Friday, November 28, 2014

Why Mia McKenzie Tried to Have Me Lynched

It was Monday night and as I sat down to check my twitter feed, I discovered that everyone in the world had suddenly gone apeshit.

I do mean everyone: Black people, white people, pink people, green people, people of all the many shades of brown, as well as liberals, conservatives, the young, the old. You name it.


Now, “going apeshit” is a godawful thing to say about apes. They’ve never really done anything to deserve it. After all, when sufficiently riled up, human beings are ever so much more likely than the average ape to throw something at you, and when they do, it is likely to be something much more godawful than mere apeshit.

Still, I use the term “going apeshit” here because it captures my meaning and because my ape readership is so negligible as to be safely disregarded.

Therefore, I say: Monday night. Twitter. Apeshit.

On Monday night, all of the apeshit appeared to be about something that had happened in a small town in Missouri. That was where a grand jury had just decided not to make a police officer stand trial for shooting a young black man to death.

Everyone was going apeshit about it. Everyone. Some were going apeshit because they disagreed with the decision by the grand jury. Others were going apeshit because they disagreed with the people who disagreed with the decision by the grand jury. And so on and so on. There was a lot of talk about race and quite a bit of talk about violence, and nearly all of the talk was tweeted out in capital letters.

I read a lot of it. I thought about a lot of it. I did not say much.

One person whose tweets I read was Mia McKenzie, whose twitter handle is @blackgirldanger and who says she writes in order to “amplify the voices of queer and trans people of color.”

Okay then. Sounds great!

An oasis of lower case letters amidst all of the apeshit, Mia tweeted this:
That was a photograph of the father of the young black man who had been killed. It was a photograph taken at the moment this father learned about the grand jury’s decision.

It was – and it is – a powerful photograph. As a parent, it got me. As a member of a traditionally ill-treated minority, it got me. As a human being, it got me.

Certainly, it also got many of Mia McKenzie’s 25,000 followers, and many of them said as much. When she said it got her – when she said she was done – they said, “Me too.”

Well, apparently, this unwavering show of consensus and support by her twitter followers angered Mia. She tweeted this:
Now, it is my belief that everyone and anyone can feel the anguish that is captured in the face of the father in the photograph. It is universal. It is primal. You do not need to have a special life experience or an entry pass to feel it. I myself have known house pets who would have reacted to a lot less than the anguish expressed in that photograph.

Mia’s anger at her bobble heads – at her me-too-ers – therefore struck me at that moment as being… misdirected. Although I was not one of those who had replied with “Me too,”  I now replied to her attacks on the me-too-ers with this:
As far as criticisms go, these words were pretty mild. Compared to ANYTHING else being tweeted on this particular Monday night, these words were downright unremarkable. It is difficult for me to believe these words could attract any notice at all.

Still I replied. Then I shrugged. Then I headed upstairs to put my kids to bed.

Upon my return, twitter informed me I had 516 new notifications.

This came as a surprise, as I generally receive between three and five twitter notifications per week.

This was more.

I dug down through the piles of replies, mentions, and a few new follower requests until at last, I stumbled upon this:
“get her NOW.”  And they did.

Some utilized racial slurs.

Some employed unflattering references to my sexual orientation.

One even tweeted my home address along with some advice about what could be done with it.

Still, I didn’t say much until I hit 804 notifications, when I acknowledged my newfound notoriety by tweeting this…
…which garnered this response from Mia…
…as well as an additional 200 insults, slurs, threats of violence, and variegated shows of outrage.

Some time went by and then it was Tuesday and the angry words kept rolling in, such as these by someone calling herself @miafan2014:
And when my nine-year old daughter went out to check the mail on Tuesday afternoon, someone shouted this from a car waiting at the curb: “Your ma needs to learn to start showing respect!”

Of course, there is no telling about this last bit. It could have been completely unrelated to the Mia McKenzie shenanigans. However, as a rule, random passers-by do not shout at my children out in public. I am about as uncontroversial as anyone could be while still maintaining a website called “Fascist Dyke Motors.”

