pjvj (pjvj) wrote,

White privilege on tap, wherein shameful displays of ignorance occur

 Most often I do not add my comments to conversations held by POC on privilege on FB .I relegate myself to hitting the "like" button for comments that speak as I would or as I would had I thought of it. I rarely type, "You are 100% right!" or similar since the "like" button does that for me without clutter. I very stingily add my voice in those places because part of white privilege is that my voice gets heard near everywhere and it is not needed there. I believe it is needed when in conversation with other white people and those are places that I do. But every now and then I will say a thing. And every now and then one of those things do occur within the conversations being held by POC. Sometimes I just feel like I have to say something because I think I can make a difference in a bigot's mind. Har. Har har. Internet, what high hopes I have! But you know what? I have had my mind changed by people online so there's my excuse.
So, the first back story:
Ani DiFranco plans her grand adventure and post to Facebook.

There is justifiable outrage at this being held at a plantation in the south by a women who sings anti-racism, pro-women songs presumably according to hallmarks of feminism. 

Here is her event description:
  • https://www.facebook.com/events/1439110212967099/?source=1  The event page has been deleted from FB and Ani released a  canceled statement here. Like a friend of mine said, "That's a lot of words for her to say she doesn't quite get it."

  • June 25, 2014 at 3:00pm
    until June 29, 2014 at 5:00pm in CDT

  • Get Tickets

  • June 25 - 29
  • Nottoway Plantation - White Castle, LA
  • http://www.righteousretreat.com/
  • An Invitation from Ani…
  • Allow me to invite you down to Louisiana to learn and play with me and some of my friends,
  • exploring these and a few more of our favorite things!
  • We will be shacked up at the historic Nottoway Plantation and Resort in White Castle, LA, for 3 days and 4 nights exchanging ideas, making music, and otherwise getting suntans in the light of each other's company. During the day, myself, Toshi Reagon, Buddy Wakefield, Hamell on Trial and others will lead workshops and lessons that focus on developing one's singular creativity. In the evenings we will perform for each other and enjoy great food in a captivating setting.
  • We will arrive on Wednesday afternoon and that evening there will be a cocktail reception and an intimate performance by yours truly. Thursday, Friday and Saturday there will be seminars and jams with a show each evening by one of our illustrious artists/faculty. We will also have a collective outing to New Orleans so I can introduce you to my new hometown and some of the extraordinary things I've found there.
Bring your guitar, your journal, your kazoo or just your curiosity and come join us for some mind expanding fun! We have room in the circle for everyone.
The website for the event has a history page of the plantation wherein the author speaks to the slaves being treated well (if you don’t count being owned as property, lacking all freedoms, and worked to the bone 5 1/2 days/week) because the owner thought his workforce should be healthy to work harder for him and his profits, so he built a hospital, hired a once-a-week visiting doctor and trained a slave to be a nurse. Oh yes, it does say that. It also says that the average plantation had ~20 slaves and this owner had 155.

The thread I entered is copy/pasted below. The event on FB is a public one, but the OP deleted the thread (surprise!). I spoke up in this one because I thought maybe as a Canadian he really didn't get the problem. I was wrong. He got it and didn't care because someone had been mean to his friend on the internet so he thought pushing his privilege even harder was the answer. 

The exchange:

Marcus Henderson is going.


Like ·  · Stop Notifications · Saturday, December 28 at 11:25pm (11 hours ago)

3 people like this.

Paula Et Al How come you're going?
4:49am (6 hours ago) · Like · 1Reply

Marcus Henderson I'm not. I don't like her music. But I support her having a concert wherever she wants to. 

