A Poet Defending Vanessa Place Equates Signers of the Petition Against Her with the Cop Who Killed Mike Brown


Stopped paying attention to Ron Silliman a decade before I was born, and after his blog recentered the camera on himself. Secondly, it does seem that the ironic addicted to outrage means that posts like this are exactly what Silliman (and Place) are looking for. They're probably drinking martinis and chuckling to themselves this very moment.
Gawd, this whole debate is happening so far up in the clouds, so far away from any real racism and its real affect on real people. His comments are the most valuable thing to come out of it simply because they highlight just how distant all these pompous fucks are from anything they think they are thinking about.
The crux of this petition is that it defends censorship. Whether Place or her work is racist is debatable. (All works of art should encourage debate, otherwise what's the point?) But circulating a petition to shut her down is deplorable. All forms of censorship are deplorable; it is a slippery slope that places public opinion above personal expression. I'm not a typical flag-waving patriot, but this country is fucking awesome because of freedom of expression. I despise anyone who tries to squash personal expression, especially of artists, good or bad.

Who are these fearful McCarthyists that favor censorship over expression? Is this the millennial generation or simply a post-9/11, fear-based culture? I find it all really alarming.
Nobody is shutting her down. All of her work is still out there. Like the Klan can march through the streets in a white robes and hoods, Vanessa Place can tweet racist imagery to her hearts content. But being clueless or meta or blithe about the damage done by racism is not useful on a committee where the work (and speech) of the victims of that racism is being judged. Get real.