I like and respect both BFP and Amanda Marcotte. This shit just sucks.
1) I feel horrible for the stress and shit Brownfemipower’s being put through.
I don’t think there’s any blogger whose writing is better than Brownfemipower’s. (There are a few I find as good, but no one better. No one.) It’s wrenching that she’s taken her blog down, it’s wrenching that she’s going through a shitty time.
I hope she’s just taking a break, and that she’ll be back. But only BFP can say what’s the right thing for her to do. As a reader, I mourn the loss of one of my favorite blogs; but I support BFP’s decision, whatever she decides.
2) I also feel horrible for the stress and shit Amanda’s being put through.
Some people have accused Amanda of stealing, and of plagiarism. (I’m not linking, because that way lies blogwars, and I don’t want to start or participate in blogwars anymore). I don’t think that’s fair, or true. And that Amanda is now being criticized on “stop making it all about you” grounds is, I think, especially unfair. It’s not all about Amanda, but it’s hard to see the bigger picture when you’re being attacked.
3) There is a much bigger issue here. Appropriating ideas is, in a neutral context, fine. We all do it, all the time. No one is an island, etc..
But our lives aren’t lived in a neutral context; we live in a racist context. And in that context, when white progressives take up issues that POC activists have been leading on for years, we should credit, cite and acknowlege the work of POC. Otherwise, we’re contributing to a racist pattern that’s been going on for decades, in all forms of writing and art.
What I care about is that when white feminists undertake to write about the issues of women of color — such as immigration, which is clearly a massively race-infused issue — they should do so in solidarity with women of color. In ways that give political voice to women of color, to immigrants, to those whose voice is generally not heard as loudly.
When any of us have a soapbox, an opportunity to get up and talk, we must continue to stand by those who aren’t called on. If you want to consider yourself an anti-racist or a white ally to people of color — if you want anyone else to consider you those things — then it behooves you to swim against the current. If everyone did, perhaps the tides would turn, even if it was just in our corner of the blogosphere. And sometimes all you have to do is simply call out the hard work of another woman who went before you, who has paved the path that you’re walking down with research and ideas and words and strong feelings. All you have to do is cover your bases, pay your respects, and make sure you can’t be read as trying to take sole credit.
I totally agree. (Although I’m sure I’ve screwed up on that account many times myself.)
MODERATING NOTE: Anything that strikes me as a personal attack on either BFP or on Amanda may be deleted without warning.