People here need to grow up.
9:14am (about an hour ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Rhiannon Ajidamoon Minogaamon Says the safe little canadian whose had nothing but privilege based on his skin his entire life. 
Who needs to grow up? Those who defend this sort of garbage.
57 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 10Reply

Marcus Henderson Lol. Children.
10:12am (41 minutes ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Pamela V Jones A concert? Not that a concert would be any better, but "We will be shacked up at the historic Nottoway Plantation and Resort in White Castle, LA, for 3 days and 4 nights exchanging ideas, making music, and otherwise getting suntans in the light of each other's company" does not describe a concert.

It is a slumber party for the white elite on top of the bones of slaves without regard to the women she supposedly speaks for in her music. Not a concert, a celebration of privilege. And yeah, with that much privilege she does get to host her racism anywhere she wants, but that does not make it right.

(Irony: "getting suntans in the light of each other's company".)
10:12am (41 minutes ago) · Like · 4Reply

Marcus Henderson Right. I forgot that calling a bunch of middle class music fans "white elite" had nothing to do with discrimination. And that no one should ever celebrate the sun. 

Grow up.
10:23am (29 minutes ago) via mobile · Like · 1Reply

Kiesha Simmons "Grow up?" There is nothing childish about this. If you think there is, you are the one who needs to do some growing up. Of course black women would feel uncomfortable with the venue; that is a well-known slave site, infamous for the pain and gross violation of humanity that happened on that land. Why would any person of color, or even somebody who wasn't of color, want to go there? 

If a Jewish woman felt uncomfortable with a concert being located at Auschwitz, would you tell her to "grow up" because she's not comfortable being in a place where her people were murdered? No. But once again, blacks are told to ignore part of their history while other races and ethnic groups are told to "never forget." Backlash is not unexpected in the least. The location of this so-called "righteous" retreat is a gross oversight on her and her team's part and for her to not recognize the problem is either willful ignorance or blatant disrespect.
23 minutes ago · Edited · Unlike · 9Reply

Rhiannon Ajidamoon Minogaamon ^^^exactly.Marcus Henderson wouldnt get that because here in Klanada it isnt right if it isnt white.
10:32am (20 minutes ago) via mobile · Like · 2Reply

Pamela V Jones Celebrate the sun? So, you've not only not read the description of the event, you don't read the for comprehension, just skim the comments on the thread you started. The thread which you've already admitted is a lie because you are not going. I guess I should have seen that coming.
10:34am (19 minutes ago) via mobile · Like · 1Reply

Solan Rai Why is anyone entertaining Marcus? He's apparently bored. On to the next post where minds are being productive.
10:35am (17 minutes ago) via mobile · Like · 3Reply

Marcus Henderson Whether this was a wise choice of venue or not is irrelevant. My issue is with the personal attacks happening on this site to a friend of mine. Who happens to be a truly great person. 

I couldn't care less if someone has a gathering at a plantation, Sobibor or Wounded Knee. 

It's only a place. No one is celebrating the actions of people many years ago. It's only a plot of land. 

Everyone needs to think about the words coming out of their own mouths. Hate is hate. 

So grow up.
10:37am (16 minutes ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Ronald Usethesecond marcus came in here to teach you uppity negros a lesson about adulthood... how dare you not like people having a concert on your ancestors tragic gravesites? grow up!
10:39am (14 minutes ago) · Like · 5Reply

Ronald Usethesecond and how dare you tell his friend about how you don't like it! now you're gonna take a tongue-lashing from the ever-inspiring MARCUS HENDERSON
10:40am (13 minutes ago) · Like · 3Reply

Marcus Henderson Personal attacks on people are childish. Period.
10:40am (13 minutes ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Marcus Henderson Saying everyone in Canada is a Klan member is discrimination.
10:41am (12 minutes ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Ronald Usethesecond good thing you're not attacking people for how they feel personally... that would be childish too... oh wait...
10:41am (12 minutes ago) · Unlike · 6Reply

Marcus Henderson Yesterday on this site someone said they hoped my son died. You can understand my irritation with the attitudes on here.
10:41am (11 minutes ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Ronald Usethesecond i can tell, that's why you came here to lay the law down. put people in their place.
10:44am (9 minutes ago) · Edited · Like · 2Reply

