The Garden | How do we respond to oppression in our communities?

I’m doing some slow and challenging work around deconstructing Little Red Tarot and looking at how it can embody feminist, anticapitalist and anti-oppressive principles. It’s taking time, and it’s helpful for me to brain-dump from time to time. This My Business is a Garden tag is where I’m doing that openly, so that LRT readers have the option of seeing this process. If you read these pieces, please take them as works in progress rather than conclusions or statements.

This work takes place in community. Not one of these ideas is mine and I do not claim ownership of these ideas when I post them here. I am inspired, guided and/or supported in this work by numerous people and programmes, including but not limited to adrienne maree brown and Emergent Strategy, Jennifer ArmbrustDesiree Adaway‘s Freedom School programme, and Tada Hozumi‘s work on the cultural nervous system. I am also inspired, guided and/or supported by a huge number of folks who are part of or in relationship with our beloved and complex #witchyqueer community. 

Photo by Matt Sclarandis on Unsplash

Six weeks ago, I heard about a conflict within what I call the #witchyqueer community.

I received various pieces of this conflict by email from different people who were either directly involved, or witnessed what happened. Much of this information conflicts and/or intersects. It’s a situation that involves white supremacy, racism (including anti-Black and inter-POC racism), abuse/manipulation of power, poor facilitation, performative allyship, and issues around accountability and non-accountability – along with, of course, a lot of pain, trauma, and anger.

And it’s nothing new. I believe this situation replicates the fucked-up power dynamics that arise directly and indirectly from white supremacy since forever. 

I’ve been sitting with this particular situation since it reached me, letting it percolate in turn through my head, my heart, and down through my gut. Over this time I have moved from a very Knight of Swords-type reaction (“Urgent! React immediately! Judge! Bring the pain and the conflict and the most heightened, vulnerable feelings into LRT so we can deal with it!” without any consideration for how to hold that responsibly, or what would happen after this) …to something humbler and steadier and more honest.

I have witnessed my own reaction shift from one of performance to one of authenticity. From one of abdication (of power, responsibility, discernment) to one of consciousness.

This led me to ask what now sounds obvious:

What is the most progressive, most healing, most honest, most accountable thing I (both personally and as the owner of LRT) can do right now, in alignment with our values?

Here’s what I came up with:

My work, both as an imperfect individual in the movement and as the owner/holder of this space – a role that brings power and responsibility – is to figure out what the lessons are, and then to examine Little Red Tarot in light of those lessons, and then to take action to change what needs to be changed.

Being accountable means doing deep and honest reflection on the space that I control, and working out what needs to change so that we don’t endlessly replicate past mistakes.

It means understanding and learning from the mistakes being made in our community and the harm done by those mistakes and to whom, and the impact of that harm.

It means sitting with that awful feeling of “shit – that could have been me – I could have made that mistake”, then going beyond it. Why is it that I could have made the same mistakes? What do I need to learn and unlearn? To call out is easy. To cast stones would be to say “I/we have it all sorted over here” …and that is so far from the truth.

It means personal and collective shadow work.

It means allowing this work the space and time it needs to happen deeply, genuinely, and sustainably.

This work is both urgent, and painstakingly slow – but it will happen sooner if we can all get on board. And I believe LRT can play a role in getting people on board, by getting really honest about how white supremacy and other oppressions play out within the spaces we create.

We are learning. We have to keep learning.

Learning to move through fear and discomfort and look right into the heart, to the roots, of what happened here and taking responsibility for the parts where I/we can effect change.

Until we are able to do this – to reflect and change as a community – we will continue to operate in the very same way as the mainstream we are so enraged by.

This one conflict is incredibly painful – and it is a reflection of serious issues that bubble away within the #witchyqueer community. Even as we busy ourselves pointing critically to the wider world. Even as we congratulate ourselves for being inclusive, radical, progressive. We are so quick to shout about systemic oppression outside of our community. What we often fail to do is talk about how these things play out in our own ‘safer spaces’.

