Tag Archives: allies

If You Want To Be An Ally, Stop Tone Policing

At times, I know my writing style can come off as abrasive, as angry, even according to a close friend, close to oppressive.  I’ve been called “more Malcolm X than MLK Jr,” “a social justice blogger (as if that’s really an insult) with a “social justice meter,” and someone who has an “axe to grind to prove his pet theories.”  There has not been a week that’s gone by that my faith has been called into question because I write about white supremacy, sexism, and poverty as systemic oppressions.  I could be writing with absolutely no emotion but because of the color of my skin and the nature of the content I write, I am labelled as the angry black.  I have been writing on gender and class issues for years, but noooooo I’m just the race guy! (Let’s set aside the fact that I also write on church history as well as pop culture from time to time).

Indeed, Dianna Anderson is right, that doing the work of CONTINUE critical engagement is unpopular work. Lately, what I have noticed is this, when well known writers and bloggers talk about social justice issues, they keep trying to advice persons under distress to “be patient” and “play nice” with their oppressors. This is perhaps more widespread in Christianity and Christian blogging circles.  If you take a dissenting opinion on this matter (which I definitely do), you are (I am) demonized as “unforgiving” “less than Christian,” falling short for white moderates and their standards for civility.  Take for example my post to Dave Ramsey; while a few more civil bloggers responded to him, acknowledging his positive influence on people’s lives and then calling for everyone to celebrate the fact that we are all “spiritually rich,” I took the exact opposite approach and praised the poor for their willingingness not to pay $400 to become wealthy.

It is this form of civility that caused me to leave such blogging network groups such as The Despised Ones.  It was supposed to be a closed group, but since it’s been decided that laundry could be aired, I will go ahead anyhow. One the reasons that I left TDO, which was originally supposed to be about social justice oriented Christians having work centered on the marginalized (I was lead to presume), was because whenever the discussion came to racism, I was always alone.  My position as the token black lead to some frustrating conversations. One blogger even claimed that John Piper

charity jill piper1

charity jill piper2was good for racial reconciliation (this was after the fact that Piper had endorsed PaleoConfederate Doug Wilson). Throughout my time as a member of The Despised Ones, I was villified as the guy who was too angry about racism.  Every conversation would get derailed because the derailers wanted to make everything personal (that’s what they do, duh!!!).  I would be tone-policed, right and left, in the name of UNITY cuz that’s whats sooo important.  Earlier this week, I saw one of my friends, Dianna, ask a simple question to one of the groups members, Micah Murray, and there was a short back and forth, and apologies issued after.  Mr. Murray was one of the several members who worked to tone-police what I said regarding white supremacy, so I completely disagree with Grace that Mr. Murray could be my N*gga. In fact, I don’t want anyone being my N-word for that matter.  And I definitely do not want anyone who has tried to govern how I feel or how I express myself to call themselves being an ally in any way, shape or form.

So word to the wise, start listening, and stop silencing the silenced, capiche?