So what, you might ask, is the takeaway from all of this? Now that my twitter notifications are back to normal and now that the excitement has died down and now that the worst of the tweets are all deleted, what is to be learned from this?

Maybe nothing.

Probably nothing, even.

Or maybe just that when everyone is going apeshit, even agreeing with someone is not always a safe bet.

Mostly, I believe it shows that there are a lot of bad people in the world, and those bad people do not all stand on the other side of some random line from you. The enemy of your enemy might not be your friend at all, and she might even call 25,000 people to lynch you just for agreeing with her. She might even say, “Go get her… Don’t tag me,” which means she does not wish to hear about the godawful things her words inspire.

People go apeshit sometimes. I just keep doing my thing.

I read a lot. I think about a lot. I do not say much. And on nights when the apeshit starts to fly, sometimes I worry about how hard it is to tell the good guys from the bad guys...


  1. you deserve worse than that

    1. Hey, I didn't say that.

      Now let me read what you wrote up here ...

    2. Anonymous 9:04: I am slowly coming around and beginning to accept the idea that not all Anonymous comments are posted by the same person. Unless you want to look into trademarking the name "Anonymous," you should, too.

      Well, I mean, unless all Anonymous comments really ARE yours. in which case... dude, shame on you.

  2. amplify the voices of queer and trans* people of color!

    Ah. See, that's your problem right there. As a queer/trans NOT of color, you don't matter. But that's okay, as a straight white male I haven't mattered for decades. In fact, I'm not even sure I'm allowed to be in this conversation. I hear that me even viewing BlackGirlDanger's twitter feed is punishable by 30 days in a federal white guilt camp.

    So feel free to direct all of your blog and twitter followers to viciously attack me. As a white guy who's never had to feel true pain or suffering, I'd say it's about time I gets me some of that!

    1. I have been part of the LGBT community in Houston for long enough that I have seen what some people do. I have seen people act in horrendous, inexcusable ways, and then when they are FINALLY called on it, scream, "You're just saying that because you don't like gay people!"

      There is horrible discrimination in our society. People are treated like shit. People even die. But bad behavior is bad behavior, and people shouldn't get a pass to act like that simply because other people with whom they share a demographic have been treated badly

    2. You won't hear any disagreement here. It's amazing how many people will throw around the word 'homophobe' simply because someone calls them on being an asshole.

    3. Haha!

      Yes, like the clip.: "Oh, I get it. I'm not persecuted, I'm just an asshole."

  3. I'm gonna sit back + see what happens before I comment on the blog. You brought up apes + lynching here so anybody who wants to misread what you said is gonna have a field day.

    I'll be back to see.

    1. Now that you say it like THAT I am sure glad I took out the part about unleashing the flying monkeys.

  4. Wow,now I remember why I stay the hell off Twitter. Lots of fucked up people out there too hung up on themselves. Sounds like you found one with her own personal army of minions Be safe Katy.

    1. Thank you, Thurman. Sometimes I need to be reminded why it is I try and keep a relatively low profile online. There are so many fiefdoms to maneuver and all I really want to do is write.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hey, that was my second choice for a title to this blog post! It narrowly lost,... but there's always next week.

  6. A cyber lynching? Interesting juxtaposition under the circumstances.

    1. It's like rain on your wedding day. It's a free ride when you've already paid. It's the good advice that you just can't take.

  7. OK, I have stay away from the Ferguson stuff. However, it's time to get out the soapbox. Scumbags are using this event to further their own personal agenda and profit

    Mia McKenzie's (blackgirldanger) photo of Michael Brown Sr looks staged. I would not be surprised if Al Sharpton did not coach him.

    This blog post is a good example of apeshit social media...

    "White friends: get her NOW. Run her the fuck out of here." - Mia McKenzie (leader of a lynch mob)

    Internet vigilantism is on the rise. In the past, digital avengers have more or less limited their activities to shaming and exposing pedophiles, con men and giant douchebags. However, attention seeking whores, profiteers and moral-minded folks dish their harsh citizen justice out on anyone who steps outside the tight parameters of their idea of acceptable behavior.