Within the #witchyqueer community, white supremacy still rules.

We have to get honest about that.

We still – consciously or unconsciously – perpetuate oppressive practices, often failing to hold ourselves accountable. We (white people) fail to notice that people of colour don’t have the same access to platform or reach (for example). We tokenise. We curate our social media pages. We work from a space of fear, rather than from true love of justice. We leverage our own privileges even as we talk about the evils of privilege and attempt to unpack it all. We go as far as we are comfortable going, and then we retreat when we reach our edges. I know I am not the only person who has used self-care or ‘pick your battles’ as an excuse not to tackle the injustice under my nose. I know that I am not the only person who has made important decisions from a place of guilt and fear, rather than from a passionate, grounded belief in what is right.

Perilously, we also allow our guilt to dominate our decision-making, and thus we (often unconsciously) try to give away our power in inauthentic or performative ways. Power makes us feel guilty and ashamed, so we pretend we don’t have it. We abdicate on making conscious, authentic decisions, which makes us prone to making irresponsible, non-conscious decisions. This does not ‘level the field’ as we would like. It just creates more mess. It is a privilege to abdicate, to ghost on the power and responsibility we hold in this moment. Allyship is about recognising that power, owning it, sharing it, becoming conscious.

Little Red Tarot aims to be an inclusive, far-left, progressive voice within the #witchyqueer community. We share stories, articles, experiences from a small but growing range of marginalised voices, and as budget and capacity allows, we seek to add new and different voices to this mix. We talk about politics and spirituality and the intersections of personal and collective liberation. Things can get very vulnerable and personal here, and pain and trauma are shared alongside stories of healing and hope. And it’s a work in progress.

At the same time, this is a space owned and run by one middle-class, cis, white, queer British woman. It would be ridiculous to suggest that white supremacy isn’t playing out in the way this site is run – because as a white person, white supremacy is within me. Regardless how I feel about it, it’s right there, contributing to my decisions. It has been put there by generations, it was put there by school and my parents and by tv and the internet and by walking down the street and by everything, everywhere. Despite intentions, decisions I make every day contribute to the upholding of white supremacy.

I know this to be true of all of my white colleagues. within this community, and beyond.

I know that it hurts us. I know that it causes us to live in fear, and to perpetuate harm.

I know that it offers me a choice. I can sit in my guilt, abdicate my power, cast stones and blame at others because it is easier than doing my own work, because it is safer to sit in the relief that it wasn’t me that got called out (this time). Or I can name it, talk about it, be ready to make mistakes, be ready to learn, to go deeper.

My white privilege has made it easier for me to create a platform that is widely read and valued. My class privilege has enabled me to live cheaply and work for little money whilst building this space – which has helped me to create a sustainable livelihood. My cis and able-bodied privileges have meant far fewer barriers have stood in my way as I have developed this platform.

White privilege has allowed me to be ignorant of deeper issues in our community. To feel that we have created a safe and inclusive space, not noticing that racism and other oppressions are continually played out all around us. Situations like the one I mentioned above seem to come ‘out of the blue’. “But I thought we didn’t have racism in this community? I though we were inclusive?”

(Where have we heard this before? We didn’t think Trump would really be elected. We didn’t think that many people would vote for Brexit. Right?)

We have to get real with ourselves. Until we do, we are destined to keep repeating the same old shit, perpetuating the same old pain.

I can’t change the privileges I have, and I’m far beyond sitting in guilt.

What I can do next is leverage my privilege – in the form of this platform – in order to amplify the uncomfortable conversations we need to be having and (I hope) move us forwards.

My commitment is to doing the groundwork needed to hold these conversations safely and responsibly.

