So, yeah… I tweeted about it here…
but I just don’t get what I did. I know we weren’t ‘friends’, not really. We don’t even live on the same continent.
But… they sent me their book to review (lots of people do, I review and blog… so I get requests a lot) and I’m actually reading the book now (I have 5 I’m reading… I read insanely fast) and… we’ve been interacting, on an almost daily basis for a few months now.
So what did I do, within the past 7 days, that made you drop me (unfollow) from twitter?
I know I’m probably weird that these things bother me so much. Think of it like a puzzle piece (I cringe at using that analogy, but it’s fitting) I do not understand social interaction in the gut-deep way most neurotypical people do. I never have.
I had to have someone tell me how to make appropriate eye contact and I had to learn how to do it by habit. Even as a grown woman, I’m still incredibly uncomfy with meeting anyone’s eyes.
I had to learn through trial and error when my listeners are about to turn into glassy-eyed dead fish impersonators because I’m boring them to death with the level of knowledge on any one of a number of topics running around in my head.
Social interaction, to me, is this huge tapestry of tiny stitches, each successful interaction I have is a smoothly placed satin-stitch, each failed one is a badly knotted tangle of UGH.
I don’t like the knotted ones, so I try to figure out how not to do that (whatever the ‘that’ is) again.
I’ve gotten better at it over the years, and yes, on twitter it’s very easy to assume a lot about what another is thinking/feeling/saying. It’s a limited platform.
For the average unfollow I don’t worry about it (odds on that I won’t even notice) and half of the people I don’t recognize their names. I don’t auto-follow back, it’s all about interaction for me. If I’m interested in getting to ‘know’ you, I’ll follow, or I’ll follow someone who is interacting with me… it’s pretty simple (in my head anyway).
It’s sort of the ebb and flow of the tide of twitter, so to speak. I get a lot of follows/unfollows each week. Most don’t bother me.
I admit, this week I was a little surprised at how quickly the numbers dropped after I critiqued the use of pain in CARVE THE MARK. I ‘lost’ something like 30+ followers on the day I dared to critique the author’s interview and the blurbs I saw other people post from the book itself.
I guess I’m not allowed to critique a big name author?
Look. I don’t care who you are or how big your ego is. If I see you doing something harmful, I’m going to call you on it. I hope to hell someone calls me on it if *I* do something harmful.
Do I like being called out? Hell no, it sucks (especially for an aspie) but I’d MUCH rather get a public call out and harsh education lesson than I would EVER hurt someone else unintentionally.
Yet… when that particular name popped up as an unfollow, it hurt. I just don’t get what I did, this time. So that knotted stitch will remain knotted, and I won’t learn how to not do whatever knotted it in the first place.
Which means I’ll do it again, all unwittingly, and unless/until someone actually tells me what I’ve done… I’ll never know.
Let me tell you, that not knowing? It’s absolute hell for an aspie, or maybe just this aspie?
Logic is holy to me, and people are innately illogical. I guess that’s my only take away. Fuck it, it’s three am here and I’m going to go to bed instead of reading this person’s book.
15 thoughts on “What did I do THIS time?”
At the advice of legal council, which I couldn’t even come close to affording easily given our budget, I’ve removed names and identifying characteristics. In the interests of transparency and honesty, I am leaving the comments and responses up on my blog.
I going to let you in on a not so secret that’s going around about you in the industry. After the racist contest was called out on twitter, you followed and befriended nearly every single one of the racist/bigoted people involved. Then you made comments on your blog about people who call out racists (like XXX and XXX, XXX and other PoC women who actively fight against racism in the industry). You made blog comments criticizing sharing DM’s, vids, comments that were meant to hurt PoC and silence them, but you’re more concerned about PoC sharing messages meant to silence and hurt them, than concerned about harming PoC. And honey you can call yourself a PoC every day of the week, but you’re pretending, especially if you side and are friends with racists. You need to deal with the internal hate you have against yourself and others. FTR, you are friends with some of the most racist/bigoted and sexist known people in the industry and that’s why people unfollowed you and have a problem with you. If nobody else going to tell it to you, I will.
Some of these people are XXX, XXX, XXX and the list goes on. Those people tried to get NUMEROUS PoC fired from their jobs, doxed people and they aren’t remorseful because they continue harassing PoC. There. You’ve been informed. Do with the information what you will.
In hopes that you are actually trying to reach out and educate me, nameless, despite the unpleasant tone you’ve used, I’ll say thank you. I will watch very carefully the two people you’ve named that I still follow. I’ll even go so far as to dig into their twitter histories because these are serious allegations and I take them as such, so I’ll look for proof and talk to people in the PoC community I trust.
If there are rumours about me in this industry, it saddens me, because I do, very much, dream of a more equitable publishing industry.
It grieves me to think that marginalized people I would support with everything in me believe negative things about me.
They aren’t true, but it’s the old saw of proving a negative.
So, to break it down, since I think this message deserves a logical response vs an emotional one.
After the contest vaporized in a cloud of bullying, and the host of the contest was forced to leave the internet because of cyberbullying, deleting her accounts and to my knowledge never being seen or heard from again…
I looked at the receipts of Ms. XXX with horror for her. To my shame, I hadn’t seen the same things she saw. For what it’s worth, those receipts were taken from a weekly creature chat on twitter talking about Non-Human creatures and how to write them in science fiction and fantasy. I wasn’t honestly paying much attention to the chat when it happened, but when she shared those images I realized she had a valid point. I reached out to people I trusted, asked if Mr. XXX had shown racist behaviors in the past, and when I was assured he has, numerous times, I immediately unfollowed him. You can go check if you’d like. Though by the tone of your words I’d say you wouldn’t bother to believe me in any case. I’ve had nothing to do with him since.
