The Ani Difranco debacle. White feminists vs feminist women of color and digital black face.

Whilst you were doing other things like living your life and or doing other constructive shyt, there was a huge internet kerfuffle, wait… ugh I did not use; Kerfuffle in a sentence. I just lost both my man card and black card all in one fell swoop.

Let me have a redo. Ready? OK…

ani_difranco

This weekend some foolishness went down between the fans of feminist icon; Ani Difranco and feminist women of color as news spread that Difranco was holding a seminar for songwriting and other progressive goodness at good ol Nottoway plantation in Louisiana. Yeah you read that right. A plantation.

Now if someone from the far right said they were holding a shindig at a real southern plantation, home of some of the most heinous acts to ever happen on this soil, none of us wold be very shocked at all. We’d all pretty much sit here like:

ani_grady

 

But this is progressive, liberal, feminist icon; Ani DiFranco we’re talking about. An absolute icon in the feminist/progressive movement for the past 20 years even.  When SHE said she was throwing an event at the home of Nottoway Plantation, her clueless fans were like:

ani_clapping

 

Women of colour feminists were like:
ani_angry

and their allies looked at Ani DiFranco’s stupid azz like:

ani_hendricks_you_aint_shyt

So of course, women of colour went to the event’s facebook page and let it be known how disgusted they were with how this was yet another slap in the face from white women feminists towards their black feminist “sisters”. Apparently unbeknownst to me, there is quite the amount of strife within the feminist community in regards to white feminists dismissing the issues brought to the table by feminist women of colour and ignoring racism when it’s convenient for the whole.
roqBut of course when the women of colour and their allies made their points about how offensive holding this event on a plantation was, they were shot down by the mainstream feminists. Then….as those with lovely privilege like to do, they explained to the angry women of colour why it wasn’t offensive and how their being offended and expressing such anger was in bad taste.

ani_white

 

One of them in particular, Mandi, presented her points as to why women of colour shouldn’t be offended and when that didn’t work, she decided to create a fake facebook account of a Black Woman, grab some random negress foto,  use the moniker;’ Laqueeta, then start speaking “black” to try and pretend to be black in order to quell the angry black people …

ani_difranco_laqueeta_001ani_difranco_laqueeta_003ani_difranco_laqueeta_002ani_difranco_laqueeta_004ani_difranco_laqueeta_005

 

ani_nonsense

THIS bytch went into digital black face, folks…

THAT Bytch was like:

ani_hidden_white_girl

 

 

But to add insult to injury, when the women of colour and their allies spoke out, many of their posts were actually DELETED from the page and some of the fans went to go make their own page about the event so they didn’t have to listen to the cries of the women of colour….

ani_lalalala

because how dare they express outrage at something and interfere with the fun that the white feminists wanted to have. After all they have (not) done for black feminists…

ani_rebecca_care

 

and many other women chimed in with their digital tears at how everything was so unfair…and women of colour were making this an big deal…

ani_white_tears

 

I mean how inconsiderate of women of colour for being offended at this…

white_people

The interesting thing about all of this is that when black folks complain about referencing Slavery and we’re always told we need to get over it and learn to stop being so hypersensitive. Native Americans get told the saaaame thing. But soon as it’s about anyone else, we’re told to stfu and respect the atrocities and tragedies.

ani_stanley

 

In the end the event was cancelled.

But man was a dirty internal war between mainstream feminists and women of colour feminists exposed…big time.

and of course… good ol privilege..

 

Did you follow the nonsense/spectacle over the weekend?

 

What say you?

Slaus
When not responding to the dictate:" Will the Defendant Please Rise.." CEO and Creator of OHN;Slaus, is a comic illustrator and Social Media whore who spends his free time building legos, playing video games, drawing fantasy characters and being abused by his wife, two sons and cat.
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  • Folk

    Fortunately no tiddays were harmed in the incident. There were moments of dry coochie with cold nights throughout the week though.

  • Beffa

    I didn’t follow it but I saw bits and pieces of it throughout my newsfeed.

    This just uncovered what some may have already known. Feminism and racism are not really friends. I never really thought they were in the first place so when I saw this I was not surprised.

  • ToodySezHey

    All I can say is…WTF was Ani DiFranco thinking?????

    got me over here side-eying my ‘Not a Pretty Girl’ cd

    • laddibugg

      exactly. people don’t understand that it is pretty hard to get over something you are still going though.