    So what, you might ask, is the takeaway from all of this?
    Easy, Mia McKenzie attention seeking racist!

    It's OK, because it's reverse racism

    Enough, I am not going to waste a bunch of efforts units on Mia McKenzie (Miss I got sand in my vagina)

    1. Hi, GOODSTUFF.

      I would welcome her side of the story. I invite her to present it.

      As you know, I try and stay away from current events entirely on this blog. I once made a reference to Charlie Sheen's Tiger Blood in a blog post and I've never completely forgiven myself. I'd like someone to be able to read any of my posts in 3 years or 5 years and have them be just as relevant (or irrelevant) and effective (or ineffective) as they are today.

      When this started to involve my home and my kids, though, I figured I ought to speak up.

    2. Good article: The question is whether cybervigilantism is ethical or productive for a society trying to overcome bigotry.

    3. That's an interesting article, GOODSTUFF. And it's right - people say crazy stuff because of the illusion of insulation and safety of the internet. Stuff they'd never say or do offline.

      I think there's something to be said for holding people accountable offline for things they do online. It's not a golden ticket where there is no sort of repercussions for the evil one does online. That shouldn't be how it is.

      On the other hand, where in the world is the line? What one person believes is enough to take offense at is certainly not going to be what someone else does. So do you track me down and tell my boss about my online shenanigans at the slightest offense?

      If that's the case, I have to say, the tracking people down thing is worrisome. Beyond the story here, I have been tracked down by people wanting to meet me because of of my blogging on more than one occasion. One individual still reminds me that he can find me and kill me any time he wants and has threatened to kill my family, burn down my house and my school - all because I won't date him.

      I guess what i am saying is that holding people accountable for their online activity sounds okay until you start to think about who it is who might be doing the holding.

    4. Sign me up!

      I wonder if I'd be assigned a badge and a gun...

  8. You did it! You were the center of a Twitter controversy. That means you made it. Death threats from people following a person who positions herself as the voice of a minority of a minority really help you put things into perspective and reevaluate your position on telling other people anything. I mean, "get her NOW"? I get that it was an emotional time and emotional reaction, but inciting mob action is a crazy reaction to what you wrote.
    And who are the complete psychos...uh, I mean, civic heroes (please don't attack me, completely reasonable people), who roll up to your house and yell at your children, whether related or not? A lot of people need to smoke a lot more weed.
    This same thing happened to me when I @ replied the Red Lobster account.

    1. I used to wonder where people got henchmen. You know like in the Batman movies? Faceless drones whose whole purpose was to run indiscriminately at Batman and die?

      Yet here is an example of that: "Go get her, my pretties!"

      Most of them actually just cursed at me and told me to "Get out." I'm a little unclear about the logistics of what that even means when one is dealing with twitter.

    2. It's to my understanding that if you have a big enough Twitter following people are no longer allowed to Tweet at you with a differing opinion, and so, in turn, the offender must be "got." I mean, personally I'd just choose to ignore them, but I suppose having them "got" is a viable alternative, too.

      RIP Katy Anders
      Died doing what she loved -
      Gettin' got

    3. For the record, I think that A Beer for the Shower is approaching that point of popularity and influence where you might be able to start ordering some cyber-hits in people.

    4. I don't want to brag, but Pickleope's website didn't shut down just because his "domain was expiring."

    5. You just did what the rest of us were thinking. Pointing the finger at who took out that site would be like a Who Shot JR? moment.

  9. Replies
    1. Hi, Debra! It could have been a lot worse. I could have pissed off someone even more internet-famous like that "Chocolate Rain" guy or Grumpy Cat.

  10. This is fucking insane. I mean, you know me and you know I generally avoid words like "fucking". But this is fucking insane. I don't even know the amount of craziness that goes into something like that.

    I'm glad I never joined the Twit generation.

    (And I thought crazy people going apeshit was something I had a monopoly on. Apparently not.)

