“John Green, while death threats to Laci Green are bad, no arguing wtih that, Laci’s done a lot more negative things than casually use the word “tranny”. She has videos up about her islamophobia as well as several that border on fat shaming.”
I have a lot of messages like this.
1. We can’t have constructive conversations about how to talk with each in respectful ways when we threaten people, because then the threatened are forcibly removed from the conversation.
2. I’m not attempting to defend transphobia or fat-shaming or islamophobia or islamophilia or anything else. I’m just saying that we literally cannot have productive conversations when voices are silenced by threats. So you can not say to Laci, “Hey, I don’t think Islam is inherently misogynistic, because of A, B, and C,” because Laci is not here, because she is staying away from the Internet for fear that further participation in it will lead to her murder. That’s not a good way to change the discourse about islamophobia or anything else.
MARGINALIZED PEOPLE ARE ALREADY FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM CONVERSATION BECAUSE ADDRESSING SAID ISSUES IS ALREADY A RISK.
OPPRESSION IS A THREAT.
YOU ARE REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS, AND IT IS MAKING ME SAD THAT YOU CAN BE SO SMART BUT SO DAMN IGNORANT.
YOU ARE PART OF THE CONVERSATION. NOW WE ARE YELLING, THOUGH. I’M NOT SURE THIS IS THE BEST WAY FOR US TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.
You’re right that marginalized people are consistently removed from conversations, but in fact on tumblr and on YouTube there are strong and vibrant communities who feel comfortable addressing issues related to gender and race and sexuality and a wide variety of other topics that are often considered taboo, which is why you and I are here, having this discussion in public.
I’m not denying the reality of privilege. I just don’t think death threats improve the quality of discourse, and I don’t think threatening or harassing or scaring anyone is ever okay.
No one thinks death threats are okay, and by making the counter-argument solely “death threats are good”, you’re simplifying a complicated issue. What is upsetting, and what you don’t seem to be understanding (and what I didn’t understand either until I kept reading today), is that her commentary fed into a system of oppression that created death threats and VERY dangerous environments toward marginalized people every single day… and she didn’t take responsibility for that. And no one cared. But when she gets a threat about the location of her home (the same thing that many trans*, Islamic, PoC women get daily, even as a result of her commentary) thousands of people get up in arms and start pointing fingers AT those people. It has actually made it *worse* for those people she marginalized in the first place.
No one is saying she should have had death threats. No one is saying that was an awesome way to be. We’re all saying that sucks, and no one should get it, but people are also calling for everyone to see the whole picture as well. That’s all.
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