For further context, please see the bluestockings editors statement.
I haven’t read any pieces by Brown Daily Herald op-ed contributor, M. Dzhali Maier. There comes a certain point where as a Black person in Amerikkka, I can longer subject my self to the foolishness, pain, and trauma of racism and the people who shamelessly subscribe to and perpetuate it. As co-editor in chief of bluestockings—the Herald’s antithesis, as I see it—I called in Black to Brown this past week. My newsfeed was flooded with posts diatribing a series of blatantly racist articles authored by said M. Dzhali Maier and published by the BDH’s apparent mockery of an editorial process.
These pieces were allegedly unintentionally published by the Herald. The idea of thousands of copies of this rhetoric being published on paper and looped across the Internet due to an internal error is utterly ridiculous. I think about the monetary resources poured into the BDH consistently, printing thousands of copies literally everyday. (Most of which sit, untouched in the Ratty, I presume). (Yes, that was shade). Literally thousands of dollars. And I think about how these monetary resources were spent to print, distribute, and thus legitimize M. Dzhali Maier’s collection of racist attacks in the past couple weeks. And I think about how that speaks to where our University and our society place value.
The Herald, in its steadfast commitment to the “free exchange of ideas” and the tenets of the academe and its founding, proves repeatedly its accompanying commitment to providing a platform for racial terror and through which to uphold the values of white supremacy—which is entirely fitting as the University in the abstract and in practice, from its inception, is an institution that promotes the logic of white supremacy.
But I’m not speaking to BDH. I’m not speaking to the mysterious M. Dzhali Maier. Because I frankly don’t care about them. I made the political and personal decision to never to read these pieces to protect my own peace of mind and to keep myself safe and sound. I opted out of M. Dzhali Maier’s op-eds.
I just want to speak to the people I care about. To my Black and brown peers: take care of yourselves. Keep yourselves and each other safe. Yes, collect those receipts, but above all else don’t let these motherfuckers get you down. Drake said it best: “Motherfuckers never loved us.”
When I read through first, M. Dzhali Maier’s hate speech, and second, the slew of Facebook posts dragging both M. Dzhali Maier and the BDH, I felt: fury, pain, deep sadness. My immediate response was to imagine all the ways I could shame the publication. (Not necessarily M. Dzhali Maier because racial animus exists in all of us, albeit in varying degrees and expressions. No, not M. Dzhali Maier because if I got caught up with every individual racist on Brown’s campus I’d never have time to breathe deeply). My next, more calculated reaction was to wonder how I could shame the BDH in a way that feels useful for me. Maybe I can print out their portfolio of hate and tear it to bits with my bare hands, create a Shame Collage to plaster around campus. I went to their Facebook page and posted a shady one-star review: “entrenched so deep in white supremacy they just can’t even.”
In the flurry of fury-pain-sadness, I was paying lip-service to the idea of accountability, but was actually demanding shame. But why would I demand shame from a publication that admittedly publishes racist vitriol, and thrives on a culture of genteel ignorance of pain until it’s no longer valuable to them? Why was my inclination to demand shaming of and shame from the editors (who should have been) responsible when I know that will not disrupt the BDH’s “sacred responsibility to promote the free exchange of ideas” (read: strenuous civility for its own sake) that continuously hurts me and my people?
In the words of Cherise, “Drake said it best: ‘Motherfuckers never loved us.’” I’m no longer asking the motherfuckers who never loved us for validation or understanding. Don’t get it twisted — I’ll still revel in the destruction of their ratings or popular credibility. But for love? I’m going to my people. All feminist killjoys welcome.