Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Very Public Post

Dear Nnedi Okorafor

When W*ll**m Sh*tt*rly is AGREEING WITH YOU (and complimenting you - on being a good negro) - that's a sign you took a wrong turn into internalized isms and non confrontational agreeableness and have lost. your. way.

I bring you back to Chimamanda Adichie, and The Danger Of A Single Story. Which I think is one of the single best lectures/explanations of how Colonialism, and Privilege affect the psychology and sociology of the global landscape.

The stories we tell ourselves, shape ourselves. The tropes and stereotypes we repeat to ourselves begin to have a foundation that's at the very least subconsciously counted on as truth.

I am extremely and immensely hurt that you would not consider broader context and the complexities of media representation and have seemingly bought into exceptionalism and how it conquers all; everything from racism to sexism.

I don't begrudge your right to have/hold your own opinions. But I do begrudge you, as a seen and known writer of colour making this statement public:

My point is that I think we should refrain from blindly stamping every film with a white male main character who seeks to infiltrate an "other" society and ends up changing things forever as a "white man saves the day" film or a racist film (does that sentence make sense?). It's unknowingly privileging such characters, as if their mere presence makes them instantly special. I think we should take each film as it comes.

Ms. Okorafor, it is NOT people of colour who are privileging those white characters who save the day and influence their circumstances by their specialness. Recognizing the trope is NOT perpetuating it.

How can you not see that?