      • Yaya

        It’s impossible to heal when new wounds are being cut open daily.

    • Yaya

      Tell that dude you’ll get over it when our people are ok with being forced to learn English and not putting mayonaise on corn.

      • ToodySezHey

        Sigh…ma’am…….

  • hexacorde

    Never really was that much of a fan of Ani’s music, but for years it was always clear she was one artists who was doing her best to be driven by principles and not just profit. Releasing her albums all on an independent label, self promoting instead of feeding the corporate machine, tackling topics others wouldn’t dare because of the risk of upsetting her corporate masters.. by all accounts this was one person who could be expected (if somehow she wasn’t aware of the situation because a separate promoter set it up or whatever) to react swiftly and the most appropriate way for the circumstances.

    So to see this very same person sort of shrug their shoulders and try to justify such a sickening slight with a statement/faux-apology that was basically, “I was just trying to make money without having to travel that far from my house, why are you all so mad?” is the ultimate insult. Almost as if she is admitting that the outrage isn’t worth the hassle, and that addressing the specific issue (or even taking a second to recognize the offended parties among her own super-loyal fan base) is just crass.

    But the biggest insult of all was the almost 2 weeks of silence when this thing blew up before this shoulder shrug of a cancellation.

    Hoping it would blow over much?

    Congratulations, Ani. The corporate record labels would have handled this the exact same way. Looks like you finally made it. #disgusted

    • ToodySezHey

      Right? Im not shocked the fans went stan for Ani, Im shocked he had the nerve to host it there in the first place? Maybe she figured she dont have black fans? Either way you slice it, its some boolshyt.

      • hexacorde

        Sadly this all smacks of that old “money is all the same color so who cares what you’re mad about” attitude that of all people, you’d think she’d never fall prey to.

        The sad thing is that there’s a lot of this private event stuff happening in the music industry where a number of artists are playing big payout gigs for rich clients who happened be tied to interests that are anti worker, anti LGBT, etc, etc. — but knowing the PR risk (but still wanting the cash) they keep the publicity on them low.

        Ani’s made her bones (supposedly) not being that person, which is a big part of why this is all the worse in my book.

    • Lefty_Stiletto

      Ani owned the record label too. She made 4 times the amount as owner/artist than as just an artist.

  • bb ragusa (the medium ragu)

    This is a classic example of a white woman feeling she should never have to admit that she’s wrong because she’s somehow entitled to a victim-hood that supersedes the suffering of everyone else. Feminism is just white woman privilege. Their concerns are meant only for the improvement of their lives. Black women always had to work because black men were kept out of the work force. I don’t have no horse in this race, Alice Walker told me I’m a Womanist. This is exactly why “feminist” website Jezebel lampooned Chris Brown when he talked about being sexually abused and thinking it was loosing his virginity. If that had been a white girl talking about losing her virginity at 12 to someone much older than her there would have been an outpouring of righteous indignation and sympathy. But because it was a black man, and empathizing with a black man would humanize him and who the fuck wants to do that?, he was called an idiot.

    • ToodySezHey

      Jezebel furthermore continued their fuggary by praising R Kelly’s latest album, nevermind him being a sexual predator of young black girls cuz eh….fvck young black girls.

      They had to plublicly retract their support after theVillage Voice article rehashing his sextape trial went viral.

  • laddibugg

    …she outed herself when she said ‘our great leader, Martin Luther King’

    I do have a question for Southern commentators: How common is it for events (weddings, parties, etc) to be held on the grounds of a former plantation? Do Black folks ever consider them as venues for their affairs? Do people often refuse to attend because an event is on a plantation?

    • ToodySezHey

      There are several old plantations that are now bed and breakfast type tourist attractions in NC. Of course, even if Id have had the money, my black azz wouldnt have been there.

      • CJ

        neither would my white one.

    • chinson

      I have never heard of a “Black” event held on any of these places. I have never really heard of anyone bragging about visiting one of these places as a tourist attraction.

      • Omelette!

        I’ve never been to one. Is there a plantation equivalent of the coastal forts in Ghana, Benin, etc? i.e. a site of solemn commemoration and contemplation?

      • laddibugg

        I would like to visit one that tells the *real* history of slavery, though. I just think it would be very educational and humbling.

