Chegg Champ Commisions

Monday, November 14, 2011

Racefail in Occupy Nashville

This is a copy of an e-mail I just to the leaders of the Occupy Nashville movement. I will update if I receive a response.


I had heard on the news this morning that Occupy Nashville was planning a human auction this morning to protest the privatization of prisons. I had hoped that I was mistaken. Unfortunately, I logged on to your website and discovered that it was true.

You claim that the protest is in response to, amongst other things, the "brutal treatments of prisoners in a mass incarceration system that systematically disenfranchises our African-American brothers and sisters". If you truly cared about your "African-American brothers and sisters", you wouldn't mock the brutal history of our ancestors by holding this auction. Yes, slavery ended long ago, but the institutional racism it created still exists today.

Even though I can't be there in person, I do support the Occupy movement and what it stands for. I was proud when I learned that it would be coming to my city. However, I'm upset that the thoughts and feelings of those who make up the majority of the people oppressed by the 1% - *my* African-American brothers and sisters - were not taken into consideration when this auction was being planned. I hope that you rethink your position, and cancel the auction.


[real name redacted]

Update (2:29 PM CST): I still haven't received a reply, but I did notice that they deleted the words "Human Auction" from the Google Calendar Page. However, according to the Facebook page the auction will go on as plan. It's supposed to start at 3:30 PM CST, so we'll see.

Update (11:32 PM CST): They had the auction. No amount of outrage of outrage on Facebook, no amount of angry or concerned e-mails was going to keep them from showing their white privilege. Can't say I'm surprised. It's Slutwalk NYC all over again. Whatever. I'm through. I just cannot trust white progressive movements. I can't.

There were always questions as to whether the movement was truly inclusive. Even after allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and blatant racism arose, there were still men and women from diverse backgrounds who came forth and said that the Occupy movement is something for all of us, something that everyone should become involved in.

And then this shit happens.

Oh, I don't blame them. And I know that one small branch of the movement doesn't necessary speak for the entire thing.

Or do I.

As I said before, this is Slutwalk NYC all over again. Even though Slutwalk Toronto came out with a great statement condemning what happened (even though the organizers of Slutwalk NYC did the same), how can I be sure that this shit won't happen again?

I can't.

And that's why I don't trust. I can't trust. If I do trust, then that means giving people of the benefit of doubt, even while they say I'm being "divisive", "hostile", "silly", "angry", etc. It means trying to make them understand where I'm coming from, when it's obvious that they don't give a damn. It means seeking support and finding none.

Well, fuck it.

I can't do it anymore. I won't do it anymore.

Find a new "Black Friend" because I'm not putting up with it anymore.


Rose Marie Pink said...

Hi - I saw you commenting on Facebook, and when I was looking for a link to use for debunkingwhite community on Nashville's racefail , I came across your page. Glad to see someone getting out the word that this is unacceptable.

Tom said...

Gak. I can only speak for myself, but I'm sorry we're such jackasses.

Rae said...

arg! so stupid! frak! jeez. And I'd just started feeling like Occupy was starting to sortof try to be a bit more inclusive...

Maurice D Muhammad said...

Peace and Blessings Family I'm truly sorry I didn't see this earlier because I can assure you things would have been different! I'm not a member of the OWS. I agree with them on the issue of the Banking system. And that is where we part! As the Minister of Information with Black Unity we would have put a stop to that or it would have been show down time! And I mean that! Please connect with me on facebook and twitter mmuhammad95 or email me at

Sage said...

This was a great post. Thank you for it. I am sorry I did not become aware of it earlier.

I found this blog through "Womanist Musings" to which I subscribe. I am an African Descended same gender loving man.

I have been a member of the Occupy Movement from Day 1. I am in Oakland, California and am an avid member of Occupy Oakland which is likely one of the most culturally diverse Occupy's in the country. Hallelujah! The Occupy Movement has the same problems the white woman dominated second wave feminist movement and the white gay male dominated gay rights movement had when it comes to communities of color. Unacknowledged privilege is a constant threat in progressive movements in America. As a longtime activist this is not new to me. I am also part Cherokee and part Muskogee Creek (though I identify as African Descended)and just the selection of the term "OCCUPY" has been quite problematic for many of my American Indian brothers and sisters. It is also not completely non-problematic for many African Descended people as well.

I want to say that there are "Occupy the Hood" movements in many cities now. These are Occupy movements where there is usually mutual respect and cooperation between "The Hood" movements and the main Occupy (fill-in-the-blank, city) The sole objective of these Occupy The Hood movements is to bring attention to the specific issues and challenges of African Descended and other people of color to the larger Occupy Movement.

Finally, here is a link to a wonderful article in Daily Kos by Denise Oliver Velez about the current status of African Descended and other peoples of color in the larger Occupy Movement. Here is that link:


DaisyDeadhead said...

Great work on Feministe today, love. (kiss)