Tim Lieder (marlowe1) wrote,
Tim Lieder

Racism gets weird

I saw some mutterings about Ani DiFranco this morning and it was all about her trying to have a retreat at a plantation. I was barely awake and reading it on my phone and I'm reading these twitter messages that are extremely pissed and so I'm thinking "what's the big deal?" So what, she holds a hippie thing at a plantation and that's just like a hotel but with a shitty history. It's not like we can avoid this kind of history.

And another FB post is by Mark Wholley who was one of the founders of Anthocon but also one that I've been getting steadily more sick of since Trayvon Martin. He did a knockout game post and a bunch of his asshole friends seeing exactly what they are supposed to see - EVIL BLACK TEENAGERS and Innocent White People and they are all proudly talking about how no black teenager is going to get them. Plenty of wishful thinking concerning the punching out of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. I responded to that one by calling out everyone for being a racist shithead obsessed with an obviously bullshit story in order to justify their defense of George Zimmerman's god-given right to chase down one of those black teenagers and shoot him. Later on, Wholley responds to me but I block him so I don't read it. Later on a couple of other people that were mutual friends are responding but I don't want to read that shit.

So on the racism scale, Ani DiFranco is well below Mark Wholley and the George Zimmerman fans. But then I enter into the discussions and realize that I'm actually naive on the whole plantation scene.

I did not realize that plantations weren't hotels with crappy histories but were set up to be theme parks in celebration of the Old South in a "Rose for Emily" obsession. This had to be explained to me. Even though there's a potential for a neutral or even a positive plantation (one owned by the descendents of the former slaves for example) most are just as racist as you would expect and the one that DiFranco chose is very racist.

But then her statement - oh G-d - I think I owe Amanda Palmer an apology. Holy fuck, Ani DiFranco makes Amanda Palmer look sane by comparison. It starts out so well. First two paragraphs address the issues. The third paragraph turns into hippie shit and then it just goes on and on into a Wall of Text. She even mentions her black friend. No. Seriously. And of course at no point does DiFranco say "I'm sorry. I was wrong"

I realize it's a minor miracle for public figures to say that, but it really shouldn't be. See my paragraph before the last one. Oops. Didn't realize that it was still racist to rent out a plantation. But Ani DiFranco is the arbiter of leftwing politics and human rights. It would be too hard for her to admit that she's wrong about anything - especially anything race related.
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