        • Asha Denienne

          I went to a plantation before that discussed the history of slavery. It was educational, but very depressing. Maybe if Ani used the venue to discuss the issues facing black women or addressed how many black women slaves were raped on those grounds and how the whole country was built from the black woman’s exploitation then maybe the venue would be more appropriate. But to completely dismiss everything that happened on that soil to further her own agenda is outright disrespectful

    • cake_and_pies

      There are lots subdivisions, parks, and historical preservation sites with the word “plantation” in them. Truthfully, some of them aren’t ever built on old plantations. They use the word in their names to deter us from moving, shopping, or visiting there.

  • Baegatha Christie

    #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen

  • Virtual_Virgo

    If you can’t make your point as YOURSELF, why bother pretending to be someone else? Do lies make your point more acceptable or more valid? SMH.

    • DB Ruberto

      RIGHT!?! Are black women and other women of color that damn DUMB? She could even THINK that we are that easily persuaded—just because LaQueesha/someone black said it, that it was OK? I HATES that about (esp prejudiced)—that we are just a “mass”, not intelligent enough to be individuals..

      • JustSlaus

        like it’s a gatdamn coon hivemind

  • vanessa197676

    I followed it and posted in it. I also let people know that for the prices she was charging ($2400 for a single occupancy, king-sized room at a 4 day retreat in New Orleans, writing songs), people could take a week-long vacation in Europe, with museum passes, and stay in 4 star hotels the whole time. Not only was the event out of reach culturally for POC, but financially out of reach for a whole lot of people. If I’m dropping that kind of money, I’d rather go somewhere far away with a lot more to see and experience.

    • ToodySezHey

      So basically it was a nekkid cash grab for Ani. Damn..I mean, is she on hard times? Songs aint flowing like they used to?

      Man, artists nowadays are making it hard to separate the artist from their artist cuz of their personal fuggary ( R Kelly, Christ Brown, Justin Bieber , Beyonce[her many many concerts for random tyrants and despots], Ani Di franco….) ugh.

      • vanessa197676

        Someone said that they thought 90% of the costs were going back to Nottoway, since it included meals and a tour guide. Even if that were true, that means Nottoway plantation was making BANK for the event, and their parent group has a questionable background. Add to that the fact that their own website talks about how you can stay in their charming cottages, which “resemble original plantation buildings”. That includes The Overseer’s Cottage, I guess. http://www.nottoway.com/html/plantation-accommodations.htm

        • ToodySezHey

          still…ten percent of 2400 is 240 a person. You figure if she gets a couple hundred people to go, or even just 100, thats 24k for a half week of work and she doesnt
          have to perform or tour. Thats why the ‘apology’ was so salty, these ‘darkies’ cost her her green.

    • TracyTrips

      I read a link someone had put somewhere about how much it costs just to go on a regular tour of the damn place. They are making money HAND OVER FIST and allegedly they mention slavery about 3 times…one of which they talk about how happy the slaves were there. Ya know….happy slaves.

      • DB Ruberto

        I just threw up in my mouth a little..

      • vanessa197676

        Oh, you should read the part on their website about slavery. They really make it sound like some type of resort. These are my favorite bits:

        “The slave quarters also included a bathhouse, a hospital, and a meeting house, a relatively large and important building used for a variety of functions. During the week, it was a nursery where the oldest women watched the youngest children while everyone else worked in the fields, and on Sundays, it was used for church, as well as for weddings and other special occasions.

        Considering his slaves to be valuable tools in the operation of his business, Randolph provided the necessary care to keep them in good health. He understood the importance of hygiene in controlling the spread of illnesses and disease, so he provided a bathhouse where slaves could bathe daily if they wished. He also had a slave hospital; he paid a local physician to make weekly visits and trained one of the slaves as a nurse to care for his slaves.

        Ever the astute businessman, Randolph knew that in order to maintain a willing workforce, it was necessary to provide not only for his slaves’ basic needs for housing, food and medicine, but to also offer additional compensation and rewards when their work was especially productive. Every New Year’s Day, John Randolph would give the field slaves a hog to cook and the Randolph family would eat with them in The Quarters. There would be music and dancing, and the Randolphs would give the slaves gifts of clothing, small toys and fruit, as well as a sum of money for each family. In addition, the workers received an annual bonus based on their production.

        It is difficult to accurately assess the treatment of Randolph’s slaves; however, various records indicate that they were probably well treated for the time.”

        http://www.nottoway.com/html/nottoway-plantation-history.htm

        • ToodySezHey

          ugh..just Ugh….thats like, sigh..the biggest justification of slavery was that black folk were happy to be so. As proof they used to make mention of the fact slaves would sing in the fields.