Secondarily, I didn’t follow all sorts of people after the contest, if anything, I avoided twitter for days after that. You know? All I wanted to do was help other writers, that’s all any of we mentors wanted to do.
I think I followed one person in the wake of the contest, and it was because they spoke out against the methodologies in what I felt was a brave manner. I don’t think I still follow them, and honestly, since I can’t come up with their name they’re either not very active OR I’ve unfollowed them. I unfollowed anyone I saw trashing anyone else publicly, because I cannot abide bullying. You can click here to read about what bullying is and isn’t. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cyberbullying
As far as my comments on my blog. I certainly have called out bad behavior when I’ve seen it. I have never once named a name, I would never, ever do that. Sharing private messages, calling people names, trashing their names on twitter, driving them away from the internet, naming names on public blogs… those are all forms of cyber bullying. In a good cause or not, it’s still bullying and in a lot of states there are legal repercussions for cyberbullying.
It’s one of the highest causalities to suicide in many marginalized communities, and yes, I can name names of people who have died because of actions similar to things I’ve seen on writer twitter.
So did I call it out? Hell yes. Will I continue to call it out? Yes, with everything in me, yes. I am not, and never will try to silence the voices of anyone. Telling them they’re bullying? I’ll continue to do that too.
Marginalized voices need to be heard, and when people who are hurting (which, gods know, every PoC/WoC/LGBTQIA+/Disabled/Fill-in-the-marginalization are hurting, badly right now. Me included) speak out in a reasoned, calm manner, their voices are heard. XXX is a voice I listen to very carefully. She is a person I deeply respect. I also disagree with some methodologies she’s used in the past. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Just like I can like a book, and really not like a writer’s viewpoints, or a musician’s work and not their politics… I’m allowed to like and respect a person, their message and still disagree with some of their actions. That’s not trying to silence anyone. That’s pointing out a flawed behavior.
As far as XXX is concerned, I had to stop following her long before the contest in question because of her methodology. I agree with her message, I even share many of the same marginalizations as she does. But the kind of message she puts out into the world is not one I wanted to look at.
It’s possible to be a social justice warrior and speak in a way that will be heard. Slinging mud at other people, calling people names, trashing their reputations, driving them away from the community, publicly naming people and calling them racists without proof… all of that is a type of negative communication which people aren’t listening to.
All people see with that is rage, and hate and decide they don’t want to have anything to do with that person or their cause.
I don’t care what that cause is either. You’ve specifically pointed out PoC, and yeah, I’ve seen a lot of both negative and positive communication from that section of marginalized voices. I’ve also seen a hell-of-a-lot of it in the ace/aro community lately, too. Surrounding the CW show riverdale.
And in the religious faith community.
And in the disabled community.
And elsewhere, it’s endemic to this industry.
Sharing DMs is close to violation of privacy. You can look it up, it’s damned close to being illegal, it’s like opening someone else’s mail and showing it to the world.
So yeah, it’s wrong.
Sharing vids that were posted in a private facebook group is ALSO wrong, and close to illegal.
So sorry if that gets your knickers in a wad. (whups, my emotions are showing, I’ll try to rein it in)
I don’t want PoC voices silenced, any more than I want LGBTQIA+ voices silenced. I want us all to share our pain so that others can learn not to hurt us. Cause I don’t know about you? But I’m so tired of hurting because people don’t know any better. I want to hear the stories of other mixed race voices so I don’t feel so damned alone.
It’s a fact of human communication that when any kind of messages are yelled, they aren’t heard. You can try it yourself, next time someone is really mad at you in person, yelling in your face, think about whether you’re hearing their message or if you just want to get away from the screaming.
I can name a whole lot of people who DO stand up and speak their pain and never once bully another person. I follow, and am followed back by many of them, and a good half of them are PoC.
I don’t hate myself, I’ve been through decades of therapy to do exactly what you’re telling me to do. Do I have internalized racism? Yes, I have light skin, of course I do. I’m doing my best to learn not to harm people because the dominant culture values light skin over dark.
It’s really strange to me that you think you get to decide who I am and what my identity is.
By what, a picture? The words of my blog? Because I’m logistical minded due to an asperger’s brain and need to see, you know… actual proof before I unfollow someone who has been pleasant to me in the minuscule social interactions provided by 140 characters on twitter?
Should I post the pictures of my black/mohawk grandfather, he was a woods guide and he served in WW2, died of tuberculosis the year I was born. Maybe I should share the pics of my latinx grandmother? The Egyptian great, great, great grandmother (she was black too)
My English/Irish one? Oh, wait, no, we’re proving whether or not I’m allowed to identify as mixed race, passing PoC.
How about the granddad that came from the Mic’maq reservation in NB. He smoked so much that by the time I was old enough to ask questions, his hair was in white braids and he had to have an oxygen tank and a wheel chair. If I recall correctly he was a farmer. I was pretty young when he died, but I do have memories of him.
The Portuguese great-grandad? His last name was de Lion.
The Spanish great-grandma?
Guess that probably wouldn’t be proof enough, hunh. Cause my skin is just too damned light to be any variety of PoC isn’t it.
How about the DNA tests? I should share those too, to prove my identity to you?
I could show you my dental records, which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt my first nations blood, but that too, wouldn’t be enough.
The name of the estate in virginia where I have both a slave and a slave owner as an ancestor, that do it for you, ‘honey’?
I’ve got light skin and eyes. Spot on observation there, I have a Danish immigrant grandfather that I look an awful lot like. My mom has darker skin than mine by far.