    1. Twitter is great for reviewing headlines as they happen - everyone starts tweeting the headline at the same time and I can decide whether to go in and read the linked article.

      However, I'm not good at one-liners, don't find one-liners funny, and I'm generally not interested in being linked to a self-published author's e-book for the 5,000th time, so it's largely a waste of time.

      And, of course, the social media ego thing that happens (as demonstrated in this post) is... troubling?

  11. Pale creamy flesh tones are a colour, right? You aren't transparent, a creature made up of air and imagination, are you? So they haven't got a toe to stand on, have they?

    1. I think it's safe to say that even by white girl standards, i am pale.

      Albino kids see me in the store and point, saying, "Mom, what is wrong with that woman? Why is she so pale?"

  12. This is the sort of thing that makes me worry about people. I worry about people whom I've befriended through their blobbers and mine. I worry that some of the troglodytes who troll my page might follow friends back to their nests and make trouble for them. I worry about sane, thoughtful, compassionate people having their words taken out of context or mistaken for hate speech. I worry that there aren't enough fucking psychiatric drugs available for the people who obviously need a 'script. I worry that someone can take offense so easily, and instead of dealing with their feelings of anger or disrespect in a direct manner call for mob jihad instead. I worry that we've crossed so many lines with our supposed "connected-ness" that we can't disconnect long enough to process thoughts anymore. We're too easily distracted to even take the time to TRY to understand one another. And life's too short for all this worrying...

    Katy, keep an eye on your kids, and don't underestimate threats from unhinged people. They're everywhere you wanna be, you know?

    Worried 'bout you, now... See what you've done?

    1. Squat, for once in my life, I don't have anything snarky or clever to say in response to a comment. You just about summed it up.

      I will say, though, that i think a lot of it is because we don't have to look each other in the eyes when we do shit online. It's a lot tougher to treat people like crap offline because you're sometimes forced to look those people in the eyes.

  13. Get yourself a gun. Maybe a couple of guns. Learn how to use them.
    Find some friends with guns.

    Our children are our most precious treasure. Anyone who would go shouting shit at your kid on the street is already too-far disconnected from reality.

    Nothing changes someone's understanding of the world and how it works faster than a sucking chest wound.

    1. As reckless as I can sometimes be myself, I'm paranoid when it comes to the kids - and much more so now that I'm their only caregiver.

      I'm in Texas where I believe we're issued guns at the order and ammunition when we go to get a state driver's license. We're good.

      But Sucking Chest Wound is going to be the name of my death metal band someday.

  14. Speaking as one who likes your writing and has been interested in the surreal journey you've been going through, I nonetheless have to say that I think you were in the wrong here.

    There are few things that are more maddening when you're upset, whatever the reason, than having someone tell you that you aren't entitled to be upset. It's bad enough when a friend does it over something trivial, so to have someone do it in the face of a massive injustice is undoubtedly agonizing.

    It is particularly agonizing if it comes from someone who is not in a position to experience the upsetting thing in the same way. No one suffering from painful menstrual cramps wants to hear from a cis man that they should stop making such a big deal out of it. LGB people are unlikely (and under no particular obligation) to accept a straight person saying what is and is not a reasonable reason to be upset. Similarly, as white people -- regardless of whatever other marginalized groups we may belong to -- telling black people how to feel about another blow in an ongoing, systemic, often brutally violent avalanche of racist bullshit is not an appropriate response. Yes, queer people are also targets for systemic oppression, but the fact remains that, because we are white, there are situations that would get a black person beaten or killed that would probably not get you or me any consequences more severe than a stern warning to move along.

    If someone is upset about something, it's natural and even compassionate to say, "I'm sorry, I know how it feels." If the person says, "Look, I really don't want to fucking hear about how you're feeling right now," the compassionate, appropriate response is to either say nothing or to say, "I'm sorry, I don't mean to intrude," and back off. If you think the person is overreacting, it's much more politic and much less inflammatory to say nothing. People who are upset are prone to lash out. Sometimes they regret it later; sometimes not.