By ‘groundwork’ I mean work such as:

  • Recognising the limits of my own skills and knowledge as an individual, and bringing in the skills and knowledge of others. What ground rules are needed, what skills and experience do we need to craft truly safe containers for vulnerable, painful conversations to take place, and for them to lead towards accountability, justice and healing? Who needs to be at the table? Who makes decisions, and how?
  • Giving care and attention not only to the moment of sharing pain and trauma, but to what happens afterwards. Who will support a harmed person or community once they have spilled their guts? Who will support the supporter? Who will tirelessly pull the focus back from performance and drama to the root issues, to the work, and how will they do that? Who will move things forwards so we can step out of the pain and guilt and shame and into accountability and justice and healing, and how will they do that? What needs to be in place before we do this so that we can go deeper, to learn more, to unravel more of the web of privilege and oppression?
  • Considering and talking about what real healing looks like – for harmed people and communities, for the wider community, for perpetrators of harm. How do we move from callout culture, which has its place but falls so very short when it comes to progress, to a place where we understand that healing will only happen when we are safe to be our whole, imperfect, hurting selves?

I don’t have the answers to these questions yet. Answering them is my work. Little Red Tarot’s Guiding Values are my compass.

Once this foundational work is done, I commit LRT to holding space for writing that:

  • Uplifts Black and other oppressed voices so that the harm perpetuated within our community can be witnessed and understood.
  • Provides education for the whole community, so that we can recognise what supremacy looks like in practice, and can learn and reflect and show up to our work conscious, well-informed, more authentically committed to dismantling systemic oppression wherever we find it in our lives.
  • Creates space for perpetrators of harm (meaning when this harm is done unintentionally, by folks who are within our movements and intend to learn and grow – not to give platform to those who wilfully harm) to step into accountability, to acknowledge and fully own mistakes or misjudgements, to own the harm they/we cause and explain how they/we will do better.
  • Creates space for genuine healing – for harmed/oppressed people, for harmed/oppressed communities, and for the wider community. Because we only get free together, and as long as some of us are experiencing harm, none of us are free, and all of us are harmed.

This work is not happening/will not happen quickly. I want LRT to be a responsible, accountable platform. I want this to be a space where we do the work slowly and deeply, not quickly and without space to examine the roots of what we’re discussing. That is what this groundwork is for. That is why this very piece may seem waffling and non-specific. It is an attempt to articulate the enormity of the task.

[Note: At this moment I am questioning everything about LRT, including its structure as a top-down, privately-owned blog, and the ethics and implications of that when we step forwards into much more challenging and important conversations. I am questioning when and how I use “I” and when I use “we”. I am questioning who is at this table and who is making decisions and why and what that means.]

Allyship is an everyday practice and a learning curve, not a performance.

It’s not a blog post or a social media share or a ‘like’. It’s not a display of anger, it’s not a free pass to abdication. It’s not grabbing the mic and shouting. Opening up a platform and inviting in marginalised, trauma-informed voices is a vital part of our movement, but on its own this does not create a safe and progressive space – as the situation I mentioned has shown.

The accountability, the true allyship, is in giving a shit-ton of care and thought and attention to the crafting of a safe container for these painful conversations to take place. It’s ensuring that there are radically inclusive ground rules. It’s being deeply conscious of the voices that are participating and those that are absent. It’s in thinking about what happens next, and how space will be made for healing and accountability. It’s in being clear about terms, about payment, about expectations. It is about knowing what approach we are taking here at LRT and being committed to that approach, even as other spaces take different approaches. It is in remaining grounded in my own values and rooted in my own aims, whilst being flexible and adaptable and open and listening.

That is the role I’m stepping into. That is the work I am committed to doing. That is the work I will do.

I’ve hammered this quote pretty heavily lately. It bears repeating:

NO ONE WAY WORKS, it will take all of us

shoving at the thing from all sides

to bring it down.

Diane di Prima, Revolutionary Letters

Edited 19th July to clarify a couple of confusing sentences.