But you get to tell me my identity.
You get to tell me I’m pretending.
Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to share my mixed race and my feelings about it? You have any idea how.much.easier.it.would.be.for.me.to.sit.on.my.privilege.and.not.do.a.damned.thing.to.help?
Cause I could.
I can sit on my winter-white ass and not do a gods damned thing. It’d be a helluva lot easier than being called white-eyes and told I’m pretending twice in one week. Hope you enjoyed how much you hurt me with that. Seemed rather to be your point. You succeeded.
I won’t sit this one out just because I pass. “Honey”
I respect myself, my pansexuality, and my strong, proud ancestors who fought battles I’ll never know about because they wouldn’t tell me. They were too concerned with making sure I passed. So I wouldn’t have to deal with the shit they had to. I respect my pagan faith, and one of the biggest credos in my faith is to harm none. The couple of times I know I’ve stepped in it with someone, I’ve apologized, sincerely and done anything I possibly could to ameliorate my mistake. Just out of curiosity, are you going to apologize to me for the harm you’ve given by telling me I’m pretending?
I respect the struggles I deal with, daily, being disabled and I respect others who fight the same battles far too much to sit on my ass and do nothing.
I respect my asperger’s mind far too much to be silent when I see people bullying or in other ways harming autistics.
Most of all, I respect my intersectional-diversity too much to sit and be quiet. I have a voice and privilege. I’m trying my damnedest to use it to help and uplift marginalized voices. I’m trying my damnedest to sit quietly and listen so I can learn the things I don’t know, so that I won’t hurt someone else. I do my damnedest to not center anything on ME, except the things I myself experience.
As for the two people you named that I still follow on twitter, (and here’s a hint, ‘Honey’, publicly naming someone on a public blog and calling them racist, or anything else? It’s bullying. Here’s the definition again,https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cyberbullying in case you missed it the first time.) I haven’t seen racist or sexist behavior from either, not personally, because if I had I’d’ve dropped them like a hot potato. I don’t do background searches on people I associate with on twitter. I don’t go stalk their timelines and check on every interaction they have or have ever had with someone. I talk with people, I read what people say and if I see them doing anything that ends with an -ism, I unfollow. If I see people bullying, even in the name of a good cause, I unfollow.
When proof is given about someone being a racist, I disassociate.
If the list goes on, do please provide receipts. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I would prefer to be educated than to be blind to harming PoC and associating with those who do. I’d like to disassociate with proven racists because I’m not even close to supportive of the kind of mindset a racist has. If they’ve doxed people and tried to get them fired, I want to know so that I can have nothing to do with them.
One of the people you named is autistic, but I bet you didn’t know that. Auties often step in it socially, because we don’t understand how things work.
They are both disabled, and marginalized themselves. It’s not impossible to have one form of marginalization and indulge in -isms against another, I’ve seen people do that, but I’ve yet to see it (or proof of it) about either one of them.
And as far as taking the word of a person who spreads false information (like me following people after the contest? Please, I mostly avoided twitter except for talking with my friends via DM just so I wouldn’t be tarred and feathered because I disagree with bullying methodology). Like taking the nameless, faceless words of someone who names names on a public blog, tries to tell another person what their identity is, oh… and yeah, refuses to share their name?
Nah, honey… you post your name and provide proof and I’ll believe you.
FWIW, the person who unfollowed me? The one that hurt badly enough that I talked about it? I asked. They unfollowed because of my political posts, it had nothing to do with anything else except self-care for themselves.
Your move. “Honey”.
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I don’t agree with what the person said above you (about your identity or some of the other stuff they said about you, I think it’s mean. You have the right to refer to yourself as a woc and screw people who think you’re not ‘whatever’ enough) but I do agree with some of the other points.
You have a right to feel calling out people publicly is bullying, but if you think about it, it’s not bullying. It’d be like ‘Bob’ intentionally touching a woman’s boob in public, and the woman yelling ‘Bob touched my boob.’ It’s to inform others and not let the harasser get away with harm. If Bob chooses to lie and claim he didn’t touch the female’s boob, then run away and hide in his house, that’s not the woman’s fault for him touching her boob. She’s allowed to tell people publicly that Bob sexually assaulted her without people blaming her for calling him out for it.
I don’t know, maybe that analogy sucks, but that’s how I see the xxx contest and what’s happened with XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX and others calling out racists/nazi’s/abusers on twitter or blogs or publicly. Trying to silence people by calling marginalized people ‘bullies’ if they name names, share harmful videos meant to silence them etc isn’t okay.
The racist bullies didn’t expect anyone to stand up to them, and calling them out publicly is a way to not silence marginalized people.
While I’m on the topic, if you saw the videos or messages in the private group, why did you not speak up against them? Did you know XXX was harassed long before the contest by the people named above? Did you know those people tried to get her fired and that jobs have been reneged because XXX was part in doxing/slandering XXX real name? Did you know XXX threatened XXX if she said anything about the videos or messages that XXX’s career would be ruined? And XXX and her friends are following through on their threats. XXX cousin tweeted that she in hospital because of it all.
XXX still active on social media. Just under a different name. XXX’s not the victim. She chose to side with racists who complained about a marginalized person (XXX) calling them out on racism/sexism.
I saw the videos too and saw the messages and screenshots that people were sending around. Including the ones where XXX was trying to justify those tweets calling animals people of color. He’s lying about that too. I’ve seen screenshots where XXX was sad about publishers not taking ownvoices books and XXX tweeted her just because she’s a woc doesn’t mean she’s gonna ever get published. That’s how the tweets with him calling his monkey main character a ‘poc’ escalated, because XXX mentioned her black mc, he then compared his monkey to a poc. That’s racist, since a lot of people have referred to black people as ‘monkeys’ in the past. It’s a racial slur.
