Arrrg, pronouns, Paul! Pronouns!

"should protect him and his friends"

"people who criticize him and his friends"
There are only two things that "protect" people from criticism:

1) Not being an insensitive asshole in general, and
2) Offering a sincere apology when and if you are called out for being an insensitive asshole.

Resting on your laurels isn't on the list. Which is a shame, I really like Buddy's work.
And this is why I am no longer politically active. The options either seem to be ridiculously insane people on the right or people on the left that are willing, able, and happy to tear into you like you are the Grand Wizard of the KKK unless everything is 100% perfect.
"If this was on Europe it would be similar to holding the event on the sites of the Holocaust."

Compared to Ani's little songwriting retreat, don't bigger and more lavish events of moviemaking occur at Holocaust sites?
Did you catch the white Di Franco supporter who was defending her hero on twitter, and was getting some pushback, so she created a "typically black" Twitter profile under the name "LaQueeta Jones", with a stolen pic off the internet, and went on a bogus Ebonics rampage telling everybody what black ladies should be thinking? Shockingly stupid and offensive.…

I don't think Ani Di understands what she's doing. She's not having any "dialog", that's for sure.
I am not an Ani fan, nor a defender of any of this. But it begs the question 'Is there anywhere in the south that was not, at one point or another, part of a plantation or other slave-holding endeavor? Or barring that, part of an extremely exploitative system like sharecropping?'

Nothing in this nation is built on land that wasn't stolen, and nothing was built without slavery or exploitation. I assume the dust-up is because there are a couple antebellum buildings and some landscaping...but in practice it is not different than pounding shots in the French Quarter or taking a tour of the US capital building.
Paul, you are turning into one of those outrage addicts.

To be clear, slavery was a reprehensible institution. And just because the owners of the Nottoway plantation allegedly treated their slaves "well", does not make it OK. At all.

But from reading your capsule summary, you'd think that the plantation website was run by slavery deniers. In fact, the page you linked to mentions slaves 37 times, and has an entire section titled "SLAVERY ON THE PLANTATION". I'll not deny that it seems to seek to paint the lives of these slaves as relatively rosey, but you are really misrepresenting them by implying that they claimed their slaves were a free and "willing workforce."

Anyway, I think it is legit to criticize Ani here. But let's keep it sensible. I half expect your next headline to be "President's luxury lifestyle on the backs of slave labor!" (The White House was built by slaves).
There is a good skit in the current N+1 about internet rage.
@3 - There's no expectation of perfection. Quite the opposite, it's the expectation of grace in humanity when someone messes up. In this case it would have been to say (in much nicer terms, I'm still not awake) "I'm sorry, I made a mistake in booking this event here and not seeing that it would be seen as insensitive. I should have considered that ahead of time."

There's a kind of irony in this, though, in that one of Buddy's poems ends with the line "I'm not perfect, but I believe I was meant to be."
Do they still have slaves at the plantation? Then wtf is the problem? Or should all artists just steer clear of every venue in a southern state because they all whitewash the past?
Well, this sounds like manufactured outrage to me - not that I know anything about what's going on, I've just read this post and don't care to find out anything more. I am actually a little annoyed by the pronouns that @1 mentioned, though - mostly because they're hypercorrection. Or maybe I've just had my fill today of outraged, self-satisfied rants strewn with hypercorrections. And I'm not saying this is one of those. Sorry. Please continue.

I think it's been proven time and again that Paul is a fan of manufactured outrage.
Oh- and of course this person has a 'right' to hold her silly songwriting retreat anywhere she likes. Probably not the best idea, but so long as she doesn't trespass or violate any laws, that right most certainly exists. It needs no defending from a Seattle poet.
I can tell you that using the phrase "shackled her to this oversight" was the WRONG FUCKING PHRASE to use about cancelling an event for rich fucks at a plantation.
Actually, I think Wakefield has the best/most insightful response out there. Just look at the slog post itself for validation of Wakefield's response:

WAKEFIELD: I think it'd be most productive for y'all to continue assuming the absolute worst

DAILY DOT (via Slog): [ashamed] of white women claiming to stand up for equal rights but [still] hold on to their white supremacy and ignorance.

WAKEFIELD: venomously insult Ani and her years of efforts, then write as many demolishing statements and articles as possible in an effort to eternally shackle her to this oversight
SLOG: Seattle Poet Defends Ani Di Franco's Right to Host a Songwriting Retreat at a Former Slave Plantation

Sorry, this has the same feel as Fox News declaring a community center "The Ground Zero Mosque"

This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
The point of being a good person and a modern progressive is to LISTEN TO PEOPLE who are not like you. It doesn't matter if Ani & team cancelled the event, moved it, or kept it there. The point is to give people a voice who she was clearly ignoring by hosting an event at a slave plantation without comment. Canceling the event and becoming defensive and insulting is worse than doing nothing at all.

