FCKH8 posted a statement on their blog yesterday in response to the Colorlines article that questioned the motives of their “I’m over racism” t-shirt and viral video. If you’re not caught up, here’s a rundown of how this whole thing started.
The post is of course, predictably defensive, patronizing and awful. There’s really too much to parse, but here are some of my “favorite” highlights. And by favorite, I mean eye-roll inducing.
"Shame on you…. Colorlines, Race Forward & Aura Bogado. Click-baiting, Race-baiting, Homophobia, Minimizing Ferguson Residents, Trivializing Breast Cancer Awareness Efforts & Distorting Facts to Get Views & Donations."
Uh. What? This is rich, a FOR PROFIT COMPANY is accusing an anti-racism non-profit organization of race baiting for donations?! This from the company that has not once spoken about anti-racism until Ferguson (way genuine!), and their contribution is….t-shirts and a $5 donation. Let’s also not forget their usage of the sassy black woman stereotype to promote marriage equality in addition to really gross memes featuring Native Americans. Way to promote anti-racism folks!
"We’ve received literally thousands of racist comments, e-mails, phone messages and live-chat notes from racist white people in reaction to these Ferguson kids speaking out. If you like the N-word, you have to read our inbox.”
OMG ya’ll! They stood up for us black folk and now racist people are sending the n-word to their inbox!? This. Is. Unfathomable. I’d bet a day in their inbox is equal to a lifetime of actually being black. Now I feel TERRIBLE. Racism sucks ya’ll. Send those people a t-shirt. Stat!
ps. when dealing with racist hate mail, filters are your friends. I speak from experience ;)
"With all the hate from racists that has been directed at these kids and at us, one of the most troubling sources has been a blogger named Aura Bogado at Colorlines, a blog put out by an organization you’d expect to be an ally called Race Forward. The blogger continues to fabricate controversy by saying, “FCKH8.com, has made a name for itself selling what it calls ‘LGBT Equality Gear.’” We’re not sure if mocking “LGBT Equality Gear” by placing it in quotes as if it is not real and legitimate is simply old-fashioned underhanded homophobia and trivialization but it looks like it.”
In case you’re unclear, critique from the community you claim to support is on the same level as ACTUAL HATE SPEECH from racists. And using quotes when….quoting an organization’s slogan is “underhanded homophobia”. (sorry for the quotes, promise I’m not a homophobe) Got it!
"This video was our collective effort to make a statement out of grief and pain and turn it into something positive, that challenges people to face race and say, like the T-shirt says, “Racism Is Not Over. But I’m Over Racism.” Was the video director a white guy? Yes. He’s directed videos on social issues which have received millions of views and we’d prefer that the video and message from the participating Ferguson families and kids be judged on the content of its character and not the color of the skin of the director who pitched in to help make it.”
"Judged on the content of it’s character and not the color of the skin of the director" (FYI I’m using quotes because I’m quoting FCKH8, not because I’m homophobic)….Why does that sound familiar? Oh! I know! That’s a hat tip to MLK! Totally see what you did there. Love it when people drop the ONE line they know from that ONE MLK speech they know to show how progressive and not racist they are. And don’t worry, I’m not judging the kids who are unnamed or credited in the video, on your website or in the video description box. They’re adorable.
"Perhaps one of the most unsettling parts of this click-baiting blog post beside trivializing Ferguson kids, is the deliberate use of a screen grab of the only white person to appear in the entire video. This image is employed to misrepresent the heartfelt effort of 7 black cast members speaking out, a black producer, a black and Latino co-writer and a black editor. Is this race-baiting for attention? Out of a cast of 8 people, 7 of which are black, this photo seems to have been chosen with the devious intention to race-bait and drum up justified resentment of how many whites treat and marginalize blacks and other POCs, all to gain attention and be sensational. Using race in this way is disingenuous, offensive and reduces the voices of both the local children in front of the camera and the people behind the camera."
Wait. There were black people involved in this project!? Well that changes everything. As we all know, black people are a monolith, so if a few co-sign a project, then we all have to agree with it. Oh, and thanks for throwing in a photo of a black guy holding a sign to support FCKH8’s call for an apology. That really drives the point home. I suggest we talk about this at the next national monthly black people meeting and hug it out.
If you need more evidence that FCKH8 is awful, this blog details the numerous times they’ve stolen content from LGBT artists, promoted stereotypes, been transphobic in addition to being racist and speaking down to the very communities they claim to support. Just remember, these are the folks that are demanding an apology.