    If you think someone is prone to overreacting in ways you don't feel like interacting with or even reading, that's your prerogative, but being snippy and defensive at someone who is angry or hurt is just going to make them mad at you. At that point, it has little to do with what you said: It's hard not to be angry and resentful of anyone who is presuming to tell you how to feel.

    Compounding it by getting defensive just escalates the situation, and using terms like "lynching" and "apeshit" in this context is inflammatory. My suggestion would be to say to her, "I apologize for intruding on your grief and anger and for reacting defensively," and delete this post.

    1. First, I hope it doesn't sound patronizing if I say thank you for disagreeing with me! I know that sounds ridiculous, but no one ever disagrees with me substantively on my own page, despite the fact that I OFTEN describe ridiculous things that I've done and I need to be called on.

      With this one, I was about ready to start a skeleton account to argue the other side here.

      So I won't sic my followers on you.

      I'll just make a couple points and leave it at that:

      1. I very well could have deserved a "F*ck you" on twitter from this person. In fact, that wouldn't have been surprising. I do shoot off my mouth at times, and being slapped back is always within the realm of possibilities. A couple of the people on twitter brought up your points and more, and I see the validity in the argument about grieving.

      This weird siccing of followers, though... not so much. I thought it was a bizarre enough reaction - that had repercussions far beyond the degree of offense - that I decided to write about it. I almost never write about current events and never ever write about spats I have online, so this sort of rose to a high enough benchmark that I broke my own rule.

      2. These weren't statements Mia was making in private. When you tweet something to 25,000 people, it should not be a huge surprise when someone reacts to your words and even critiques your words. In fact, she has made her entire reputation on being provocative, controversial and in fact even being antagonistic to people she terms "allies".

      She relishes this sort of thing, and by writing something like this, I've of course "confirmed" what she always says about white liberals in general.

      So I might be a bit of a jerk.

      Mia knows she is welcome to present her side of the story.

    2. Yes, if you post something for public consumption, it's not unlikely that it will draw some kind of vociferous response, but the response being predictable doesn't make it constructive or not obnoxious. I think there's a comparison to be made to pretty much any time a woman speaks out in any public or semi-public forum about harrassment or feeling unsafe when going outside, only to be met by a chorus of men who refuse to let any critical remark pass without inserting, "Not all men!" or otherwise derailing the discussion and demanding that it focus on their hurt feelings. Is that inevitable? It certainly seems to be. Are those kibbitzers within their legal rights? Sure -- but do you want to be that guy?

      Aside from derailing the issue, responding with that sort of defensiveness sends a strong message that whatever support or allegiance you may profess is conditional. It says, "I'm on your side -- but only so long as you frame your arguments or complaints in ways with which I am personally comfortable." People who do that may feel perfectly justified -- nobody likes being blamed for something they didn't do -- but as soon as you respond that way, you're telling the other person or group two things: first, that you prioritize your comfort over their concerns (which comes across as particularly churlish if those concerns involve physical safety and/or legal rights) and second, that you're presuming the authority to dictate the terms of issues that don't involve you or don't involve you in the same way. It turns nominal support into a demand for personal validation.

      That is a line that oppressed populations get from their ostensible liberal allies with depressing regularity. It's an alarming component of a lot of theoretically well-meaning philanthropical efforts, especially ones active in poor areas outside the U.S. LGB groups get it from straight "allies" fairly often. Women get it from erstwhile male feminsts constantly. Black people routinely and regularly have their concerns derailed by supposedly liberal whites who even insist on undermining black-specific rhetorical slogans with faux-universality and false equivalencies ("All lives matter! We all bleed red!" and the like) -- often while "ironically" using racist language, just for "fun."

      One of the principal features of privilege is the power to decontextualize: to strip away any event or situation's systemic context and focusing only on the specific circumstances in purely interpersonal terms (how they make you feel). If you're a cis man, it's very easy to decontextualize women's experience with sexual harassment because it's something cis men rarely experience at all, and in the few instances where they do, it doesn't exist within the same context as it does for women. If you don't experience the context or constancy of that reality, it's easy to be completely oblivious to it unless you make a point of thinking about it. That in turn makes it easy to focus only on how you feel personally stung that a woman is complaining about men doing something you don't do or think you don't do. That's why it's privilege: the privilege of not having to engage with something if you don't feel like it.

