etc.

So to wrap up, if you really follow me closely enough to know when I last was published by another person, when I bought new boots etc you know that I hustle.

So fuck off.

Before I go, later this week or next I am going to make some announcements about things. And for right now, you can read a free Daiyuverse story I posted on Wattpad. I will probably post more there as I write them if I don’t submit them places. You can follow me. Enjoy.

 

White People’s feelings are clearly more important and valid than mine.

If you’ve been following me for a hot minute you know I released an essay about Blackness and whatnot. See that here and purchase for 1.50 if you like.

I haven’t sold that many copies and one person after reading it took issue with this:

Whatever happens the truth is you cannot tell Whiteness no.

That is basically most of the point of the piece and the person who emailed me, whether they intended to or not completely proved my point.

When you as a part of a group that is being talked about respond with things like, “not all X people are like that” you are willfully missing the point. You are being part of the them you are so adamantly denying.

This is a moment where the adage shut up and listen needs to be heard and often isn’t heeded.

My essay is entirely about how Whiteness as a thing does not allow for me as a person of color to say no or to deny it in any way. When I do, I am apparently “the problem” or “not doing anything about it”.

Here is the deal.

I am not going to suck your dick in order for you to treat me like a complete complex human being. Not in my writing, not in my walking around life and not in my activism. There is this constant noise coming from self appointed allies who shout louder and louder when they take something that I experience personally as a slight.

In the context of talking about racism or racism that I personally have and do actually experience, frankly I don’t give a hot fuck about the fact that how I talk about or deal with these things hurts your feelings. Every time one of you comes riding into one of my various inboxes or contacts me through social media to vehemently deny my experience, with that action you are telling me that my words, my work my actions and my personhood doesn’t matter as much as your hurt feelings.

You are telling me that my life and experience that I share even though it’s painful and hurts me, is less valuable than you feeling like the White Savior you envision yourself to be.

So let’s be clear.

If you are a White person who has hurt feelings when POC talk about fuck Whiteness I am not for you.

Don’t read my work.

Don’t read my blog.

Don’t buy my shit.

Just don’t.

I don’t need you and your tears.

I don’t need to validate your hurt feelings.

I don’t need you to save me from my life.

I don’t want you.

Fuck off.

I am not the Kindly Magical Negress you are looking for.

I will not hold your hand and reassure you about how not racist you are.

My words, my pain, my blood, my joy are not for you.

I am not for you.

Are we clear?

If all that is too complicated to process let’s leave it at this.

If you read this and are firing up to tell me that you are SO NOT ONE OF THOSE WHITE PEOPLE, you are doing it wrong. Shut this shit down and get thee to another tab.

Got me?

I am not here for that, I am not here for you and I hope your feelings are hurt.

I am real through and I am not wasting my time or limited energy on your shit.