          Bytch, we werent singing whistle while you work. We were singing songs like wade in the water and negro spirituals to get thru each soul crushing day of servitiude.

          Like that duck dynasty fool who made a comment in his interview that he felt blacks were happier before civil rights because they were always singing and smiling.

          Fugg him and fugg this damn website.

          *kicks shyt over*

        • laddibugg

          “The Gulag encouraged productivity.” “The Nazi party encouraged order”. “North Korea is a model of national pride”. See how ridiculous it sounds when those things are whitewashed (no pun intended)? It sounds just as silly when applied to slavery.

        • Yaya

          “I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion”- Frederick Douglass

  • Unckle_Ruckus

    I just separated from cackling so hard.

  • CJ

    Thanks for this post. The person criticizing you for spelling errors has completely missed the point.
    Having missed this complete discussion, I was completely in the dark until today.
    I am disgusted, myself, and would like to see these plantations torn down and something useful done with them. I would have expected ani to make better choices.

    I do disagree with the person below who claimed that white feminists are only interested in themselves. I consider myself one of them and am NOT blind to the needs of people who differ from me.
    An organization has its purpose. But it should not be blind to the needs of its individual members and it should not exist only to self-perpetuate. I believe the feminist community should exist for all its members. I believe it should be a movement for the rights of all people, including men.

    To Toddy: guilt does not necessarily produce reflexive defensiveness.
    Guilt is more likely to produce shame and embarrassment in some people.

    But I do agree that you have some acutely insensitive (and clueless) friends. Some people are guilty of recognizing only their own suffering.

    There is so much work to do. And some people may never get it (see the misogynist “Folk” below). So sometimes it is more productive to focus on those who do.

    • JustSlaus

      thanks for the post cj,

      just one correction though, as a behaviourist who cant spell or write, i have to say that reflexive defensiveness is in fact one of the primary first tier reactions in the face of guilt.

      primarily in men but the differential is small

      • CJ

        Ok, I get your point to a degree. I am by no means an expert on anyone but myself.
        But I’m not sure how this relates to your spelling :D
        Grammatical and spelling errors irritate me, but that really takes a backseat when discussing subjects of such weight.
        Also, I think the internet could use a good dose of “benefit of the doubt”.

        • JustSlaus

          no worries lol. I’m not even feeding the trolls and nothing they are dishing out concerns me in the least.

      • TracyTrips

        IT’S BECAUSE YOU KEEP ADDING U’S

        • FubsyNumbles

          And that’s how it should be!

          • TracyTrips

            is not

            ‘MURICA

            • FubsyNumbles

              The Queen’s English, ma’am!

            • JustSlaus

              Stop oppressing me whitey!

              now touch my booty.

  • Les

    Soooo…. I guess I’m not as white as people think I am…
    Who is Ani DiFranco? Have I heard her music?

    • ToodySezHey

      punk/folk singer with a feminist bent.. Had a very good song 32 flavors that got remade in the early 2000’s. Her album ‘Not a Pretty Girl’ is one of her benchmark recordings and a damn good album but…sheesh.

    • TracyTrips

      I’ve never heard of her before this either

      • ToodySezHey

        I cant lie..I got like 3 ani difranco albums…we was cool and all but now, dayum.

  • MacDeezNutz
  • Troy Frazier

    I, for one, don’t see the big deal about having her little shindig at a former plantation. It’s a house and a plot of land. Sure, it’s a house and a plot of land where terrible things happened. Terrible, horrible things on a historic scale. Okay. And, now? Is having an event there somehow encouraging what went on there? Can you imagine how many former plantations there must be in America? Beautiful, historic homes. Should they all be torn down and turned into monuments? I really, really don’t get it. What if the plantation is now owned by a black person? Is it okay to have events there now? Or is it in bad taste for a black person to buy it in the first place?

    • DameloSuave

      You’d be the one black friends to get passed around on this subject lol.

      Still, if this many people are angry, upset, & telling you why – and you basically said, get over it, idc, stop being bitter, there’s a problem. Particularly if you’re platform is allegedly for all women. I can’t say I’m surprised though, one seen this lack of awareness d privilege pop-up so much more often now.

      (Excuse typos, working from phone – I promise it’s not Slaus writing for me)

    • JustSlaus

      seriously Mandi? You hacked Troy’s account now? c’mon now….