    3. As for the response, I didn't read any of this particular row other than your synopsis here and I'm not familiar with Mia or her writing. However, I have watched similar scenarios play out over and over again in other online venues, and the pattern usually goes like this: (1) a black person posts or comments about an upsetting issue or piece of news; (2) one or more white commenters -- often a white friend of a friend -- immediately insist on weighing in with some derailing comment, such as the hit singles "Not all white people," "Just to play devil's advocate," or "Don't ALL lives matter?"; (3) the original poster, now understandably aggravated, asks their friends to rein in the derailers, exclaiming, "Please take out your trash," "Would someone collect this idiot?" or words to that effect.

      Regarding the latter point, with any social media post, the leading source of obnoxious, derailing comments is your followers' friends. You post something, some of your followers repost it, their friends see it and take umbrage, and then suddenly you're besieged with offended friends of friends or friends of aquaintances crying, "Not all men!" or "Not all white people!" Consider it like this: If you're throwing a big party, you let your friends bring along some of their pals that you don't personally know, and said pals start making a nuisance of themselves, you're probably going to go to your friends and say, "Look, I don't know where you found these jackasses, but either shut them up or get them the hell out of here."

      Another common and usually justified complaint about self-styled "allies" is that they are often frustratingly silent in situations like that, either not wanting to stick their necks out or being too busy snitting about their own hurt feelings. It gets back to the feeling that your allies' support is conditional and predicated on their comfort and convenience. If people profess to be your friends or supporters, but they won't stick up for you except in broadly abstract terms and only when it's comfortable, they aren't doing you much good.

      This is the context of the situation, and when you consider that this happens constantly -- and in a time when black people's right to even speak out publicly about injustice is being aggressively and sometimes violently suppressed -- looking at it as simply an interpersonal matter that boils down to some question of basic civility is both reductive and, again, privileged.

      One of the reasons it's so maddening when someone questions your right to be upset about something is that it insists on shifting focus away from your feelings to the other person's demand for justification or explanation. At best, that's exhausting. So, I'm not going to tell you it's unreasonable for you to feel stung at having gotten a negative reaction to what seemed like a compassionate and innocuous statement of support. However, there is a lot more going on here than that, so I would suggest you consider the broader context.

    4. OK, yeah. I can sort of relate with how she felt about the me-too-ers. I've read people who, for instance, have blogs about their cancer diagnoses who don't seem overly thrilled to read responses about how others can relate. And I know that when I've had things happen to me, hearing other folks' parallels didn't help, especially at first.

      For this reason, I rarely say "me too" or even "I understand how you feel" with people. Listening is the best you can do for people in bad straits.

      This wasn't about that part of it for me, though, or else I wouldn't have written about it. It's about the arrogant insanity of siccing thousands of people on me and specifying she did not even want to hear what they did to me.

      Who does that?

      There's no way to defend that, including, "My race had taken another hit that night, so I felt like I didn't have to be accountable for my words or actions."

      I can understand someone who is mad. However, this was something else. So I wrote what I thought about the whole thing here.

      I wouldn't expect everyone to see it just how I saw it.

    5. Returning to the party metaphor, if your friends or acquaintances have brought someone into your party who is being obnoxious and you tell said friends to deal with it, do you care what they say to the person? Probably not, so long as the offender leaves your space or shuts up.

    6. It sounds as though you're saying that (to take a famous example) "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" does not implicate the speaker in the eventual death of the priest.

      I don’t think you and I are going to reach agreement on this one.

  15. About the previous comment (well written, ArgentLA)... I think there's a valid point made. If I bump my head on the cabinet after picking up a spoon I've dropped, the last thing I want to hear from any-damn-body is, "Oh, I bet that hurt! Are you okay?" Most of us just want whoever saw such a ridiculous thing to DIE before telling anyone else what they just witnessed. But that's just me.