Kiesha Simmons No, it's really not "only a place." It's not "only a place" to me, or to Rhiannon, or to Pamela, or to a great deal of the people commenting. That being said, I couldn't care less if this is a personal friend of yours. What does that have to do with anything? Your association with her has nothing to do with her incredible stupidity. To host an event on lands that cause many people discomfort and personal pain is just wrong. To say that everybody is invited is just ignorant, KNOWING that many blacks will not step a foot on a plantation with full knowledge that it is in fact a plantation.

Furthermore, no offense but somebody who is Canadian has no business commenting on the feelings of Americans regarding a place in America that only those who have lived in this country would truly understand. I don't presume to understand how somebody with Jewish ancestry would feel walking onto Auschwitz grounds. I'll never go to Auschwitz and I have no ties to the Jewish community. But I certainly would understand why she wouldn't want to. "Just a place." The World Trade Center was "Just a place" but we still built a memorial atop the ashes of it. If, God forbid, somebody were to burn down your house, would you be upset? You shouldn't. After all, it's "just a place." That was one of the most ignorant comments I have seen on this page to date. Congratulations.
10:45am (7 minutes ago) · Edited · Unlike · 4Reply

Kylie Brooks Marcus, anti-blackness is still ongoing and prisons are the modern plantations.
10:44am (9 minutes ago) · LikeReply

Kylie Brooks Marcus, if you disagree with these statementss, then you have no right or venue or jurisduction to say whatever shit you did.
10:45am (8 minutes ago) · LikeReply

Princess Tatiana Mercedes ¯\_()_/¯
10:46am (6 minutes ago) · LikeReply

Jonathan Darr Marcus - you are not doing your friend any good in the way you are conducting yourself as a dismissive "oh grow up" voice. I promise. No one should say anything about your child, but your comments are both dismissive and arrogant. People have very real feelings and objections to this venue. You don't get to decide it is "only a place." We have to hear each other into voice around these issues.
10:47am (6 minutes ago) · Unlike · 4Reply

Tia Newage Personal attacks are childish? What of many centuries of systematic oppression? What is that, Marcus? Unless youve been personally effected by racism (and no, being called privileged does not qualify as racism) you cannot tell those of us who have what to do/how to feel.
10:47am (5 minutes ago) via mobile · Like · 1Reply

Erica Arlene Canada It's not a concert.
10:48am (5 minutes ago) · Like · 1Reply

Marcus Henderson Ani Difranco is not a personal friend if mine. My friend is planning to attend this event as she is a big fan. Upon asking if anyone was flying out of Toronto in hopes of finding a travel companion, she was berated with personal attacks on her character. This is my issue. She did nothing wrong and did not deserve the attacks she received. 

This my friends, is why I have suggested people should grow up.
10:48am (4 minutes ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Jeanette Wittstein Marcus Henderson: "I couldn't care less if someone has a gathering at a plantation, Sobibor or Wounded Knee." And that is why you are part of the problem.
7 minutes ago · Unlike · 5Reply

Jonathan Darr You should reread the thread and how your comments thread through.
10:49am (4 minutes ago) · Like · 1Reply

Kylie Brooks Marcus: Fuck off. Your friend is going to a PLANTATION.
10:50am (3 minutes ago) · LikeReply

Pamela V Jones If you really want to help your friend you should find her a travel companion instead of berating a group of people long oppressed by those who call their concerns "childish" and dismiss them.
2 minutes ago · Like · 1Reply

Brian Shaughnessy If you're paying money to go to an event held at a resort that reenacts the song of the south revisionist history, you get what you deserve.
10:52am (a few seconds ago) · LikeReply

Kimbo Grama Marcus, because her character is in question... you cannot call yourself a feminist is your feminism is not intersectional...you can be either a part of the problem or a part of the solution ... that, "my friend" is why your friend's *character* was addressed (I will not use the word "attack" as I do not want to support your patriarchal, colonialist view of the language used when addressing hate...)
3 minutes ago · Like · 2Reply

Marcus Henderson Fair enough Jonathan. I will no longer discuss anything about this event, the issues people have with the event or peoples views on the subject. 