      • Troy Frazier

        Troy Jenkins: I don’t even be seein’ what duh big deal be y’all!

      • TracyTrips

        OMG I totally just got this 8 hours later.

  • Sarah Lawrence

    Did you know that the main reason democrats switched gears and decided to support woman’s suffrage was to keep black people from voting? Unfortunately, white people may be sick of the rhetoric, but it’s important we all understand our privilege of whiteness and use it for healing. That said, it is not our job as white people to impose our ideas of healing on those we have trespassed against.

  • marvy

    I saw some of this mess in my Twitter feed and then I read Ambz’ post. Why are Black folks always expected to play nice an shut up when we are offended? Eff that. This is why I have never identified with feminism. I believe in equal rights and self determination for women, but I have always felt that they marginalized the concerns of Black folks.

  • Omelette!

    I have never heard of this person. I read that she is an artist of sorts. Does the artistic sensitivity she doubtless values highly, not extend to others or are we compelled only to respect her “sensitivity” about herself? Is she perhaps selfish, obtuse and lacking in imagination? Does she conduct herself in social media like a touchy adolescent on Facebook? It takes a monumental narcissistic disconnect to insist on respect for one’s self while denying it to others, but then, this was all about her until it got hijacked by common decency. Idiotic. Completely idiotic.

  • FubsyNumbles

    The news of a white/ non-whits schizm within feminism was news to me until the last couple of years, when I began to see more and more black and Asian female writers saying – independently of each other – that they felt left out, that their views were not taken on board, that their voices were being crowded out by a loud chorus of wishy-washy kumbayah where a dialogue and joint-race effort ought to have been. I suppose I was blinded by my own privilege. It was only when I read these black and Asian writers that it began to seem quite obvious to me – white writers were often talking about topics that affected only their subsection of society – the white and middle class. Never was I seeing the topics in these articles that other female writers from different races would raise. It was a pretty chastening experience, but I’m glad I’ve gone through it. Some of the issues raised by white, middle-class feminists are pertinent, but the whole is relatively pointless unless they begin to acknowledge their own blindness. I don’t want to be part of a feminism that excludes anybody.

    Having read DiFranco’s article – I’m certainly not going to call that sham an apology – I recognised it’s language immediately: lot’s of rhetoric without addressing a single issue apart from her own perceived hurt. Rather pathetic. I am a feminist, and I have no qualms saying it, and I am absolutely certain that this particular branch of DiFranco-ist feminism is a little too much like her Spanish dictator namesake in how she sees the role of anyone not of her racial subset, if this response is anything to go by.

  • TracyTrips

    I was just sittin at my computer bein all white and clueless until I saw some alert that Ambz had posted on something. I read a little..saw there was some drama ( Because I loooooooove me some drama as long as I’m not involved ) so I looked further. That’s how I found out all this was goin down. I’d never heard of that chick. I can’t stand folk music though so it’s understandable.
    I’ll be honest. When I first read the situation…I was thinking they could remedy this situation so easily. Just incorporate talks on slavery. What a great time and place to discuss what was done not ONLY to black people but what was also done to black WOMEN during slavery. What a great way to heal everyone! This is actually AWESOME! ::cue In the Arms of an Angel::
    Then about 5 seconds later I thought…what if I were black…and saw an old tree on this plantation? Would I stand there frozen and wonder how many of my race were hung from this tree? Could I then proceed to be ‘creative’ and sit in circles while discussing my awesome womanhood while an outbuilding behind me held whispers of women being raped and having babies of the rapists? While I eat on this beautiful patio…how many people lived in absolute and solid HORROR every second of their lives?
    See….we can TRY to relate….we can TRY to put ourselves in a black person’s position….we can TRY, but really we can’t. Not only can we NOT do it….we cannot say how you would or should feel. So to brush over all of this as over reacting, or drama, or whatever you want to call it…is the epitome of hypocrisy. Isn’t that what men did to us? Made us feel less than relevant? Made us feel like we didn’t matter? Isn’t this the basic core of WHY feminism started in the first place? Men don’t have to be able to relate to our issues to be understanding, respectful and treat our opinions and feelings as valid…yet this is what feminists want. So WHY are all of these white women treating black women like this? It’s not FOR you to necessarily relate with ( But if you can’t see why ‘plantation’ would be offensive you’re a dumbass ) but it is FOR YOU to respect and understand.

    • Beffa

      you ma’am are awesome! truly!