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  1. danielle says:

    GOSH this makes me wish we could sit down with some tea and talk about this kind of thing, because i really admire the grappling that you’re doing here. <3

  2. Devin says:

    This is great, but why do you have to give space to perpetrators?
    What about protecting victims of harm? How does this safeguard any community —does this mean a sexual assaulter or racist who has preyed on the community is welcome on LRT?

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for this Devin. I should have made a clear distinction between conscious and intentional perpetrators of violence (i.e. the “sexual assaulter or racist who has preyed on the community” you reference) and folks within the movement who are making mistakes (e.g. unintentionally playing out supremacist patterns). Both are perpetrators of harm in the literal sense, but are differentiated by their intentions and that is key to what I’m grappling with here.

      To be super clear, no – this is not about giving platform or space to those who have wilfully harmed others, or who deliberately perpetuate oppression and violence. There are restorative and transformative justice spaces where these people may seek accountability and healing. LRT is not one of those spaces.

      What I’m grappling with here is how to make space for is honest discussions about how those of us who are part of social justice movements, whose intentions are about dismantling oppressive structures and who are consciously learning and growing and examining ourselves are still flawed and still do perpetrate oppression, often in very subtle and confusing ways. I feel that it’s really, really important that we have that conversation, recognising the work we have to do on ourselves. I’m figuring out how we hold space for those conversations that keeps the focus on the harmed person/community and their needs and their healing, and that at the same time recognises that we all have this potential to fuck up, and we need to be able to step into our accountability when we do.

  3. I’m going to out myself as one of the people who messaged Beth and Tango about “concerns” in regard to this deeply not ok happening. Some readers may find this to be dramatic; I do not particularly care. I am going to say what I am saying not to drag dirty laundry through the mud but because I think too much has happened behind closed doors. Whoever wishes to ask me about this situation is free to do so, my contact information is readily available on my author bio here. The person who behaved inappropriately blocked me on all social media (that I’m aware of) for asking a simple non-aggro question about their behaviour. I am able to view their stuff when not logged into my own account so I know some half-ass apologies were made, and yet a ton of us who raised concerns have been blocked so we can’t even see it. How on earth is this responsibility? How it this being a healthy adult and community leader? How is this accountability?

    I think there are a lot of ways in which a “being slow” can deeply harm people in marginalized positions. Who, after all, has the luxury to be slow and methodical? An assumption that this is the required, preferred, or necessary approach is one born of yet more privilege and also relative emotional and physical safety. Often, IMO, BOTH a slow approach AND an immediate approach are required. Immediate concerns might be: is the person harmed safe, do they have support and resources? Is the person who caused harm in a position where they cannot cause more harm, either through access to vulnerable populations or through being in a position of power? Removing someone from a list of endorsed writers/thinkers can often be a crucial immediate first step in gaining some kind of accountability, and grounding in both integrity and responsibility. I am happy to cast stones. Does this mean I have never been deserving of a stone? Does it mean I have never messed up? Does it mean I will never mess up again? Certainly not. Let our fear/relief not stop us from acting with integrity (if indeed that is what ‘we’ are feeling; truly it is not what I personally am feeling lol). A fast response can be what is needed to ensure harmed ppl feel taken care of and listened to; a slow response is the privilege of the unimpacted and disaffected. Removing names of abusers and people who have not gone through accountability can go a long way in ensuring community peace and accountability. Who has the privilege to wax philosophical about ‘getting free’? Who actually has to hit the grindstone and fuckin DO something?

    This all may sound a bit intense and harsh – I realize writing an article is certainly a DOING, and an important one. I think slow community processes are important too. BUT/AND – we must also act immediately and without fear. There are some things people with social power and social capital and social media reach are able to do, that can keep communities safe(r) but also remove peoples’ abilities to do (more) harm. For those who are harmed, 6 weeks is excruciatingly long. There are people who will be ostensibly kicked out of our communities because that is simply too long to wait for anything to be done. Is that a risk you are willing to take? It is not one that I am willing to take.