Nobody has to be "100% perfect" to be progressive and good. You just have to let other people speak and listen to them. They have experiences and knowledge that you don't. It's very easy. But it takes away your power over them, which is so threatening to so many white people.
Here's an example of how to be a good person after screwing up. Melissa Harris-Perry had guests on her MSNBC show who made fun of the Romney family for adopting a black family. Melissa Harris-Perry and her guests apologized and reiterated the points people made about why the jokes were offensive to transracial adoptees and their families. DONE! Now everyone likes her more than ever.

Just listen and give people a voice. Apologize if you hurt people (which Ani & team clearly did). EASY.…
I think #3 was saying something akin to Russell Brand's comment that, "The right seeks converts and the left seeks traitors."

I remember a conference call my wife was on regarding a mass action to protest the refusal to close Guantanamo Bay. A longtime activist said there were, "too many chiefs and not enough indians" in reference to something. They certainly tore into him like he was the Grand Wizard of the KKK.
b-list celeb handles things poorly. Tim Wise's blog explodes. (which is like Godwin proxy and proof that whatever it is is pretty much done and not worth any further energy)

Why don't you focus on someone that really deserves your hate? Difranco and the faux-goobers on Duck Dynasty are symptoms of power structures, yes, but you should be more concerned about racist police states and people that maintain them. Also how class war maintains racism and that the only reason for it to exist in the first place.
Ani should tell all you haters to suck her dick, she did nothing wrong you irrational douche bags.
Anyone who knows an Ani DiFranco disciple is not at all surprised by this news. Are we sure this wasn't an attempt to start an actual, physical cult?
It sounds like Wakefield isn't lamenting the cancellation of a luxury retreat so much as he's lamenting the fact that DiFranco is being flamed on the internet.
A) There will never be justice on stolen land.

B) Ani DiFranco wore my underwear on her head once.
@27 It does seem as if Wakefield is upset at people being mean to DiFranco. He seems to be readily conceding that they made a mistake choosing that venue.

On the other hand, both of these examples of their writing skills, for songs or otherwise, would act as a powerful disincentive for me to pay even $5 to attend a writing retreat with them - unless the food was awesome and they picked up the cost of the airline tickets.
Henceforth I resolve to wake up every morning outraged before even looking at teh internets.

FWIW, "manufactured outrage" anagrams to "urea fudge macro taunt" (among many others).
I feel like if she had boldly stated from the beginning, before the outrage blossomed, that this event was for writing about race in America and this place was chosen because of its link to those issues (as suggested in her statement), I would have been ok with this. But said after the fact it sounds like typical cover-thine-ass.

But I'm not sure if her actions are wrong because, under no circumstances, are white people allowed to have such discussions in emotionally loaded places or if her crime being ignorant of sensitivities and the fact that the interbeast is always clawing for new outrage?

Thank you for informing us what we're supposed to care about.
I love how cultish and paranoid the whole 'social justice' movement as become. When they don't have any white men on hand to demonize, they turn on their own like a pack of feral dogs.
@31: Exactly.

@33: We expect more from persons who are expected to be decent than shitheads such as yourself.
@1, thanks, that what I came here to say. Isn't Paul a writer and literary critic?!


so tolerance

much progressivism

@36: We don't have to tolerate bigotry. You appear confused.
there are too many people in this country who have no business thinking of themselves as writers or musicians. to host an expensive "retreat" that will only perpetuate that culture of ineptitude, while further entrenching it into the hands of the privileged is the actual problem here. everything else is window dressing.
From what I understood, Ani was invited to take part in a music conference for interested people at a location not yet chosen/not described/whatever in a southern state. I agree that someone on Team Ani should have vetted it first, but an account I read on Dkos, I think, made it sound like Difranco didn't know the history.

When she did find out, what's options does she have, short of cancelling? I can buy that she would address it over the course of the event. It would be hard to ignore it.

I'm giving Ani a pass on this one. She got a shitstorm of hate before she could even respond, and I don't fault her for being a little brusque with her apology. Plus, the gig is now cancelled.

She's no racist. Maybe I'm starry-eyed about her. I imagine she holds some views that I don't share, whatever. I took my daughter and her boyfriend to see Ani when my girl turned 13. It was a great show. I just don't see Ani deserving of all the flak she has gotten over this. Outrage, indeed.
My only question is how long does it have to be until land that was used for a horrendous historical purpose can once again be used for anything else?

Should plantation grounds just be cordoned off forever so that no one may enter for any purpose?

The eastern shore of Maryland was covered in slaveholder farms and I once taught at a public school that now sits on an old slave plantation. Should the school be torn down?