      • TracyTrips

        I’m evolving! LOL

    • April

      Perfectly written.

    • ToodySezHey

      And this here, is why I want Tracy to adopt me, lol

      • TracyTrips

        You know not what you ask.

  • DameloSuave

    wait… ugh I did not use; Kerfuffle in a sentence. I just lost both my man card and black card all in one fell swoop.

    You lost those a long time ago – so go on using kerfuffle whilst watching MLP…we understand

    • Troy Frazier

      Hey! HEEEEEYYY!!! Nobody better say nothing bad about My Little Pony!

      • JustMe81

        I love how Slaus “liked” your comment lol.

        • JustSlaus

          Hey… shut up! MLP is the illest

      • DameloSuave

        That you both knew what MLP is though…at least Troy has a daughter

  • DameloSuave

    Here’s DiFranco’s apology (it’s long):

    i have heard you: all who have voiced opposition to my conducting a writing and performing seminar at the nottoway plantation. i have decided to cancel the retreat.

    when i agreed to do a retreat (with a promoter who has organized such things before with other artists and who approached me about being the next curator/host/teacher), i did not know the exact location it was to be held. i knew only that it would be “not too far outside of new orleans” so that i could potentially come home to my own bed each night. and i knew that one of the days of the retreat was slated as a field trip wherein everyone would come to new orleans together. later, when i found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, “whoa”, but i did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness. i imagined instead that the setting would become a participant in the event. this was doubtless to be a gathering of progressive and engaged people, so i imagined a dialogue would emerge organically over the four days about the issue of where we were. i have heard the feedback that it is not my place to go to former plantations and initiate such a dialogue.

    tragedies on a massive scale are not easily dealt with or recovered from. i certainly in no way expect or want to be immune from that pain or that process of recovery. i welcome (and in fact have always pursued) constructive dialogue about these and all political/social issues. my intention of going ahead with the conference at the nottoway plantation was not to be a part of a great forgetting but it’s opposite. i know that pain is stored in places where great social ills have occurred. i believe that people must go to those places with awareness and with compassionate energy and meditate on what has happened and absorb some of the reverberating pain with their attention and their awareness. i believe that compassionate energy is transformative and necessary for healing the wounds of history. i believe that even though i am white, i can and must do this work too. if you disagree, i respectfully understand where you’re coming from and your right to disagree. i am not unaware of the mechanism of white privilege or the fact that i need to listen more than talk when it comes to issues of race. if nottoway is simply not an acceptable place for me to go and try to do my work in the eyes of many, then let me just concede before more divisive words are spilled. i obviously underestimated the power of an evocatively symbolic place to trigger collective and individual pain. i believe that your energy and your questioning are needed in this world. i know that the pain of slavery is real and runs very deep and wide. however, in this incident i think is very unfortunate what many have chosen to do with that pain. i cancel the retreat now because i wish to restore peace and respectful discourse between people as quickly as possible. i entreat you to refocus your concerns and comments on this matter with positive energy and allow us now to work together towards common ground and healing.

    for myself, i believe that one cannot draw a line around the nottoway plantation and say “racism reached it’s depths of wrongness here” and then point to the other side of that line and say “but not here”. i know that any building built before 1860 in the South and many after, were built on the backs of slaves. i know that in new orleans, the city i live in, most buildings have slave quarters out back, and to not use any buildings that speak to our country’s history of slavery would necessitate moving far far away. i know that indeed our whole country has had a history of invasion, oppression and exploitation as part of it’s very fabric of power and wealth. i know that each of us is sitting right now in a building located on stolen land. stolen from the original people of this continent who suffered genocide at the hands of european colonists. i know that many of us can look down right now and see shoes and clothes that were manufactured by modern day indentured servants in sweat shops. i know that micro profits from purchases that we make all day long are trickling down to monsanto, to nestle and to GE. i know that a sickeningly large percentage of the taxes we pay go to manufacturing weapons and to making war. and on and on and on. it is a very imperfect world we live in and i, like everyone else, am just trying to do my best to negotiate it.

    as to the matter of the current owner of the resort and his political leanings, that was brought to my attention yesterday and it does disturb me. but it also begs further questions: who are all the owners of all the venues i or any other musician play? the performing arts centers? the theaters? the night clubs? i bet there are a lot of rich white dudes with conservative political leanings on the list. is it possible to separate the positive from the negative people in this world? will those lines be clear and discernible with enough research? is it my job to do this for every gig? is it possible to ensure that no ‘bad’ person will ever profit in any way from my existence or my work? again, maybe we should indeed have drawn a line in this case and said nottoway plantation is not a good place to go; maybe we should have vetted the place more thoroughly. but should hatred be spit at me over that mistake?