    I say all of this with love.


    • Beth says:

      Thanks Sabrina.

      I totally hear you on the ‘being slow’ thing. I’m so conscious that it is a privilege to move slowly, to take time to think, and feel. I had a strong instinctive urge to react quickly and passionately, to reach out and give everybody a platform so we could thrash this all out, but when I checked in honestly with that urge, I realised over and over that for me was performative. I have spent a lot of my life performing and watching others perform, especially within social justice/activist spaces. I am done with performance, it will never bring the healing I crave for our community.

      Though it felt unethical to preside like a judge over this situation, I have tried to speak to the parts I felt ethically I could judge: abdication of full accountability. I absolutely agree, it is important that we have timely responses to situations like this one, and like you I’m disappointed not to have seen this from the very place it was needed – i.e. from the perpetrator. This person is my friend. I believe that they are a person with good intentions who fucked up, and yes, I think they need to own it. I’ve raised it with them but can’t force this. It is precisely my point here to take the time to look at that non-accountability, to recognise that this is not a one-off thing, to name that it is privilege that allows for that. I am sorry (and yeah, embarrassed) that it has taken me this long to come to that conclusion, but I think it was right to allow that time, because of my distance from the situation. Speaking sooner would have been speaking inauthentically and I am so not okay with that. It was painful to go slow, but I honestly believe that if I had gone with my initial reactions to all of this, I would have done more harm. And I did not want to do more harm.

      This piece is an attempt to be accountable to the fullness and complexity of white supremacy, which is so much more than what we see on the surface, and own that this stuff lives in me too, in all of us. I think if I had written something quickly, I would not have seen that, I would have skipped over the bit where I own that this shit is in me too, and that would be really unhelpful – at what point do we do that work, and start unravelling the next layer? I want LRT to be a place where we do that work. This piece is a (bumbling, I know) reflection on how easily I could have made those same mistakes, as could many other white folks reading this. I am not accountable for another person’s behaviour, but I am accountable for reflecting on what sits at the roots of it, those subtler expressions of supremacy, and then holding that mirror up to myself, and, since I have a platform, holding it up for our whole community.

      It IS a privilege to move slowly – I totally, totally own that and I’m here for the discussion around that, for sure. (Want to recommend everyone reads Rest for Resistance blog and buys the zine – crucial voices in this conversation!) And I am resolutely committed to the approach of moving slowly when it comes to unravelling structural oppression. It is a privilege to practice self-care, yet of course we encourage that and we write about how we do it. It is a privilege to take the time to examine ourselves and our behaviour, yet it is also vital if we are to move forwards as a community.

      • Thanks for engaging with me here, Beth. I know this topic and situation are both quite fraught. It’s taken me ages to write this, since the 18th I’ve been sitting on this comment!

        I’m glad you took the time you felt was necessary for you to take the actions and say the words that resonate with you. It’s important to look at our patterns and what movements come from wisdom and emotional sobriety and which come from knee-jerk unhealthy and dysfunctional places.

        I feel like in a sense it is impossible to escape performance – which is in a sense nothing more than a ‘public doing’ aware of its publicness. None of us exist outside of our relationship to spectacle and the attention economies of the internet – both you and I (and all other commenters!) are performing in our leaving of comments. It is for us but it is also for others, it is explicitly to be looked at.

        So I am wondering if there is another way to talk about this feeling of something being not right. Is it authenticity? Is it integrity? I’m not sure! But there’s certainly lots of room to work through and with these ideas and words. Something can be performed and be real, have a deep body and soul, can come from the heart.

        I am glad you’re speaking with the perpetrator, I was unaware of your friendship. I hope they listen to you and do the right thing.

        I am glad addressing white supremacy explicitly is something that is starting to happen more on LRT. Awesome!