Did you also see the messages where XXX real name was being spread around? Or how XXX and XXX blasted her on twitter for calling them out and their friends called her ‘n*g ger?’ How is that not bullying? That happened weeks before XXX tweeted about what happened to her with the contest.
If you didn’t see it, how did you not see all of it? I wasn’t part of the mentors, little clique group and *I* even saw everything (got sent to me.) I mean, XXX, XXX and sometimes XXX contacted almost everyone on XXX’s follow list to lie about her.
The people the person above you listed *are* known in the community for harming poc. XXX claims to be autistic, but I’d highly doubt that because he constantly lies, about everything. I know that sounds harsh, but search XXX tweets/pics. He makes racist remarks, then pretends he was the one attacked.
XXX’s one of the guys who tried to get XXX fired because she critiqued XXX’s racist book, he contacted her editor and the publishing director(?) at XXX and XXX about her.
Look around twitter, he’s gone after (XXX) many times, calls him names like ‘Ya Mob leader.’ XXX and XXX are the two main guys who try to get poc fired by contacting their editors/agents/bosses claiming they’re being harassed by poc, then lie and pretend they’re the victims. It’s a constant thing they’ve been doing. They also complained about XXX.
XXX and her friend XXX (forgot her last name) has gone after numerous black women (XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX etc) check XXX) tweets about those two women. XXX has harmed so many women, there’s a private group about him on FB. He recently harassed a muslim writer on the XXX FB group because she is a sensitivity reader for writing in the margins. He made fun of her english skills.
If you haven’t seen everything (screenshots/vids etc), I wouldn’t judge those who felt it was better to tweet/speak out against abuse than stay silent and let people continue the abuse to them or abuse others.
Thank you for reading,
Hi, and thank you so much for a reasoned, informative response.
I don’t agree with them calling me a pretender either, it hurt rather badly, cause if I were pretending, wouldn’t I be pretending to be cis-het-white?
Now, to carry your analogy through (it’s a good one btw)
If Bob intentionally touched Sally’s breast in public, and Sally yells out “Hey, You touched my breast! You don’t get to do that.” As a way of warning others about Bob’s actions/reactions, that is a public call out of bad behavior.
I have no issues with that whatsoever. I’ve done it myself in my remarks about Carve The Mark – blog post here. Because I’m speaking from a position of experience with chronic pain, and the way the author handled the subject in the blurbs I saw, and in her interviews was incredibly insensitive and harmful.
I have no issue whatsoever with a twitter drag or a public call out which does NOT include bullying.
When I use the term ‘bullying’ or the term ‘cyberbullying’ I’m using the technical and legal understanding of it.
I’ve done a lot of research on bullying, I’ve attended teaching conferences about it and had several course hours for my Masters in Teaching that dealt with the subject.
Bullying is not an opinion concept.
Bullying is a technical definition of action, there are many different layers and types of it.
When I’m saying that I’m witnessing bullying behavior, I’m using the technical definition, not making a statement of opinion.
My opinion on the subject is that if you intentionally go after someone to cause harm, or you write a book with bad rep, or you use other peoples’ painful marginalizations as a way to make money, well then… you deserve a public call out. You should apologize and do your best to learn better. (still waiting on an apology from Roth, and the crickets are so loud as to be deafening.)
If you ‘bully’ or ‘cyberbully’ by the technical and legal definitions, you also deserve a public call out, which is what I’ve been trying to call attention to.
Using the term bully in regards to a behavior isn’t meant, at least in my case, because I can’t speak for anyone else, to silence anyone.
Because please don’t be in doubt, it IS bullying to name names publicly, it IS bullying, by the technical definition, the legal definition, and the experience of it, to shut someone out of a career, it IS bullying to call people names including racist, sexist, faggot, etc. You can say, “That is a racist/sexist/etc statement.” Which is NOT bullying.
It IS bullying to say (publicly) “XXX is a racist.” Though you can, and should, say XXX made a racist comment and here is the proof. Which is why I asked the last time that person popped up on my blog with a comment (pretty sure the two comments are from the same person) for them to email me to tell me who I was associating with who’d acted in a racist way.
I broke what bullying is/isn’t down here,
It’s so very important in this world of instant communication to understand the differences.
Bullies, in general don’t ever expect people to stand up to them. It’s true in high school, the work place, everywhere. When you stand up to a bully, it either gets worse or they run away to find another victim.
I don’t want educational, passionate voices silenced. I want to lift their message up so that people can hear it.
But if they are bullying to get their message heard, I’m going to call them on it. Just like I’d call out any of the other people I’ve seen do it in regards to faith, LGBTQIA+, asperger’s or chronic pain.
*Please note I am NOT saying any of the above people are bullies. I don’t believe they are. I do say I don’t always agree with the methodologies used, prompting a lot of what I’ve had to say on what bullying is and isn’t. I have seen instances of bullying behavior increasing more and more over the course of the past 6 months or so, in every demographic I’m a part of, lately it’s been the worst in the Aro/Ace community, and I can’t respect myself if I don’t speak out and try to educate.
Because bullying is harmful.
I and other people want to hear the message, we want to help, but if someone is yelling at us and calling us names… how much help can we be?
Automatically supporting anyone because of a marginalization regardless of behavior is just as bad as not supporting someone at all, in my opinion anyway.
I don’t believe it’s wrong to expect people to be able to accept criticism of methodologies and a hopeful nudge that they’ll do better.
