I wonder what it is about seeing some Black people talk about what they see as racist in fandom and in media that makes other people in fandom decide that we are suddenly claiming the title of activist and that we’re being fake woke for it.

Not only that, but these claims kind of assume that our online life, our online personas, are all we are rather than assuming that we do things offline. Like if I’m online talking about racism and trying to boost perspectives on anti-Black racism in fandom as a Black person, then when I’m not online I must be what…

A redneck bigot named Becky?

Because according to these weirdos, if you’re talking about racism online… you must not be doing any such thing offline and are totally faking your wokeness. 

(Like first of all, this woke/fake woke binary pisses me off like no one is perfect all the time and no one does the right thing all the time. We weren’t all hatched as Level 100 social justice warriors.)

As far as activism goes many of the people that I’ve seen called online activists/fake woke for talking about racism in fandom  are people of color and/or Jewish like… by virtue of not being seen as white (or white enough i guess), in their daily life they fight back against oppression and Injustice. 

However, they’re also just marginalized people living their lives talking about how fandom as a safe space isn’t safe for them and how fandom replicates a lot of the problems that we see in real life. (Or do you think that we all came out of the womb ready to make excuses for white murderers or that the true crime fandom woobifiying serial killers and cannibals isn’t connected to the way that white murderers are excused and whatnot in the media after a massacre.Glorification of white crime, babies.)

And I always wonder if the people calling black fans and sometimes other fans of color “fake woke”, “online activists”, and similar terms for talking online about their politics about how identity affects fandom and fans and media like… Do any offline activism themselves since they think talking about fandom racism or a bunch of other stuff in fandom negates the potential for offline activism.

They’re accusing Black people talking about antiblackness in fandom of doing it for “woke points” but like… what are they doing that gives them the right to talk down to us like that?

(And ”woke points”, really? What does that win us except for intense yelling from anons on the internet?

I’m here trying to figure out how I’m going to keep from being homeless in June/July like if these supposed “woke points” I’m apparently racking up by being black in fandom talking about it can get me anything other than stress about my inbox here, I’ll take it.)

One of the things that these losers seem to forget when they’re oh so busy labeling Black people “fake woke” for talking about patterns of fandom racism is that like… we’re Black. Society treats us differently and painfully. People are biased against us because of our Blackness and fandom is full of people. 

As a queer Black femme, I constantly move in spaces that are unfriendly to me, that can be downright toxic and hostile to me. I’m always aware of the way that U.S. society can lead to me being abused, hurt, or even killed just because I’m black. 

And if you think that doesn’t translate to my experiences and my experiences in fandom, get your head out of the damn sand. 

Fandom isn’t an island adrift from the rest of society and it replicates many of the really problematic aspects and conditions of society and anti Blackness, which many people in fandom who are black do talk about, is one of those things.

If your first instinct upon seeing Black people talk about the racism we and characters that look like us face in fandom and the media that creates said fandom is to accuse us of doing it for “woke points” or calling us “antis” or tell us that we’re playing the race card instead of bothering to read/listen to us talk about pretty pervasive problems…

You’re a fucking racist and you need to do better.

Iris’s wedding should have been ABOUT IRIS.

It should’ve been about her making this commitment with the man that she loves and solidifying something that they’d been planning for all season and that will impact them for years to come. It should’ve been a moment for Black women in the fandom to celebrate because Iris has been one of the best forms of representation for Black female nerds since she came on the scene.

But it wasn’t.

It was about Olicity.

And it became about how Olicity fans think everyone but them are entitled assholes.

“Who’s Super Selfish Here?”: Oliver and Felicity, WestAllen Wedding Crashers

I can literally hold readers’ hands and lead them all the way to the conclusion of why something fandom does/is into is/appears racist (or, more specifically, antiblack) and still I get those wide eyed reactions of “um, this thing isn’t racist” from folks.

I’ve all but made a map to the conclusion, but I guess because folks still don’t see Black people as people in fandom, they’re not required to like… see when our ideas have merit or listen to us when we talk about the racism we/Black characters face in fandom.

Like I’m not using super complicated language half the time. Half the time, I’m literally like “this thing dehumanizes Black people like historically in media and its usage in fandom is also dehumanizing” and still some absolute walnut will roll up like…

“oh, well… because it’s not a problem when fandom does this to white characters, i don’t see why it’s racist here”.