        One thing that I think is really important to remember and be aware about is context. The folks involved in this conflict are both based in North America (as am I). While the internet often homogenizes and can seem to make things into a bit of a mish-mash sometimes, discourses of race seem to be in rather different places in North America (where I grew up and now live) than they are in the UK, a place where my family is from and where I have also spent a lot of time (with fam and also for work). The realities of colonization are a bit different in the UK than they are in NA. NA is a place that is deeply enmeshed in anti-indigeneity and anti-blackness, as most of the world at large seems to be (at least the global north), but in NA as a colonized land (I am vastly oversimplifying, I know) there is a visceral immediacy to this that has led racial politics here to be very different. I expect NA white folks engaged in activism(s) TO KNOW BETTER about something so basic. Activisms in NA are FULL of racial discourse and honestly the mistakes that were made around this are just deeply naïve and disappointing. Have I been that naïve and disappointing person before? Yes. Will I be that person again? I’m sure I will, despite my best efforts. But/and –

        I feel that in some ways this post replicates the lack of access to platform that POC tend to get. It’s a post about whiteness by someone who is white. Of course it’s part of using privilege properly (IMO) for white folks to talk about and examine white supremacy – it lives in all of us – but it is also crucial to step aside sometimes and make space for others to speak about this. Is there a way to move around “white womanhood” posts about white supremacy, and still be accountable, responsible, and transparent? I think there are. LRT is not my blog, it is not my space – I do not have ownership here. But I care and so I am writing this long ass comment. I would love to see more LRT columns written by folks of colour about white supremacy in witchy queer spaces. Those are the voices around this shit that I wanna hear, not just more white apologies. I wanna see writing by the folks who have suffered through this shit, the folks of colour who are still fuckin here despite this. And I wanna hear from those who have left to find their own spaces and why, and what they wished was different, if anything. I want to see resource lists. I wanna see us all doing the reading, doing our homework, and actually doing it, not just saying it.

        I find this piece to be good, and it has an awesome list of resources at the end:
        This person has agreed to do an interview with me on white supremacy in witchy spaces – is that something LRT would like to publish? I hope so but if not I’m sure we can find elsewhere for it! (This link was here in my comment draft before you linked it in Bits & Bobs, which I am very glad you did!)

        I also have learned a lot from the work of Sara Ahmed ( and Trudy (, bell hooks. A favourite piece is Bernice Johnson Reagon’s Coalition Politics essay:

        In love in the struggle



        • Beth says:

          Thank you too Sabrina, for engaging here. I am totally down with so much of what you’re saying and I’m grateful for the things you point out that aren’t always obvious. I’m also grateful that this is happening here so others can read as you’re pointing right to the roots – or at least some root questions – of what we’re all trying to deal with in different ways.

          There is power in holding a platform like this, and there is a lot of power in not holding it too – it’s good to have your voice here for this reason among others.

          “I feel that in some ways this post replicates the lack of access to platform that POC tend to get. It’s a post about whiteness by someone who is white.”

          Ugh, so much yes. Another reason I didn’t publish for ages, having lots of doubt about “is this really what the world needs, my response??” I concluded that our community needs BOTH to see white leaders grappling with their own white supremacy and encouraging others to do this too, AND of course elevated Black and other POC voices offering first hand experiences and perspectives on these issues (and who are paid). And I believe that the POC voices should be coming first, which is not what we have here.

          I had major concerns about how to handle the platform-sharing to bring in the most-needed voices right at the moment the conflict was happening. I was wary of bringing in a person who seemed very much to be (righteously) in their trauma at that moment – not for tone-policing reasons but because I genuinely don’t think I (yet) have the skills/experience to hold that conversation safely and respectfully to that person. As you asked in your previous comment, a top concern is: is the harmed person/community getting the support they need right now? My impression was that they were getting lots of support within the group where this conflict happened, though I wasn’t there I was aware that folks had rallied around this person and that they had platform and power in that space, and I was reluctant to re-activate trauma in a whole new arena. I am not experienced in dealing with the acute end of trauma and safety was a primary concern – even if I got it wrong. Figuring this out was a big part of the delay. I still don’t know that that was the right decision and am grappling with various perspectives. I decided to get my own response published and out of the way so I could move on to working out how to safely bring in the voices we most urgently need to hear. Not ideal, I know. I’ve approached this whole thing trying to do the best thing but sincerely ready to make mistakes and be called out on them and am glad you are here doing so.