I’m willing to accept criticism of my actions and methodologies. I’m willing to make amends if I’ve harmed someone, and obviously, if what you say about XXX and XXX is true, which I will investigate, then I’ve unintentionally harmed simply by association.
The XXX contest. Damn, I came on board to that contest just as it imploded, like literally I was ‘on staff’ for less than 24 hours before the shit hit the fan.
I hadn’t even heard of the contest and yeah, I really should’ve done some more research into it before I signed on. Instead I let the idea of being able to help other writers with what I know excite me and lead me into a situation I didn’t understand.
Which is part of why I remained silent. I *didn’t* know what was going on. All I saw was a flurry of she said/he said, then XXX running for the hills.
So I stayed quiet. I tend to be quiet until I’ve researched something, thought about it and formed an educated opinion (as best I may) on the topic.
When the accusations against XXX made it clear that he uses racist words and methodologies, that he uses bullying tactics, I unfollowed and have avoided him since. It’s a small community, I see his activity around occasionally, but I don’t engage.
I don’t know what else I can say about that. I unfollowed him the day after the contest.
As for how I didn’t know, didn’t see it.
I unfollowed XXX long before the contest, so I didn’t see it from her tweets. I had to unfollow a few other people in the community because of things that hurt me, so I literally did not see it.
Mea culpa I guess. I should probably not have unfollowed people who have a message I obviously need to hear, but to be completely honest? I’ve been bullied so much in my life that to see bullying behavior (name calling, ostracizing of people, etc etc etc) causes me physical pain.
It hurts. So I unfollowed out of self-preservation.
And I missed something I really needed to be aware of, especially before getting involved in that contest.
I’m not saying the actions of sharing the videos and DMs is bullying. It probably meets the legal definition of cyberbullying, but it’s the breach of privacy that bothers me most with those.
I’ve worked for a two fortune 500 companies, and that type of behavior is so close to being illegal that it’s only just technically on the side of being legal. I can’t support that.
Now: Did I see the videos before it all blew up? I saw two, the intro video and a welcome video in the group, my kids were sick and I had just come on board as a mentor. I didn’t see the ones Ms. XXX posted until she posted them.
I know it makes me sound like an idiot, maybe I am an idiot, but I also didn’t see XXX dox XXX, I wish I had so I could have had a clearer idea of what the hell was going on.
I didn’t know that Ms. XXX had been bullied so very badly, and in my silence I’ve likely harmed her.
It’s one of those things where I kind of wish I had a crystal ball so I could ask a question and get a quick answer.
If XXX changed her name… well that right there is a sign that she’s as guilty as you say.
XXX trying to justify those tweets made me feel sick, I’m a little slow sometimes, and when he said it, during the chat, it just didn’t click that him saying the monkeys were PoC during was a racist comment.
One of the things about how my brain works is that I’m a little like a horse in blinders when I’m engaged in an activity. To me, that chat was strictly about how to write non-human characters, and it didn’t even occur to me (until Ms. XXX pointed it out) that it was so very racist and harmful.
That’s on me and my asperger’s brain. Very likely it’s a part of my privilege as well. It’s one of those deeper social things I miss a lot of the time because I just don’t get how people work. I’ve also never been called a monkey as a racist slur, so it didn’t click. It sure as hell should’ve, but it didn’t. I’m sorry for that and am trying to do better to recognize subtle (and not so subtle) racism when I do see it, so I can call it out for what it is.
Back to the videos, they actually offended me too, when I finally saw them. I really didn’t like being told I shouldn’t be outspoken, or that I shouldn’t share my viewpoints. That I shouldn’t stand up for myself as a marginalized person. As you’ve probably gotten by now, I’m pretty damned outspoken when I feel passionate about something, so to be told to sit down and shut up bothered me too, a lot. I thought about dropping out of my mentorship then and there, this was a few hours before everything blew up, but I’d said I’d do it, and when I say I’ll do something, I try my damnedest to follow through. I actually hoped the contest would be canceled, because of those videos telling us all to sit down and shut up. It was a relief when it was cancelled.
I really didn’t, to my shame, see XXX and XXX blasting XXX. I wish I had, I’d have dropped both of them then and there.
Someone using the N word is bullying, no question (unless they are black and using it to self identify, and then that’s not my turf, it’s their right.)
As far as how I didn’t see all of it, no one sent it to me? I asked XXX privately if what XXX had done was true, when she confirmed and gave me details I offered what support I could.
If those people are known in the community as those who harm WoC and others, than yeah, I need to disassociate.
But you see, until that rude message on my blog? I didn’t know. Because I hadn’t seen it.
I don’t actually spend all day long on twitter, it may look like I do because I post so often, but that’s a function of having so much tech around. I’ve got the app on my phone, my tablet and the computer, so I pop in to say something or do a quick scroll and retweet in my free moments. Most of the time I’m working or doing stuff with the kids or just… not being on the internet.
I don’t have the time to go and dig into a persons feed to see the things they say and have done before I click follow. Obviously I need to be more careful about that. The only thing in my defense I’ll say there is that I’m still learning about twitter, I’ve only been engaging on it for a little over a year. I’m still goofing things up frequently.
Yeah, autistics tend not to lie very often. We ARE accused of lying frequently because whenever new information presents itself, we have to do a rejuggling of our thoughts and beliefs. So it may sometimes look like we’re lying when we aren’t.
As far as XXX… if he’s lying about his actions, vs his beliefs then yeah, very likely not autistic.
I guess I’d probably have known that they’d contacted Ms. XXX’s publisher and tried to get her fired if I were more plugged in to the community, or maybe paying more attention.
You’ll note, I hope, that I still follow Ms. XXX, she’s not one of the ones I’m talking about, never has been.