One thing I always notice about threads like this is that no one ever calls for the carvings on Mount Rushmore to be destroyed and tourism barred from the area. That mountain is sacred to several local Native American tribes, and whitey not only took it but carved the faces of white dudes responsible for a large part of the Native America genocide. Talk about insult to injury.
@40 The willful refusal to understand is astounding. Your point has been addressed in previous posts and is also clear in the article itself. One more time - the issue is not the fact that it is a FORMER plantation but that the current owners/administrators are whitewashing the history of slavery in the south. It's really not that hard to understand the difference.
Hi All. It's worth noting that my knee-jerk reaction was directly aimed at that predictable, repetitive voice which seems eager to bury public figures at any level when questionable activity arises. It most certainly was not at people of color. After watching individuals on Facebook, mostly within the poetry community (largely white), contribute heavily to a common backbiting momentum we've all witnessed, I unfortunately reacted to that. I had known about the shit storm for only a matter of hours. I had no idea about the two weeks of unanswered-questions-turned-outrage that had been allowed to build. I ran into the room without looking, wielding humor for the lowest common denominator in an effort to get folks to stand down until a comprehensive statement could be made. It was grossly ill-timed and ineffectual to say the very least. I did not register how broad that stroke would be. I'm embarrassed, and made two thorough [unreported] apologies the moment perspective poured in to that same thread, mortified by the fact that it reads like a totally dismissive white bread burn aimed at people of color. For the resurfaced habit of reacting, without yet having the grace to consistently sit with negativity before addressing it, I am guilty. I am otherwise listening and learning continuously with regards to privilege and race. I acknowledge that what I said hurt many friends and acquaintances. I deeply apologize. I commit to learning what it means to being a better ally, and I recommit to gentleman practice. I know this statement doesn't speak to everything, though I'm willing. I'm easy to find. I will be personally reflecting on all of this for quite some time regardless. Warmest regards, Buddy Wakefield
PS Please, white people, do not rally around me on this, especially on internet forums. It serves no one well on this matter.
HAW HAW it is so funny to watch you naive sheltered white-guilt-ridden progressives eat your own asses over and over, it is what you are best at, keep it up please, so entertaining!
@7,@8,@40- I have to agree with you.

What would be better for this site? Tear it all down and build a mall? Tract housing? Why not acknowledge its past, and "re-purpose" it, and never forget and all that. And move on!

Slavery in the US was horrible, and we should never hide or whitewash it. And while atrocities occurred on plantations, comparing them to concentration camps of Nazi Germany is out of line. Plantations raised families so they could continue using slaves (and yes, selling them, ugh!) camps sought to kill people as quickly and cheaply as possible. Thousands At a time. No comparison.
@7, @8, @40, and @44: The outrage is not so much about the site itself. It's about her lack of response and then her ridiculous, condescending, non-capitalized, fauxpology. Black people are sick of hearing WHY U SO MAD from white people when they call us out on something. It's a lot like "mansplaining" when a woman complains about sexism, in case any of you are familiar. "Here's why you shouldn't be offended, and also I am artistic and I feel things intensely." No.
“ whole ‘social justice’ movement ….. turn on their own like a pack of feral dogs.”

Funny isn’t it? Pass the popcorn, this is a hoot.

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Mister Bluebird's on my shoulder
It's the truth, it's actual
Ev'rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day, yes sir!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Mister Bluebird's on my shoulder
It's the truth, it's actual
Ev'rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, feeling this way

Mister Bluebird's on my shoulder
It is the truth, it's actual... huh?
Where is that bluebird? Mm-hm!
Ev'rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!
@44 -- There actually is a comparison to be made: US slavery and the Holocaust were both fucking nightmares. Millions were murdered in the Holocaust. People kidnapped from Africa and brought to the US were only kept alive for free labour and/or to be raped, were not viewed as humans, and were STILL murdered in many cases. And the effects of slavery in the US are still deeply felt to this day. Let's not downplay how terrible slavery was by insisting that it somehow wasn't as bad as other atrocities.
Great example of cheap moralistic smug liberalism. The wrong committed in this case is disrespect of some kind; failure to acknowledge something; an implicit statement about something. But today there are actual wrongs causing real harm to racial minorities. And we have unequal rights in law today affecting DC and Puerto rico residents over whom the rest of us rule over like they are colonial subjects. This is inequality in law; a deprivation of voting rights; with a majority white population ruling over what is basically a majority minority population. And it's like six million people without legally equal voting rights.

Meanwhile, the entire South, DC, ny banks, the british parliament, Portugal, spain, france all of it was built on the forced enslavement of Africans so you can't visit a fucking country house in Britain without also "failing to acknowledge the connection to slavery and that's disrespectful!!" the complaint is so cheap and easy. Try to focus on real harms being done today instead of imagined or real dignitary slights of a highly questionable nature. and we didn't even get into the status of women in much of Africa or the middle east, female circumsicion, female slavery today, and other more serious harms, or starvation in Darfur etc etc. At least the Dc Puerto rico situation isn't genocide; on the other hand it's us, us right here in the usa, depriving them of equal rights. Does this mean you can't have a conference in DC? tell netroots nation.

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