    i believe that we need every ounce of energy that we have to try to create a positive change in this world. and to work together. that energy is precious.

    my focus for the righteous retreat was on creating an enriching experience that celebrated a diversity of voice and spirit. i invited my friends Buddy Wakefield, Toshi Reagon and Hamell on Trial to impart their particular brands of spirit and wisdom to the conference attendees. i also planned to take the whole group on a field trip to Roots of Music, a free music school for underprivileged kids in New Orleans. Roots of Music is located at the Cabildo, a building in the French Quarter which was the seat of the former slaveholder government where all the laws of the slave state were first written and enacted. i believe that the existence of Roots of Music in this building is transcendent and it would have been a very inspiring place to visit. i also believe that Roots could have gained a few new supporters. in short, i think many positive and life-affirming connections would have been made at this conference, in its all of its complexity of design.

    i do not wish to reinvent the righteous retreat at this point to eliminate the stay at the Nottoway Plantation. at this point I wish only to cancel.

    i ask only that as we attempt to continue to confront our country’s history together, let us not forget that the history of slavery and exploitation is at the foundation of much of our infrastructure in this country, not just at old plantation sites. let us not oversimplify to black and white a society that contains many many shades of grey. and let us not forget to be compassionate towards each other as we attempt to move forward and write the next pages in our history. our story is not over and, Citizens of the Internet, it is now ours to write.

    • DameloSuave

      To me, that read of ‘It’s not my fault, don’t blame me – I’m not the promoter, and how dare you get all upset about this?’ All I see is condescension and a big ‘whoops, sorry! Oh well… *shrug*’

      • Tnisha Renae

        All I saw/read was Charlie Brown’s teacher “whomp whomp whomp”

      • Omelette!

        Not so much “The Righteous Retreat” as “The Self-Righteous Retreat” then?

    • Beffa

      you could have just put the link in there…just sayin’

    • Troy Frazier

      *shrug* Sounded to me like a very well-thought-out apology/explanation. And she makes a lot of good points about starting a dialog. Sorry, I’m on her side.

      -Mandi

      • Beffa

        I hate you Troy!!!!

        • Troy Frazier

          Mmmmmm…just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :)

    • JustMe81

      [I] know that in [N]ew [O]rleans, the city [I] live in, most buildings have slave quarters out back, and to not use any buildings that speak to our country’s history of slavery would necessitate moving far far away.

      Bish, whatever…you could have moved that event to the NOLA Courtyard Marriott and been square. I had to stop reading after that bit of nonsense.

      • ToodySezHey

        so basically, in the interest of not you know, inadvertantly endorsing the most inhumane system in human history, she couldnt be bothered to do so in the name of ‘well, its nearby”

    • ToodySezHey

      Bytch just mad her money got fugged up. So ok, when she found out it was a plantation she went ‘woah’ but still went ahead with it because

      1) I guess she figured not many PoC were fans of her?

      2) even if she had PoC fans, the darkies would sing and smile and not raise a fuss?

      Either way, fugg her.

  • DB Ruberto

    Eff her. Besides, I’ve always been more of a Tori Amos kind of chick…

    • ToodySezHey

      I had some love for Tori too but…I had to break up with her after Boys for Pele

  • vanessa197676

    Like I said elsewhere, the invite itself talked about having fun and working on their tans. Combine that with the fact that the tickets ranged from $1600-$4000 (depending on which accommodations you chose) and I think the promoters had a very specific kind of attendee in mind.

    I personally don’t know too many melaninly-blessed people that think about working on their tans.

  • http://demosthenesxxi.wordpress.com/ Demosthenes XXI

    You all have to remember…”Woman is the nigger of the world.”

    Does anyone remember that nonsense at one of the slut walks? When the feminists of color protested about that, once again mainstream white feminists attempted to dismiss their concerns about the use of the word “nigger” and claim that it was okay because they were feminists and they had the right to use it. Check this link (http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2011/10/06/i-saw-the-sign-but-did-we-really-need-a-sign-slutwalk-and-racism/) to get more info.

    This is the face of “white wimmens feminizim” in today’s society.