I still follow many people of color and try my damnedest to help and not hurt.
In this case, I need to stop hurting by doing my research and disassociating.
I don’t feel I’m judging when pointing out that some behavior is bullying. In my mind, it’s an attempt to help, not harm.
Again, that may be because of my autism. To me it feels like all this yelling and name calling are causing more harm than good because it’s driving people who want to learn and help away.
I don’t want people to stay silent, hell, I’ll hand them a megaphone and boost their voices to the stars, I do want them to think about HOW they’re sending their message out into the world, so that that message can be received and the world can change for the better.
That applies not only to PoC, but to LGBTQIA+, to religious faith, to chronic pain, to disability, to ANY form of marginalization.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I promise I’ll research it and act on it.
I’ve had enough confirmation using twitter search to UF one of the people mentioned. If anyone has other proof, could you please make up an anonymous email and send it to me? I don’t have time for more searching and I can’t find any. I’m in a crosshairs here, trying to do right, and failing miserably.
I don’t want to be associated with racists, but I also really feel it’s wrong to unfollow people who’ve been pleasant to me without proof.
And for anyone reading this? Seriously, my twitter DMs are open, I’m not going to bite your head off for pointing out I’m associating with people I’d REALLY rather not be. Email is public too, and if you don’t want me to know your name? Make an anonymous email to send information from. Just a thought.
Instead of sniping anonymously at me from my blog, you could try to reach out in a more helpful way?
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I was really sad and mystified when I lost your follow, given how I felt our interactions on twitter had gone, including my buying and reviewing your short story. I have really mixed feelings now that I know, but at least I know.
I absolutely effed up when I told XXX to write better. Seriously, I effed up, and I’ve spent months since trying to make up for it. I can never undo it. If anyone wants to ask why I called her out, I’ll happily explain my eff up came about because she was bullying an author friend who has as yet, mercifully, not been painted with any of this. There is no justification for what I said as a freelance professional and traditionally-published-seeking author. I called out a cyberbully for her bullying, and in doing so, I became a bully–for that day, in that hour, during those 17 minutes I can never erase.
Y’all can come at me with whatever branding of racism and misogyny and whatever else you can throw at me. None of it’s true, but I’ve been bullied my whole life and won’t let it pull me down.
On two separate occasions, and two alone, I had Twitter interactions with XXX. The first time has a receipt floating around (and why is it called that? No one bought anything.) that ends with the words, “Just being a WOC isn’t enough.” Out of context, I clearly, and I mean CLEARLY get how effed up it looks. So, what is the context? I was saying, ‘Just being a WOC isn’t enough to be rejected by a contest’ after asking in that same tweet if her MS had been edited enough. This tweet was in response to her complaint about rejection and claims it was because she was a POC/WOC, but I was trapped by my own wording in the 140 characters and will be branded with that out-of-context receipt, seemingly forever.
My POC with tails comment? Yup, I effed that up too. That is racist AF according to WOC I asked about my use of the phrasing, even though I had no idea at the time how egregiously I was misusing the “POC” term. Can’t undo that but will never use that phrasing again. I even reworked the MS in question to make it clear the MC race within is marginalized and discriminated against but is not analogous to any human race or culture. Within that fantasy novel, they’re marginalized for their diminutive size and considered largely useless by all of the humanoid, fantasy races. Every time someone exhibits racism/specism towards the MCs, they call it out in no uncertain terms.
What else have people got? Trying to get XXX fired? No, she did that herself. I reported her online cyberbullying to Twitter, for which her account was briefly suspended, and reported her harassment to the XXX contest organizer. I’m told it was unprofessional to do so. Next time I’m being targeted with online harassment, I’ll make sure no action I take comes across as seeking revenge. What XXX’s superiors in the contest and her boss at XXX chose to do at the conclusion of their independent investigations is beyond my knowledge.
I effed up when I called XXX out the way I did. I can never undo that, but I’ll forever regret it. I publicly apologized then, and I’ll do so again: I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected XXX, impacted the contest I was entered into at the time, and threatened the integrity of the editing team I had then recently joined. I can not undo what was said, but I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make sure I never do anything like that again.
The one and only XXX
I don’t know what to say, I’m surprised to hear from you, and sorry for the hurt my unfollow and severing of our communications caused you, too. You could have asked privately and I would have told you, but perhaps it’s better that it’s public here on my blog.
I’m grateful that you’ve been doing your best to accept responsibility for your part in things and that the MS has been edited to fix that issue. Because sadly, that comment did point out some deeply ingrained racism. (the monkey comment) It’s something so many of us with light skin have, even people like me who are mixed race. The predominant culture in most of the world (but especially North America) values light skin over dark. It’s stupid to attach so much value judgement on the color of a person’s skin, but everyone with a light skin has some ingrained racism. We just do. All we can do is attempt to do better when we’re called out for it or when we learn that we have harmed with our words or actions. All we can do is apologize and say, as you so eloquently have here, I’m sorry, I fucked up, I’m doing my best to learn and do better.
The problem with saying that your smaller MC race isn’t related to any existent culture is that everything we do as writers is taken, somehow, from the cultures and experiences we have. So if that species in your books still has darker skin… then you need to think about the history of peoples who have been enslaved on earth who are marginalized and discriminated against. It’s just the way people work in real life. We can write fantasy and claim it’s fantasy all we want, but it’s still a problematical thing we have to face within ourselves. That slave/savage races are always darker skinned in fantasy? (they almost always are) That’s a problem and it’s ingrained racism.
