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Here’s the deal.

November 5, 2009

I am not nice, cuddly or even remotely sweet. I am cursed with one of the world’s most adorable faces and this often leads people to believe I have the temperament to match. I don’t. I am a crazed mixture of flaming touchy feely LOA hopefulness with a bitter, cynical chaser. Generally, I have little use for the chow chow of most people and I am forthright about this.

But I’m also a person who champions the underdog. A person who will curse out a bitchy salesclerk who is rude to someone they don’t deem “worthy” for whatever reason and I have no patience for those who don’t. It’s not safe for me to speak out many times, but it’s certainly not a good enough reason to keep my mouth shut on most occasions.

You ever wonder who actually contacts the supervisor of rude staff? Me.
You ever wonder who writes complaint letters to companies? Me.

I have almost no patience for activists or activism, particularly of the navel gazing variety. I did the riot grrrl thing and the zine thing and the workshop thing and I got tired of the tokenism. I got tired of being the “good” brown girl who makes it safe and comfy for activist types to engage in their douchebaggery unchecked.

And I was really popular for awhile anyway.

I’m not so popular now, because I relish making folks feel uncomfy. Love dashing their little hopes and do not miss an opportunity to shit in some dogooder’s cornflakes.

Once I invited a Michael Steele type speaker to a Black History Month event because I was annoyed at being asked to coordinate it. I wasn’t really big on idea of doing BHM stuffs just to prove the org I worked for was on point on racial issues and I stated my concerns upfront. There was all manner of processing and faux concern, but ultimately it was decided the responsibilities would still be mine to shoulder. I stopped talking about it.

I can show you better than I can tell you. I think they got my message.

It took me a long time to get the point where I don’t feel I have to support whatever new jack activist bullshit is sweeping the movement. It was a hard and lonely road for awhile, but the alternative (being someone’s token) wasn’t a condition I was willing to accept.

This has been such a glorious breakthrough for me. You don’t know how nice it is to define my truths and use my voice and talents for the kind of anti-racism work that is meaningful to me. I didn’t know I could do that before. Being a grant writer has given me the opportunity to tell do gooder orgs, “We don’t want your fucking community garden or your fucking liberal white activists defining our problems.” Every time I send a rejection letter to some pretentious org who thinks they have issues of my community figured out I feel like I’m doing real work.

I’m snarky. I’m unimpressed and I’m the one reading and rejecting your grant proposals. Thanks and drive through.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2009 6:46 am

    I’ve come back to this post several times. Not that you need my approbation, but you are right on the money here. I served as the exec. director for a USDA Enterprise Community in what is arguably the poorest county in SC. It’s 90% AA, with 85% of the property/land owned by 10% of the population (guess which 10). The issues there are so endemic and systemic, that things like community gardens wouldn’t even put a bb ding in the door.

    I cannot tell you how many do-gooders, who’d never set foot in the county, sent in funding requests for those kind of outlandish projects. Even worse, were the people who moved in thinking they were going to be the community’s ‘savior’. Meh. The other issue was the attitude of the organization’s board, who were more than willing to give out the money, but resented like hell the people they were expected to give it to.

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