To all the commenters on NPR saying that they will stop listening and donating to NPR, that the intern who wrote this piece, Emily, should be jailed, that she is a common criminal—for Christ’s sake, the girl is undeserving of such pure hatred. She is a 21-year-old intern (who probably is freaking out right now, telling herself that her career is over). Her music collection is separate from All Songs Considered’s, which is probably built on free music sent directly from record companies in the first place. Emily was probably struggling to think of story ideas, pitching stuff to her boss, getting turned down, thinking bigger and better, trying to advance her career…somewhere. And so she thought this up. She probably thought that writing this article was no big deal—because she lives a life very much like mine. In all honesty, I only have two friends in my entire circle that actually go out and buy albums on a regular basis. She belongs to a culture where this is totally accepted. She just had the bravery (or the foolishness) to cop to what we all do behind closed doors.
I personally didn’t know how the majority of artists in the recording industry live until I actually was able to befriend a few fairly successful independent artists and saw how incredibly difficult it is for even Pitchfork staples to make a living wage off of their music. And for even smaller artists? My good friend Dan’s band recently made a startling $100 playing at a festival and spent at least that much in gas and food in getting there—maybe shocking to someone who thought that artists were making bank off of $60 ticket prices. For most artists, music is purely a labor of love. That has made me more sensitive to the circumstance of artists and though I certainly engage in sharing songs with my friends, it has made me more likely to buy songs and albums—especially independent artists whom I love. But I don’t think the image of impoverished rock stars is well-known at all, and how many oblivious listeners can actually go to their favorite artist’s tiny, shared apartment in the Outer Mission and understand their financial situation?
I think that a good lambasting is well-deserved. But I think it should be directed towards a generation rather than an individual. I will take my share of the blame for Emily. I think we all should. That’s why I reblogged David Lowery’s article, and why I’m committing to spending more money on independent music. Nice work, Emily— you accomplished exactly what an opinion piece should—illuminate the depth and breadth of a genuine issue and open up an enlightening dialogue. It’s certainly taught me a lot about music royalties and accountability.
I want to be clear about the story we are telling. We were not allowed into Lincoln Hall because we used the word “racist” to the bouncer and that made two white men uncomfortable, intimidated, angry, spiteful and refused to accept the term deemed for a racist. In order for me to break down the details and speak truth to what happened on Saturday I must break it down to its core.
Me, my girlfriend and her best friend (all young queer Latin@s, two undocumented) all went to Lincoln Hall for One Queer Roof. We attend FKA, Chances, and Queerer Park regularly, and have never had an experience that made us feel unsafe at Big Chicks, The Hideout, or Beauty Bar.
At the door of Lincoln Hall was a white straight man, who asked us for ID. My gf and our friend gave him their valid government IDs from the Mexican Consulate. When he saw the IDs of my gf and her friend he leaned forward into my friends wallet and ask for any other types of identification, when my friend said he only had his matricula and school id the bouncer than continued to question the two of them… heavily. He asks for birth dates, spelling of names, and continued to have a harder tone after every one of their answers. Finally after my gf shined their ids in the light so that he can see the official seal of a consulate ID he reluctantly gave the cards back and nodded us off. As we walked away from him to each other we said “Thats so fucking racist.”
At that point the bouncer became enraged, called us back, made the man stamping give us our money back, he called his manager to come down. He kept us cornered in the hallway and we were not allowed to enter the venue or leave. When the manager came, who was another white man the two of them literally had us against the wall. I need to repeat this part, because it is crucial. The three of us were cornered by these two white men, and they began interrogating us all over again. Two women trying to get into the event asked for permission to stay and observe what was going on, and we were grateful to have witnesses. The bouncer told his manager that we used the word racist. The manager asked me if that was, if we called him racist. I said yes, he’s profiling of ID’s and belief of what IDs to trust and distrust were RACIST.
The manager then continue to say the following statement that I can quote him to because it left me in disbelief. He said, “You just forfeited your entry into our establishment by saying that, that is a loaded word. You just forfeited your entry into the whole event tonight. You need to watch out what you say and not just throw those words around.”
Through our rage we yelled our question at him, to make sure we heard him correct. We said, “Wait we can’t come in because we called you racist?!”
The manager said, “Yes.”
