Thanks so much, Kerry. Not for “siding” with me, but for articulating that you understand my position. For being of logic.
My general point here is be careful. Where, as a white person, you see this as an isolated incident, I, as a black person, see this daily.
There has been piece after piece written by non-black people on behalf of black people frequently on this very white-dominated site. This was like the 3rd “listen up Black folk!” piece I’d seen by this person, and, for me, that was enough. I take especial notice of people who write on racial issues not their own behind avatars.
I, as a black person, know what I mean when I say “black.” I have several times identified myself as a 3-generation BROWN American, “black”, by a US social designation.
Many people who are non-black who use this word do not. And that is the point. Be careful. What, as a non-black person do you mean by “black?” Do you even know what you mean? This is exactly the point. All black people are not the same and do not have the same experiences, so how are you as a non-black talking about “black people?”
I do not identify myself as a person of color. That is a designation made to lump many different non-white races and ethnicities into the same category, as if we have the same problems. I relate to you, say, as a brown, but not as a Jamaican. And this point of non-relation is where we learn from one another because in saying that I don’t relate to you, I’ve given you the floor to tell me about your different experience. Not mine.
Since, especially, creating an account on Medium, I have learned that I have become quite immovable on racial issues. I don’t enter into many concrete racial discussions about my experience as a black person with non-black people. You know why? Because you’re not black. I am the holder and speaker of my experience and my experience alone. My stance as a BLACK PERSON is non-negotiable, and this is hard for many whites and non-blacks to understand because they have been trained to look at the black identity as some sort of grab bag, to always think their opinion is relevant.
I don’t write whole pieces about brown Hispanics or brown Africans or brown Haitians because I’M NOT THEM. It is their story to tell and tell alone.
This is the last time I will comment on this because I do not find this person that I engaged with to be emotionally stable and capable of logical debate. This person created some sort of personal relationship with me in their head that I did not share. Or wanted to.
This person private messaged me twice, likes pretty much everything I say, comments on nearly everything I say, and I’m not supposed to say anything? No, I tell you that I appreciate it, agree where I agree, and keep writing. If I’m not a regular “liker” of your writing and you still follow me, I try to support in other ways. This is the guilt part. I don’t like ignoring people when they’ve said something to me. But we do not have a personal relationship. Nor do I have any obligation to also like your stuff. I am not of that community here.
I unfollowed this person awhile back because I could see things even then. And the only reason I followed in the first place was because this person kept pretty much liking everything I said. You see why I’d like to get rid of having followers? This is too enmeshed.
I unfollowed and they kept following me. Which is fine. But I’ve seen this person get into numerous skirmishes with others. Create whole unprovoked posts about others, and drag other people’s names into interactions when the interaction had nothing to do with them.
I’ve seen this person grow more and more bold and irrational with each new follower and then attempt to turn it around on others when logic went right over their heads.
This person has ASKED me personally what I thought about their writing. And note, that I never said I liked it. Never said it was bad, but went on to talk about a couple of pieces that I liked, but noted that emotional and more confessional pieces of writing were really not my style. EXPLICITLY stated that I did not prefer this person’s “stance” pieces. It’s all there if you’d like to look.
I also became kind of wary of this person when I took issue with a white person on here who posted a picture of 2 naked black people having sex in chains. This person liked this piece then went on to champion “black people”. I found it odd and disturbing, and that is specifically when I unfollowed that person.
Double wary when I got into a platonic discussion with a well-known person here, and this person private messaged me something to the effect of “don’t you hate when people say they know what other people mean? Get my drift?” then went on to like what this person wrote and said. This person, I’ve perceived, plays both sides of the fence.
And then to invalidate all of my logic and talking points, you begin a series of wild, flailing accusations and weirdness and end by calling me “mean.” Right-o.
I wrote a piece awhile back when I quickly realized the lay of the land here. Many people here are very immature and over emotional, and you can see evidence of this by some of the comments so far and the way people have kept things going.
Thanks again Kerry. Again, last time I’m responding here on this issue.