          Moving forwards: You’ve emailed me about an interview/conversation piece with Whitney and I’ll be in touch with you both by email as soon as I have capacity (our editor is away and it’s been a full-on summer, but space is starting to open up now.)

          And thank you for the links! I shared Whitney’s piece in my last newsletter and follow the other writers you’re mentioned, but will delve back in to these links as you’ve specifically signposted them here. Hope others reading this follow up too.

          You’ve also given me lots to think about re performance and the inescapability of it:

          “None of us exist outside of our relationship to spectacle and the attention economies of the internet – both you and I (and all other commenters!) are performing in our leaving of comments. It is for us but it is also for others, it is explicitly to be looked at.

          So I am wondering if there is another way to talk about this feeling of something being not right. Is it authenticity? Is it integrity? I’m not sure! But there’s certainly lots of room to work through and with these ideas and words. Something can be performed and be real, have a deep body and soul, can come from the heart.”

          Yes. This. Another conversation we need to be having on LRT and beyond! (Erm – see other recent post about LRT needing to have a life beyond the capacity of one person…)

          Sincerely grateful for this conversation and hoping readers – meaning white readers – are learning from this all too.

  4. Avory says:

    I don’t know what this is specifically in response to, but thank you for modeling this work and grappling with it publicly. I think all of us white folks who are in public roles have a responsibility to address white supremacy, at a baseline, but society doesn’t exactly encourage it, so I have gratitude for those who do and hope that we can all engage in this work together in a way that minimizes harm to black and brown and indigenous folk.

  5. ryan says:

    its like a thing now where white ppl step on each other to show their more radical and im not sure if thats whats happening here. like why turn around and give money to poplar aka andis crowd funding campaign after calling them out and helping tear apart their business???

    especially when andi just rewrote their power under abuse article for the body is not an apology a few weeks ago so they could passive aggressively callout whitney. i cant find the link i think it was taken down by admins. their all ‘power under abuse looks like someone not using ur pronouns when their calling u out’ like ya she should of used their pronouns but subtweeting whitney in ur article is effed up and shows u dont want to hold urself accountable for ur racism.

    so ya not sure how i feel about this article … is it really about facing ur own internalized racism or is it about promoting ur business? idk

    • Beth Maiden says:

      Hey ryan.

      Poplar is my friend. It is possible to be both critical of their recent decisions AND support their need to be housed. Though I have reached out to them to talk about what I felt was wrong, I did not participate in the callout or ‘help tear apart their business’. They shut down their business long before this piece was published. I didn’t know about the body is not an apology piece you mention.

      Yes, this piece is very much about facing my own internalised racism – and encouraging other white people, particularly those with platforms and businesses, to do so too. I thought for a long time (too long, perhaps) about how best to respond to the callout, talked with various people about it, and decided that self-reflection was the only ethical place to begin, since the whole episode shone light on level of white supremacy/guilt that I hadn’t unpacked before and could really recognise in myself, and other folks in the community were making it clear that I was expected to respond. It felt important to do so. I’m not interested in competing with anyone to be radical (been there done that in my insecure 20s – no thanks) but rather to try out different ways of responding to oppression when it is revealed in our communities. Trying to move beyond the performativity that callout culture inevitably creates and towards a place where we can get over our defensiveness and fear and start digging into the roots of all this shit.

      If I wanted to promote (or at least protect) my business I woulda stayed the heck away from the whole situation!

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