If you are alluding to the thinking that Nayyirah’s poetry is for only people of colour, I think you are wrong. And I will stand by that. You have no way of knowing what colour I am except from my pictures on my blog. What if I had not chosen to disclose any pictures of myself on my blog? Then what colour would I be? As a poet, as a blogger, as someone who uses a social media website, then Nayyirah is putting herself out in public. She has a choice whether to keep her work private or not. Art is for everyone. Poetry is not just for ONE race to enjoy. If it were, then she wouldn’t be sharing it for everyone.
I am not a woman of colour. I am not ashamed of that, nor am I proud of that. Because I am trying to live my life where I place no importance on my appearance, because that life almost killed me. I am trying to live a life where people engage others in conversation, where I am valued for my brain instead of my body. I am trying to open barriers between me and others, barriers that others have placed, and barriers that I have placed.
To say that I do not understand it, when I didn’t even give you my understanding of it is assumptions, and quite hurtful. Nayyirah is a beautiful writer and I have every right to be a fan of it. That is the responsibility you have to bare as a writer- your work will not always be interpreted as you wrote it. And there is nothing wrong with that. If people are going to be offended by interpretation, they might as well not publish what they write.
Nayyirah, nor any woman of colour, nor any man or colour, nor any single person at all has a monopoly on hate, oppression, misrepresentation. I am offended by the stance that so many take that every single white person out in the world doesn’t understand them and is against them. No I do not understand what it feels to be of colour, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. And just because my skin is white, does not mean I have not had difficulties in life.
What upset me about her answers to the questions was that she got so defensive. Now, looking back, I see that everyone has a right to be defensive. But what really upset me was that she said that white people had “No place in the conversation” and also said that people were only asking “so YOU can utilize my answers to attend to your feelings about racism. you did not stop once to think how I would feel about any of that.” But I resent this because the world is ABOUT communication, equality is about WORKING TOGETHER, not excluding anyone based on where they come from. It deeply saddens me that this has occurred because I feel attacked based on wanting to have an open dialogue.
She didn’t have to answer the questions. I did say that in my question to her. But what was unnecessary was the harsh and rude responses to people that were not being harsh and rude to her. How is that called for?
because i have had enough. i will say this. my work is not for you. it is not for you because you are a white woman who does not give a fuck about me, my pain, my experiences. my truth. it is not yours. it is not the worlds. it is mine. the idea that i can not tell you that my work is not for you, is white privilege, racism, and white supremacy at its worst. nothing i am is yours. the world is not yours. it is not for your consumption. this theiving, this need to tell me that what is mine is not mine, where does this come from. are you so desperate, so hungry, so in need of emotional nutrition that you are willing to slice my art from my being and say it is meant for you. you are nothing more than a vampire, trying to pass off your violence ‘as an innocent white womans rose colored world view.’ i will be this clear, this week after a white woman has slaughtered my work with a tattoo and another white woman is seeking to kidnap my work because she believes it is her right, i am not the one to play with. this is not a small or light matter. you are crossing every boundary there is, because you think you can. do not tag my name. do not ever come to my blog again. you are a racist.