So for those of you who have been following, GRFFF issued a peak white feminist as hell non-response press release on Columbus Day of all days last week, wherein they pretty much did their version of IM NOT RACIST I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS. On Columbus Day. And they’ve upped the “diversity” portrayed in promotional materials.
I also got word that in emails to artists/designers they worked with, they asked the artists be sure to depict “diversity” as that “sells really well.”
Aside from this, despite them having access to my email address and knowing people directly message them my pieces, I have received no apology or seen a public statement addressing my experience with their abuse and the issues with the lack of inclusion in previous years.
It is specifically this dehumanizing box checking the token liberal politics that allowed for them to forget that people of color, Black people in particular, are humans, not mules or non-human things to push white people in the direction of betterment or as usage for INTERSECTIONALITY point, and caused them to so thoroughly mistreat me and others. And using the fact that other POC, likely ignorant of my experiences and the organizers and organization as a whole, are attending and participating in the festival as a way to dismiss me is abusive on so many levels.
In their press release and in other language and materials they misuse the term intersectionality a lot. Not only was this term, created by womanist Kimberle Crenshaw, never intended to be used in liberal equality/equity/diversity contexts, but it doesn’t mean what they clearly think it does. Intersectionality isn’t white women making sure to allow other people at the table while ultimately lording over the fact that through centuries of violence, genocide and theft the table is theirs. It is about understanding the unique historical and current position and experiences of those at multiple points of marginalization at that stolen table, specifically the Black women who built the damn thing. It is about deep-seated institutional, cultural white supremacy and was a way to make space for women of color but very specifically Black women in exclusive feminist language, narratives and movements that centered white cisgender straight middle class white women. So it’s beyond ironic that they’re the ones using the term.
Many of you still totally plan on going to that stolen table, whether as attendees and speakers. And at this point, I can only control what proximity I have to people who choose to ignore when people get hurt for their own benefit. But if you do care, you can listen and respect my demands.
So to repeat: What do I want?
- Accountability from GRFFF. I have long settled with the reality that the type of manipulative abuser Sally is, people will always cheerlead, side with and believe them. The best course of action for me is to expose them and stay the hell away. But I want GRFFF to be accountable for their role in enabling that abuse, promising to help as people who were friends with us both and then not doing do so. I’d like that to be a public statement from them with a thorough apology and admission of guilt/responsibility, also detailing that they plan to make amends based on conditions I set and with my full cooperation and support.
- $$$Compensation$$$. For the ways Sally, The Bandit and GRFFF made it impossible for me to do work. For the fact that the year I did participate in GRFFF and gave feedback I didn’t get paid. For all the work I put into this mess before I came forward with it through silence and hours upon hours of conversation with GRFFF people. For writing my pieces and for writing this. I don’t get accolades or compensation for being your favorite attack dog, and this shit costs me. So make it worth my energy and time.
- Mention the stolen table. And tell everyone I said this.
- Don’t go to the festival this weekend. And tell them why you aren’t.
Boost and Share this. Message and email this to them and anyone you know who will be attending or participating. Share it some more. And again, if you plan on going to the stolen table or benefitted from my pieces in any way, pay it up. $$$