    On a similar point, though, I feel the urge to tell you this tale from my past. A few years ago I followed a blog written by and primarily for lesbians. It was often hilariously written, with a lot of current events covered from a point of view foreign to some of us, so it intrigued me. Or at least it did until I made the mistake of agreeing with something the moderator had posted, identifying myself as a straight man who intended to pass her post along to my wife and daughter and all of my female friends. I was immediately attacked by about fifty of her readers, some saying how "comforting" it was to know a man might validate her post with his approval. It escalated into all out hate comment after comment... and all I had done was thank her for a great post. Silly me.

    I learned then and there that one can't EVER be too careful around some people. Nothing is as harmless or innocuous as it might seem when we hit "send" to those who are itching for a fight or are easily offended. I learned a lesson that day (and soon forgot it, obviously, because I keep commenting when I should shut the fuck up and mind my own business). I deleted that blog from my favorites list, and haven't been back. They wanted to barbecue me for having testicles, and I thought that an unreasonable response to faint praise.

    You never know who you're going to offend. Or elate. Life's funny like that.

    1. Haha... Yeah, things start to feel a little meta and surreal when people get attacked for agreeing with the writer. Which is sort of why I spoke up on Monday.

      The most I can do is try to think before I hit Post. And I do think, usually, and I can usually stand behind what I say. The fact that i don't post under a name like HoustonGrrl1985 or something probably helps.

    2. I would ask you to consider that again, what may seem to you like random and unreasonable offense often exists within a broader systemic context of which you're unaware.

      For instance, imagine a female friend has a flattering new miniskirt. She goes out about her day and is faced with a long string of catcalls, leers at her legs, unfamiliar men asking for her phone number in line at the coffee shop, and so forth. You see her later that afternoon and casually remark, "Hey, that's a great skirt," and are angrily told, "Oh, fuck you." To you, it seems like your friend is taking needless offense at an innocent compliment, but to her, it's the latest in a general torrent of unwelcome male attention. Maybe it's just the last straw; maybe it's the first time all day she's been in a situation where she felt it was reasonably safe to express her anger without immediately fearing for her physical safety.

      Some people are thin-skinned, but it may well be because the world has been wearing them down since they got out of bed, since puberty, or since they were born. It's easy to be dismissive of that if you don't have to live it.

    3. Again, it really wasn't the fact that she was offended by the me-too-ers - or offended by me.

    4. ...And then that angry woman screams for all of her friends to come beat you up and you get your face bashed in by 25,000 people crying over a stupid miniskirt. Does that change the argument, or is she still justified just because she had a crappy day?

  16. I don't think I like Mia, but I think it might be exciting to have someone yell "git 'em" at an angry cyber mob while pointing at me. Okay, maybe not.


    1. It sort of has a cartoonish, Old West quality to it, doesn't it?

      I feel like I'm Don Knotts and just got made sheriff of some really rough town.

  17. Replies
    1. For better or worse, I can't get together a big enough posse to call out a decent hit on you.

  18. Katy. After reading all of these comments and spending some time with the original hoo-ha that started this, I feel obligated to say this: we need to get our shit together before these deep-seated racial emotions gain too much more purchase on us. We all have a little "You do not know how I feel" in us, and we all--those of who truly care for others--feel the need to attempt comfort. Sometimes I don't fucking WANT to be comforted. Sometimes I'm so angry and hurt that I want to lash out.

    Those angry responses are signs that the pot is more than simmering. Me, I blame Walmart.

    Fuck Walmart!

    1. Twitter is like Jungian primal scream therapy all day every day. I realize that some people go there to grieve or vent. I mostly just pop over there to see whether anyone saw where I left my keys.

      Of course, I'm not a huge fan of human beings these days.

