Ok. Yikes. I’m not sure where to start?
I (as an outsider!) didn’t get the impression Jaden assumed friendship with you bc of the ‘black pieces’ she’d written. She’s…I mean she’s just never done that anywhere before that I’ve seen, plus as far as I saw she was very supportive of your own writing, which, honestly, is (to me) the main point of Medium. But, I’m not in that relationship. That’s you two; my perspective is completely outside.
I also didn’t see much of what triggered the whole thing. I think it started with the Trump piece? My understanding is that a lot of the ‘ally’ concept is based on 1) POC being fucking exhausted dealing with white people’s unceasing bs all the damn time and so it’s nice when white folks call out their own and actually mean it and b) a system based on racial and gendered hierarchies isn’t going to move towards less biased without the top of the hierarchy ceding power. Whether it’s forced or not is possibly up for debate, but the ceding involved is a necessity. And getting ppl who believe they have earned their power (aka don’t recognize that race/gender/etc privilege played a part) to cede it is a hugely uphill endeavor. So, I feel like we should all be on it trying to stem that tide.
I think there is a huge difference between profiting from a fake narrative (ahem this is a sloppy term; I don’t mean ‘everyone write only nonfiction’, obvs) and using a public platform to highlight histories and narratives most white folk miss. Again, as an outsider, I find the latter to be not only incredibly helpful, but also a necessity. One that is often given at (relatively) high cost to the writer or speaker.
From my own personal experiences, I can say that after the Pulse tragedy in Florida, I had to rethink how I ‘allied’. I promptly wrote a piece about gun laws and the peril of losing empathy in humanity, and it was well received and shared a lot. What I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t my time to speak. I needed to give my platform to the people who were hurting; the LGBTQ and Latino communities needed to be heard more than me. It’s not that my points were wrong, it’s that I used my platform with less empathy than I could have. Lesson learned (it’s also why I err on the uber safe side before weighing in anywhere).
I very for real cannot get on board with the whole poor white man thing. White feminism is an issue, for sure (intersectionality or nothing!! Yes!), but I don’t need to hear a solitary second of any man’s efforts to victim blame. I will not put his feelings of not being heard over the countless women he refuses to hear every day with his disgusting ‘perspective’ on rape or sexism/misogyny. The same way I have zero time for any white person who wants to tell me about how racism isn’t a thing and maybe POC should just be more polite. No. Zero.
Anyway, that’s where I am with all of that.