I won’t address the issues with Ms. XXX because honestly? I don’t have all the information, I don’t even want to go look at the twitter comments. I have her side of things, and now, from you, yours, and the two accounts are so vastly different that I truly want nothing to do with it. As I’ve stated, I had to unfollow Ms. XXX not long after first ‘meeting’ her on the XX hashtag. I don’t like the way she puts her message out into the world. I had to unfollow you because of the proven comments I did see, and because I asked people I know and trust in the community if your behavior had been repeatedly contentious and harmful towards WoC. I AM glad that you’re trying to do better. Internet communication is hard, an offhand comment can cause backlash the likes of which I’ve rarely seen, even if we didn’t exactly mean everything we seemed to in the words as written.
Cyberbullying is indeed a terrible problem in the twitter community, as it is on tumblr and other places, largely in part because people don’t know what it is or how to respond to it. Many people feel that it’s just a matter of opinion, that it’s a he said/she said, so to speak, when it isn’t at all. It’s a very specific form of behavior and many people have been guilty of doing it in many of the communities I’m involved in, which is why I’ve been trying for months now to point it out and provide education on the matter.
Another unfortunate thing in publishing life is that our reputations matter, and a split second of time can forever tarnish our reputations. As can the people we associate with (as seen here by all this on my blog, I’ve lost days of writing/editing time because of it.)
I’ve had to research people that have been pleasant to me because of rumours of behavior I can’t accept. One of them proved unequivocally complicit in what was said about them and I had to unfollow. I liked the person from what I’d seen of them, but the insensitivity of their comments to many people is a matter of public record and no, I don’t want to associate with someone who has done those things to people, even if they’ve been nice to me.
I’m still stinging from the response the person sent me when I did what I would prefer to have done for me and told them I had to unfollow and why. Apparently, my caring about people and the way that person has affected others with their words makes me a person who doesn’t care about people. However, that’s beside the point.
The other person, I can’t find any proof on and I’m not going to unfollow without proof of wrongdoing. It’s a fine line to walk, this reputation thing (as we can see by how I got called out here, for being involved in the XXX contest for a grand total of 18 hours.)
I do wish you the best of luck in future endeavors, because I think all any of us can do is do the best we can with the information we have in front of us. Make amends when we (inevitably) screw up, and move forward with new knowledge to do the best we can with the new information at hand.
My comment about you not caring about people was in response to your bizarre assertion that I once tweeted I was “sick of Americans.” In fact, I said I was sick of what was, at that time, *weekly* gun massacres. Everyone was tweeting how devastated they were, and “thoughts and prayers” but nobody seemed interested in doing anything practical to prevent future massacres. If it makes me a bad person to prefer action over doing the “thoughts and prayers” thing over and over and over and over on Twitter, so be it.
And if you’re “stinging”, spare a thought for the person you messaged out of the blue to tell them you were unfriending because of a vague “What you said to xyz”, and then allowed them to be defamed on your blog for doxing people and having them fired.
I am disgusted.
At no time, ever, have I ever doxed anyone, attempted to get them fired, or harassed them. In every instance of me making a reply to anyone, they’ve come to MY account, generally on the instigation of others who’ve blatantly said things to the effect of “Go get her.”
For you to unfriend me out of the blue, without actually providing any proof of my “racism”, and for you to not tell me that your little anonymous friend is *publicly accusing me of doxing people and trying to get them fired using my real name* is disgusting on your part, Kaelen. You sent me a vague “I saw what you said to xyz, unfriending you, sorry” – and that’s not good enough, sorry. You had a moral obligation to tell me I was being defamed in your blog. And as yet, nobody has ever provided me with “receipts” proving my “racism.”
Are you that desperate to be popular with these people that this is what you’ll do to others? Print lies about them doxing people and trying to get them fired?
I am currently investigating the practicality of legal action for libel.
To be clear to anyone who is reading on:
1) I have never doxed anyone, nor attempted to dox anyone. This is not up for opinion or interpretation. I have never done it. I never will.
2) I have never got anyone fired, nor attempted to get anyone fired. See above.
3) I have never contacted nor threatened to contact anyone’s agent or publisher. See above.
4) I have never entered any competition on Twitter, nor made any pitches. See above. Anyone who claims any of these four points is welcome to try to prove it in court.
5) I am busy blocking my harassers en masse, not coming to them to harass them. On a number of occasions, they have come to my profile to harass me in response to tweets I made on my own wall. They were straight tweets, not replies to anyone.
6) As XXX said above, there was one incident where I blocked a user for harassing me. That user very blatantly created a secondary account to circumvent the block, and for the sole purpose of screenshotting my tweets and retweeting them urging people to come to my account to abuse me. To the best of my memory, the catalyst was me claiming I did not want to be known as a “disabled author”, but simply as an “author.” As a disabled person, how I am known and choose to identify is entirely up to me, and not a subject for others to harass me on. I reported that account. From memory, it was found to be an account created to harass (which it was) and pulled. It is not my problem if others want to violate Twitter’s TOS with the goal of getting others to bully me.
It IS my problem if you have blatant, outright, provable libel against me printed in the comments on your blog.