At this point I screamed, “Why because we called you out on your shit!?”
And we walked out, stormed out, yelled at all the other queers in line who wanted to know what happened, and as we tried to tell them, we were met with apathetic gazes and insincere apologies. “Man, that sucks.” And thats when it dawned on us that the line was all white queers waiting to get in who really just want to dance and drink anyway and definitely not wanting to be reminded that their privilege is at the expense of someone elses.
And as we tried to rally support, solidarity and love from our supposed “community” online, we mainly just heard disbelief in our experience, attention to unimportant details, and anger at even speaking up about it. And mainly from white queer ppl. It was strange how some comments even came off as being uncomfortable, intimidated, angry and spiteful and refused to accept the term deemed for a racist. Sound familiar?
What we appreciate is FKA’s official statement of solidarity, “We at FKA are sorry about the events that took place outside of One Queer Roof this past Saturday. FKA stands in solidarity with ALL of our queer friends and allies, and will no longer be involved in future events at Lincoln Hall.”
We also appreciate the private messages of apology and inquiry from event organizers. What we would appreciate more are more official statements of acknowledgement and public shame of Lincoln Hall’s racist employees. Also if FKA, Chances, and Queerer Park can organized their home locations to also give official statements of acknowledgement of queer POC experiences, a public shaming of Lincoln Hall and declaring themselves as safe spaces for queer POC’s. (We found a safe space at Big Chicks later that night).
We acknowledge that this is hard work to do, however the education of white queer folks are not queer POC responsibilities. This is when white allies step in and do the grunt work of holding themselves and their folks accountable. If white queer ppl can’t work at making events accessible and safe for POC and undocuqueers then they DO NOT NEED TO BE ORGANIZING FOR THE COMMUNITY.
I believe without a doubt this is not the first nor the last time Lincoln Hall will enable racist practices that uphold white supremacy, nor do i believe they are the only ones in Lincoln Park doing so. They just happened to fuck with the wrong Fat Boricua/Mexicana dykes. The same way they wanted to make an example out of us, we need to make an example out of them.
If queers in Chicago wanna talk more about this in a safe dialogue you can find us at Dyke March on the 23rd.
Eddie: I was made fun of for my stinky lunch upwards of 10 years. Immigrants of our parents’ generation have largely given up any hope that Americans will like their food.
Eddie: Then, to have these CIA grads come through, repackage the food, and sell it back to me at a premium is just ludicrous. You made fun of us until we were embarrassed about our food and changed our menus to appease your HORRIBLE taste in shrimp with lobster sauce, now your kid grows up and wants to tell ME what Chinese food is because Bear Stearns sent him to Shanghai for six months?
My name is Daisy, NPR’s summer Social Media intern and the newest curator of the Tumblr page. I’m a Massachusetts native with a passion for free verse poetry, late night bowls of cereal, and those little glow in the dark stars you’re supposed to stick on your ceiling. I’m quite…
Holy moly, Daisy sounds like she was genetically engineered to be an NPR intern.
So they land, after having found the alien spaceship by looking out of the window, and drive over to it in a secure looking all terrain vehicle, into which they could have all fitted comfortably. Instead of all fitting into it comfortably, however, two of them decide to ride over in space bikes, because if they hadn’t of done so, there’s no way they could have got separated from the main party. But before they get separated, they all go into the alien spacecraft. On discovering it has a breathable atmosphere, they all take their helmets off, because A) Who cares? and B) Nobody reads H.G. Wells any more. Then they chuck a few orbs in the air, which fly off and map the entire alien space craft, sending the data to the SBS where it is modelled as a 3D hologram. Not one of them suggests that it would have been a good idea to have done that before they strolled in and took their helmets off. It’s almost as if they don’t care.
“I was at least thirteen before I figured out that “child molester” was not the title of a special job for children which involved collecting moles—earning a fee per mole—much as people collected worm for bait.”—Margaret Atwood, The Spider Women, The New Yorker, June 4-11, 2012
Keira Feldman’s Grace in Broken Arrow is a worthy long read about child sex abuse and the cover up in one small Evangelical community in Tulsa. But this interview about how a thoughtful journalist works is fantastic and it includes links to lots of other important long reads about the long term effects of sexual violence.