Note: This is a LONG-ish post.
I debated whether I’d write about this incident, but in a weird way, it’s absolutely perfect for this blog. Sometimes I feel weird writing about important topics on a blog I created to complain about a TV show and its fandom but does it really matter? Nah.
This is a story about race, fandom, black friends and cult leaders.
For references purposes, I’m a black woman living in the UK. Unfortunately, talk about racism over here is even worse than it is in the US.
Anyway, that’s a post for another time.
Everything I’m about to write is true.
First of all, while not all fandoms are racist, lot of them are a hotbed for questionable activity. They will also condone racism for the sake of worshipping their faves or writing white saviour fanfiction.
I don’t even care about that.
I was simply minding my own business, reading posts on social media when I came across Brendon Urie’s statement on everything happening via someone’s IG story.
FYI: Brendon Urie is a white guy in a band.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t read it in full because the entire statement was about him and his ‘thoughts and feelings’.
So, he broke his silence to post a page of his diary?
All that was needed was the last paragraph.
I responded with “main problem here is that there’s too much I’ (all in lowercase at that, but I’m going to power past it).
I don’t know what kind of response I was expecting. I didn’t really think about it. I responded and went about my business. Only for me to see:
For a REALLY long time.
I knew some kind of foolishness was coming, but I couldn’t have predicted what would come my way.
“I understand that but it comes from his everlasting and never ending guilt?”
….and she continued…..
…and that’s supposed to mean something?
I also think the rant in that video was because someone said he didn’t care about Black Lives Matter. I don’t know, I had to turn it off after a while because I don’t care about him.
If his fans like it, cool, but it didn’t move me at all.
I did do some research on him, though because something was amiss.
I found several threads about him being problematic, mouthing the N word and two years ago, lambasting the fact that players who take a knee aren’t fired, but Roseanne Barr was.
…apparently, a lot of it was ‘lies’ by 14 year old My Chemical Romance fans and he’s apologised for it.
In all of this I was completely baffled – he’s a guy from a band I last listened to well over ten years ago. The fandom wars over his questionable behaviour have nothing to do with me BUT there’s no smoke without fire.
Anyway, we (mostly her) go back and forth for a while and I became fed up.
It finally hit me.
Why did my comment on his statement about race turn into a debate on him? Why was he the important part in what I said?
In everything you’ve written. You’ve not mentioned black people once. You’ve not mentioned race once. And that right there is the privilege.
This girl wrote:
“Uhmmm, I didn’t know we were discussing black people and race?!”
I almost flung my phone across the room.
She then proceeded to explain racism to me.
…. I genuinely didn’t know what to say at this point.
She went to say ‘I have black friends and we talk about it a lot.’ and that they’re her only source of info (bih, you CLEARLY have internet! Hell, there’s information on YouTube!).
I guess I should be grateful she pays attention to the news for THREE WHOLE MINUTES!
This was the point when I went from confused to flat pissed because the FIRST and LAST time we spoke about race, she had some slick shit to say and in a way, I think this is why I engaged with her.
I asked her how many black friends she had. She said ‘enough to know how bad things are’….alright, boo. If you say so.
It was interesting to see her posting that Black Lives Matter when she’s personally told me she knows nothing about racism nor does she have the time to learn.
…but she has time to forgive Brendon Urie for being self-centred (notice that she didn’t even deny that!) due to his guilt?
Notice how buried in her wall of text is the most offhanded apology.
“And I did go on a rant. Sorry about that.”
She said something that caught my eye, though. He’d admitted his faults, apparently and she has an opportunity to talk to him & present him her ideas!
In case you’re wondering, she doesn’t know him personally. She just believes she does because she watches his live streams.
I pointed out that his statement was about race and that’s what we SHOULD have been talking about – I didn’t comment on Brendon Urie until she wrote a passionate scribe in his honour.
I clarified that I responded to the statement and not who wrote it.
1. “Ugh, miscommunication! Gotta love it when that happens”.
I don’t gotta love anything.
2. She read it as to him? ARE YOU HIS SPOKESPERSON? ARE YOU BRENDON URIE? Why would I be addressing it to him?
She tried asking me how I was after but it’s not her business from this point forward. I’m not from the USA and I’m not one of her ‘black friends’
I decided to call her out on her own behaviour to see if she would defend or explain herself with such passion. I even offered to get her a copy of ‘White Fragility’ (to be read in 3 min increments, prob).
I even formatted my 5 point response nicely for her! I’m assuming she lost interest around #4 when I pointed out some suspect things she’d said in the past!
Guess what she said?
I happened to stumble upon her social media posts the next day and her latest post was along the lines of:
‘WE DON’T HAVE TO POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA ALL DAY TO SHOW THAT WE CARE, WE CAN DO OTHER THINGS! #blacklivesmatter!!!’
The rest of the posts from previous days were about Brendon Urie, including one where she wrote:
our cult leader has spoken
I don’t think she was joking either. I think she literally worships Brendon Urie. At the very least, she has problems beyond being disingenuous online.
If people in her fandom weren’t tweeting about #BLM in between worshipping Brendon Urie, she wouldn’t be either.
But you know what? I’m not even mad at her her. She’s not worth it.
I’m grateful that we had this conversation because she’s revealed her true colours.