What I wish someone to explain to me, is how it is right that my friend suffered personal attacks. What is the purpose of that?
10:52am (a few seconds ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Brian Shaughnessy I love your argument that the feelers of your pal are more important than the realities of racism though.
3 minutes ago · Like · 1Reply

Marcus Henderson And "fuck off, your friend is going to a plantation" is not an acceptable answer.
10:53am (a few seconds ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Assaf Gadot Marcus, your friend's wrong doing is planning to attend this event. By attending it and spending money on it, they are supporting its current form, which is highly racist, insensitive, and erasing.

The reason that the current form of the event is wrong is that it is set on a plantation, which is a place with a history of generational, centuries-long slavery, rape, torture, and genocide. It is not just "a patch of land that used to have slaves on it"; it's a monument that CURRENTLY profits from its terrible history by framing a spa/resort-type business within the very space were unimaginable horrors occur; by turning the immense crime of slave ownership to a normalized "thing of its time"; by showing solidarity to slave owners and centring them in their website and describing them as "particularly nice slave owners" (as if such a thing is possible); and by being owned by rich white people who gain profit from the visitors (and charge them thousands of dollars). In other words, the Nottoway Plantation is an ACTIVE site of exploitation of Black history and erasure of centuries of slavery, as well as the CURRENT instances of systematic discrimination and exploitation of Black people by white people, as well as instances of enslavement of black people occurring to this day.
about a minute ago · Unlike · 2Reply

Kiesha Simmons Okay, I don't care if your friend attends. That is her business. Now, do I have thoughts about her character? Yes. That is MY business. I can think whatever I want and, luckily for me, I live in America, where I can say whatever I want, within reason. I'm sure your friend can fight her own battles.

You have no right to tell people how to feel about lands where people, possible my own ancestors, were held in chains, whipped until their backs were strips of skin, where black wives were raped by slave masters and their husbands could do nothing, where any children produced from what should have been a joyous union could be taken away because they were "property," not people, where blood was shed and has seeped into the soil and will always be there. 

If your friend wants to spend over $1000 to stay on blood-soaked land, fine. But don't tell me it's "just a place" just because some people disagree with your friend. That is life. So "grow up" and join us in the real world, where people disagree and feelings get hurt.
2 minutes ago · Unlike · 2Reply

Kimbo Grama She/He is participating in a system of oppression, hate, patriarchy, colonialism, ... need I go on? Not just participating, but celebrating it! That's how ...
about a minute ago · Like · 1Reply

Tia Newage You can stick up 1 person while ignoring the anguish and suffering of millions of others? Dismissing our experience of being who we are in a societal structure that provides little to no support for that. A society in which everytime we react or speak out against we're told about how it doesn't exist, and that we should get over it (or grow up).
about a minute ago via mobile · Like · 1Reply

Marcus Henderson Fine. Go after the event organizers. Harass Ani fucking Difranco. Don't attack other people for no reason.
10:56am (a few seconds ago) via mobile · LikeReply

Ronald Usethesecond Marcus Henderson you have now famously said you don't care about the feelings of people with American slave ancestors, Native American ancestors who were part of the american genocide featured in "manifest destiny", or the ancestors of jews in concentration camps in germany... you're building quite the resume of intolerance here. funny how you want people to feel empathy/sympathy for the struggles you and your friend from toronto have endured... oh wait that's not funny, there's another word for that... ironic.
2 minutes ago · LikeReply
And then the OP deleted and ran.

Two other good links on the issue. One. Two.

Don't ya just love the holidays?

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