  19. Fuck Wal-Mart? " Fuck Me "!! I've tried posting on your last 3 blogs and twice on this one. My two laptops got dissapeared, andI can't. Swipiee or Typee on this "supposed 2 Be "Smartphone". The sumbitch eats my posi every time. So Fuck it, Wal-Mart,and me. Be safe Katy. You have som real people and real supporters out here

    1. I've had a helluva lot of trouble posting comments on my own blog at times, although it's not as bad as when I tried to use those Google comments on here for a couple of days. I ended up uninstalling it.

      I have a great bunch of people I've met on here! It's not as big and crazy as the old days at the other place, but it's a lot of fun and I think the writing keeps improving (I hope).

  20. Damn phone ate my post 4 times in the two days.
    Fuck it, Wal-Mart, and me. You don't need a posse. Pea
    eye Gus and Woodrow McCall are fans. With them ,five dollars,
    and a tank of gas, and maybe one or two of us,watch
    yout six, you 'll be fine. All you'll have to do is watch
    Out for us.

    1. Truth is, I can't even imagine siccing people I like and respect on anybody. I fight my own battles, and usually other people's battles as well.

      Sometimes for pay.

      I guess what I am saying is that for the right amount of money, someone could convince me to take out their ex.

  21. I'm not sure I understand why she got upset with your tweet? Her tweet didn't make sense. It IS possible that white people can agree too. Such ignorance.

    1. It seems like race issues are even more incendiary than religious issues. I generally try to avoid race altogether online. Once in a long while, though, I'll throw some gasoline on the fire around here - resulting in the most comments I've had on a post in a year and a half.

      Your Cosby facebook war was pretty wild, too.

      So much misdirected anger.

  22. Ironic - Mia's own words -
    "Making threats from behind a keyboard takes zero courage, which is why it’s the preferred pastime of so many assholes. But let’s not let that reality cause us to not take these threats seriously. They are serious and the people making them should be held accountable."

    1. That is a pretty good and relevant quote! People say dumb things... a lot. Twitter and screen saves make these dumb things live forever.

    2. Poster of original comment here - It's all part of MIa's MO, and I'm not sure she realizes the power behind her tweets. She recently spoke at a University I worked at and while her presentation was great, she took great offense to a gay white male voicing his support for her. It ended with Mia posting a tirade about the school and the individual, who ended up receiving numerous death threats from her followers. Mia has some wonderful things to say, but I think she needs to exercise some restraint in her twitter posts - then again, I think she really gets off on creating controversy and then banning/berating anyone who does not agree with her (and sometimes, even those who agree with her). Scary.

    3. Anon 6:05: Thanks for that. It sort of brings what happened into perspective for me. I have looked her up a little more since it happens, and you're right, attacking those she terms "allies" and the very desirability of these "allies" appears to be one of her major themes.

  23. This is the behavior of a thin-skinned narcissist. I have read and agreed/disagreed with BGD's articles to varying degrees. I find her to be fairly Jacobin in tendency, harboring a lot of hatred for people who don't share her identity. She is certainly a talented writer, and a strong thinker on race/queer related issues, but various things she's said and incidents like this lead me to believe that she, like many social justice figureheads is a demagogue with possible personality disorders.

    I'll say you were in the wrong too, I'll also say the "me toos" were wrong as well, but the punishment in no way suited the crime. You certainly rated a "fuck off", but McKenzie's behavior was beyond unacceptable. What disgusts me most is the lionization of her, and the lack of mention in any social justice circle about this behavior.

    Behavior like this (which is sadly growing more and more common) undermines the moral standing of movements for marginalized people. It's not a "tone argument" to say that if you're in an antioppressive movement, that acting like fucking Gamergate does harm your position. Glorifying an egomaniac like McKenzie, in spite of her occasional worthwhile thoughts, can only lead to scandal and embarrassment.

    1. Oh, I'm almost always in the wrong, and I'm not being light-heartedly self-deprecating in saying that. I am an arrogant bitch at times, which might explain why I sometimes butt heads with... arrogant bitches.

      I try to keep that arrogance in check. It's always a shame when talemnted people undermine their message by letting the egomania get the better of them.

      However, I DO hold people with whom I agree to a higher standard than people with whom I disagree on everything. I do! We all should, I believe...


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