XXX… seriously? Grow up. YOU blocked ME on twitter. I’m quite happy to go our separate ways. This isn’t high school, you know? I was in the middle of providing this ‘proof’ you’re so desperate to have when you not only insulted me, but blocked me. I simply tried to give you a heads up, which I do for anyone I’ve spoken to via DM, as to why I’d be unfollowing. I felt it was a courtesy. You’re not special in that regard, and up until then, you seemed like a nice enough person. I have no moral obligation to you. I do a weekly search on my name on google as part of smart business practices. You might try to do the same if you feel someone else needs to hold your hand for you in regards to internet safety and practicality.Your tweets are a matter of public record and to be clear? *I* was offended about you tweeting from a country that has gun control about how stupid Americans are and how we don’t want anything to change.There’s a whole huge tweet-storm and responses about that. I didn’t care for your comments about people I respect either. If you’ve no idea what you’re talking about? Don’t talk. You used an awful lot of ‘seems’ in your above comment. It ‘seems’ you don’t know what you’re talking about. You(so obviously) don’t have a clue about the issues surrounding gun control and BLM and everything else around it that Americans deal with every day. (waves hand as an American that believes guns are something that need regulation, not banning) *I* was offended by how you so kindly insulted me via DM. I could give a rats ass about popularity. Never have never will. As far as ‘these people’ wow, just wow. I’m not touching that one with a ten-foot pole. Have fun with a fallacious libel suit because I’ve done nothing except say I will look at your past tweets (which I did) and decide if I wanted to be associated with you (which I so don’t). When I chose to unfollow, and tried to explain why (because I’d kind of like the courtesy of that for myself) YOU blocked ME, sweetie. Then came to my blog and went all ^^^whatever that was^^^ This lovely little harangue doesn’t change your actions. It rather elucidates the point of a lot of people, because *you* brought this crap to my blog. You didn’t bother to contact me privately, YOU made it impossible for me to explain further in other methods… As far as the comments on a public blog? *I* didn’t write them. *I* am not the one you should be pissed off at. *I* have removed names in as much as possible so that any SEO searches are not going to ping back to my site. What you do with everything else is up to you and I’d thank you kindly to stop harassing and cyberbullying me.
It’s not libel if it’s true. Numerous people on twitter have screenshots of XXX and XXX attacking black women and others. The proof is there, if you look for it.
As for what XXX said, he claims to apologize back in August? then turned around and tried to get a woman of color fired by complaining about so called ‘cyberbullying’ in sept/oct.
You know what he’s calling cyberbullying? He’s mad because XXX called him out on his racist comments. He’s mad because she asked XXX why he was sticking by a racist person (XXX) He’s mad because his alter-ego XXX the XXX sent XXX sexist DM, (she didn’t know him either) and when she blocked him, he blasted her on his twitter saying she a bully. All of those people, including XXX complained about her to XX contest. There’s proof.
And XXX mad because during XX, XXX asked his gf (XXX) not to tone police POC and treat them differently when XXX told white looking people not worry, it’d be okay when they were worried about not getting requests, but to POC she told them not to give up and linked to her blog where it said something like ‘she’s tired of people asking so many questions and not looking for themselves and she learned and paid attention to the XX feed’ etc etc.
XXX was condescending as hell to POC. XXX then attacked XXX saying she is shitty writer simply based on her being a WOC. Saying she’s a bully to his friends, blasting her on XX feed. Lying out his ass.
He’d never read any of her writing before. That’s fucxked up. That shows how racist he really is. XXX never followed him, she never interacted with him before he started attacking her. She was a judge for contest XXX entered. There’s screenshots of all of that if anyone is interested. He can lie all he wants, but screenshots don’t lie.
XXX been stalking/harassing and spreading lies about XXX since. That’s not on her, that’s on him. That he’d go so far as to actively continue harming women of color by lying about things he’s done and placing blame on the victims is disgusting. It shows he hasn’t changed. He’s been doing this to women, especially women of color for YEARS. Ask around on twitter. He then gives fake apologies and repeats the cycle. Over and over again.
As for XXX, X has a screenshot of things he says here:
XXX has things XXX says about POC here:
XXX has screenshots of XXX here trying to justify and lie about him attacking XXX:
Blog owner has removed and retained copies of screenshots at advice of legal council.
I appreciate the screenshots, thank you. I’m aware of… a lot in regards to Mr. XXX, I tried to be polite. Maybe I’m wrong to be polite, but my mama would’ve whipped my butt if I hadn’t been polite growing up and the habit stuck. I’m beyond understanding why all of this is landing on me and my blog. It’d be awfully nice if anyone weighing in on all this would think about what it’s doing to a disabled, autistic, chronically ill person with a history of mental illness herself who is just trying to write a damned book. I truly wish XXX to get well, I’ve heard e’s in the hospital. I wish all the strength in the world to the family. I’ve been there. I lost my brother… I am not interested in harassing anyone, I’m not interested in continuing this discussion. Because honestly? I’m not involved in any of it except in the people I choose and not choose to follow on twitter. Until Frump manages to ruin internet freedom, that is still my right. I never have been involved in this mess except for wanting to help writers in a contest that blew up around me. Someone who refused to name themselves (though I know exactly who it is) bitterly sniped at me, twice. Both times were an attack. The second time I foolishly responded instead of deleting the comment. It has led to a lot of information I needed to know, and many more attacks. I feel like a rat trapped at the end of a maze here… Now I’m being threatened with libel? When I’ve done nothing? I just… Thanks everyone. I haven’t considered self-harm in a long time. Guess I’m back to day zero on that one.
At the advice of legal council, I have removed names and replaced them with XXX. I have also been advised to remove screenshots, which I have done. I have retained receipts of everything, so now if you would all kindly bugger off and leave me out of the drama, I would be so very grateful. It’s not that I don’t care, I do, very deeply, but I am exhausted, thought of self-harm for the first time in ten years last night, and I. CANNOT. TAKE. IT. ANYMORE.
I have taken what actions I feel I can live with in regards to following/unfollowing people. If you don’t like my choices, well, fine, call me names. I am sorry for any pain caused to anyone as a result of one bitter, unpleasant person’s nasty remark on my blog. I cannot remove your links from where you’ve posted comments. I suggest if you want them gone, you remove them yourselves.
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