No One’s Laughing

This is a kinky blog. I had never intended to mention racism here, because I assumed that kinky folks were above racism. We appear in popular culture only as a joke. We’re thought of as abusers and mad people addicted to abuse. What we do consensually is often illegal regardless of circumstance. It can lose us jobs, parental rights, social status. We’re accused of creating a haven for rapists and sociopaths, of doing irreparable psychological harm, of being sick and twisted and broken. We are an oppressed minority.

Except we’re not. Not really. Every last one of us has the ability to do what I do, to walk down the street unrecognized. We have passing privilege any time we want it. Maybe that makes it easier for some people not to think or not to care about the effects of racism within our community, while claiming that we are creating a haven for the oppressed.

I have heard a lot of people–mostly white people with mostly white social circles–try to explain that certain actions and words are not racist, and I should lighten up. Take a joke. A joke that’s only funny if it’s about a certain minority isn’t funny, it’s bigoted. If you don’t understand that, if you’ve never felt that sick drop in the pit of your stomach that comes from realizing that for some reason there are people out there who view you as less than human, you’re lucky. That’s not an attack and I hope that security is never taken from you. You should stand against bigotry anyway. Help everyone know a little more of that security. It costs nothing, requires only conscience and a few words.

I’m talking about this. The Portland Eagle booked an act that consisted of blackface. I only learned about it today, because I live in the South (and under a rock, let’s be honest) and only keep an eye on local events. This is a problem anywhere. It requires a response everywhere. As a community we exist to explore our sexuality and have fun free from oppression. If we wish to continue to exist with this expectation, we have a responsibility to ensure that the community provides freedom from oppression for all of its members, not just the white or straight or cisgendered or M/f oriented or young or attractive. All. So no mocking, no standing up for racism (or domism or homophobia or any other damn bigotry), and no looking away and mumbling about the right to a different opinion, either. This is important. It is harmful. We are better than this.

Now go read Mollena’s bit about it. She says it better than I could here:

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