i have to admit that i feel a bit off with this analysis about anti-blackness online, perpetuated by non-black poc. not because in and of itself, i think that these black women’s analysis is inaccurate, frankly i think its spot on.
its just that ive been in egypt for nearly four years, before and during the revolution, and i have watched time and time again, as i have been attacked online over the years for asserting that my experience as a black woman living in north africa is not a crystal stair. the us-centrism of these online conversations about blackness just bother me. that basically my experience is not relevant because of other people’s assumptions about my class, my education status, my work status, etc etc. to the extent that my identity as a mother got erased to create this fucked up dichotomy of abstract internationalism vs concrete and practical pro-mamis…
and frankly, it has been frustrating. just imagine what it would have been like if there had been a coordinated media response among woc in online media toward jan 25 and the 18 day ouster of mubarak and the past two years. imagine the kind of support that we could have given each other during the arab spring (which is really an african spring, but okay there…). imagine…imagine having a coherent response to occupy (which jumped on the bandwagon of the african spring without any of the teeth -except for oakland-) from the perspective of north african revolutions.
i know, i know, water under the bridge. but i cant help but wonder if we have learned anything from this. if we are willing to be less us-centric, to imagine that what is happening over here really does matter, not just abstractly, but concretely what is happening over there and vice versa.
i guess im a bit irritated at reading these calls to solidarity for black women, when it was black women who decided that i my life wasnt relevant to theirs since i didnt live in the states.
i mean folks are talking about how this isnt just faceless folks online, but this harrassment really affects their lives, well, you know what really affects my life? waking up one morning in the midst of a revolution (surprise!) and knowing that when i asked - a year and a half before - to work on creating media support since i was living in a violent anti black racist police state, and being told that if i wanted to do that, i should just do it on my own. and when i pointed out the impossibility of that task, i was told that i was being ‘demanding’ and ‘angry’ and undermining women of color’s media work. and watching black women co-sign that shit.