When the point I’m constantly trying to make is that things that aren’t racist/wouldn’t be racist with Black characters become racist because fandom doesn’t do it to white characters or because there isn’t the same historical significance. 

The point is that the Star Wars fandom is unbelievably unsympathetic to Finn in a way they aren’t to Kylo Ren (like that one fucker who keeps showing up who basically sees him as a confusing commodity that the First Order lost).  They think Kylo deserves love (and Rey) and Finn would be better off dying in a fiery conflagration in the last fifteen minutes of The Last Jedi.

The point is that fandom doesn’t treat Sugar Daddy!T’challa as a person the way they do rich white male characters like Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne. They treat him like a fuckable ATM and Wakanda as a resource that exists solely to churn out vibranium weapons and armor for their favorite white characters (who then claim some part of the throne due to their relationship with T’challa). 

It’s really not that hard to understand.

I’m holding hands harder than I’ve ever held anyone’s hands in my life. I use small words. I provide links instead of assuming you all get what I mean. I make myself available for clarification. I don’t deep-dive into the theorists I’ve worked with my school.

And still, it’s like running up against a wall. A big ole racist wall.

I have conflicting and complicated feelings on how non-Black anime fans react to fans drawing non-Black anime characters as Black but one thing I wish folks would remember is that Black people aren’t consigned to Africa and the Americas. We’re literally everywhere.

You can comment on people appearing to erase non-Black Japanese people in their racebending (eh…) as a pseudo progressive act of fandom without glossing over the fact that Black people exist in Japan AND that there are Afro-Japanese people in this world.

If you can’t make critical commentary on fan art that portrays your favorite anime characters as Black without resorting to calling it “blackwashing” or gravitating towards antiblackness, maybe…

Hold off on that thought until you’ve gotten a hold on how to make that sort of commentary with any form of nuance.

(ETA: and I think that at the end of the day, this is a realm of representation that Afro-Japanese people get to talk about the most. Their opinions on this matter the most because it’s their heritage that gets erased in these discussions and who are literally written off as being imagined identities as a result.)

I’m back with another “fandom racism” card, this one more explctly for the Black Panther fandom. I think this one can be used for scrolling through tumblr tags or AO3 as a drinking game, but I like my liver a bit too much to play it and see how it goes.

If you can’t read the bingo squares, here’s what they say (though the order may not match):

If you don’t get what a square means, please nudge me for clarification!

That Darcy/M’baku post and the OP who insists on digging a deeper hole for themselves are just A LOT.

I mean, I almost want to make a fandom racism bingo card based off of their original post and responses thus far.

Because we’ve got:

  • Prioritizing a white character over Black ones (in their own franchise)
  • Fan-colonizing Wakanda for white characters
  • Aggressive and hulking depiction of a Black male character (M’baku triggers Darcy by yelling at her because he’s SO BIG AND SHE HAS PAST ABUSE)
  • Sassy as a characterization for Black women
  • Black women as worshipful mammy figures (Shuri and Okoye just admire Darcy so much because she’s strong for surviving abuse and yet these women have to like… Baby her and teach her things)
  • Wanna bet that the size difference the OP appreciated would also translate to Big Black Cock stuff if turned into fic?
  • Writing Black characters out of character to satisfy white people’s desire for them
  • Having a white woman call out a Black character (as a blow for feminism, apparently)
  • The OP literally used their Jewish identity and their family history in the Holocaust as a shield when called out for the antiblackness present in that post.

No one’s perfect. Obviously.

But I mean… How hard is it to Google a “how to write/talk about Black characters” post? How hard is it to realize that turning M’baku into a Black brute obsessed with/enamored by a white woman is like really racist? There are research materials out there, blogs all about educating people that want to write a little outside their lanes. And yet no one ever uses them…

I want to be absolutely clear about something:

If you watched Black Panther and immediately decided to make the film and its Black characters all about white characters who basically no longer exist in the MCU anymore or who aren’t even in the same general franchise/fandom…

You missed the point of that damn movie and you need to go back to making posts about those characters you clearly love more than white ones.