A Poem by Mg Roberts

O Captain! My Captain! A Love Letter to Artist's for Sustained United Resistance and AM: 10 Things Not to Do When Asked to Steer the Diversity Ship, by Mg Roberts. Preface: On October 17, 2016 I was approached by AM (a founder for Sustained United Resistance) to Captain that diversity ship. It should have been a collaboration of ideas surrounding an event and its conscious curation as a metaphorical vehicle for resistance. 1. When asked to steer the diversity ship do not ask white stakeholders to define resistance. Do not ask stakeholders to define whom their definition of marginalized groups includes. Do not ask white stakeholders to define their intentions. Don't expect white stakeholders to be conscious regarding decisions of curation. Prior to initiating a conversation on curation do not ask said stakeholders to check their whiteness. Exhibit A. Dear Famous Poet (that so happens to be Mg's best friend), I do not want to clarify something that has come to my attention. X of X has made me aware that MG has said untrue things to X about the intentions behind the facts regarding (the) event we've been working so hard to create (so hard to create as meaningful). It's confusing to me that Mg would interpret things (the way) she has.Exhibit B. A blurry screen grab of an email with sections redacted. What's legible reads: ASUR. Most of these folks are not Trans fo' sure, but I don't know every name on the list so I defer to you. So respect your insight and def hear you on the hierarchy front. Feeling like this event was spawned by a bunch of straight white women who got together and said how can we shed public white tears without getting stoned to death. I know! Youg ot it right I think. Redacted. White savior syndrome strikes again. I love you!!!! Feeling like I must jump away from steering this diversity ship. No Multi-abled folks mentioned. Frown emoji. Redacted. Straight folks act like they can't use Google as a tool to be mindful. Redacted. The testosterone injections suck. Not feeling like myself. I found hair on my breasts. What am I becoming. I don't know. Don't want to have a discussion on or even equate biology and gender. So for now, let's say I'm becoming truly monsterous. On the up-side sex is very good. Redacted. Here's the list, please share your thoughts. Redacted. Much love, Mg. Exhibit C. But for what its worth. I want you to know that I have made every effort, along with co-organizers to make sure the evening may reflect the Bay area's diversity. I heard about there not being transgendered writers featured, but two have chosen to be involved and another confirmation pending. O hear! heart! heart! Afterthought: An item or thing added later as part of a feature like myself like an ornament. A syncopated tension erased by a slight hand wave. Whiteness feeds only on itself. A subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype; ie. ornaments of progress to ensure white neo-liberal feminists appear more or less legitimate. 2. Someone could always argue.... it's a shit show (Andrea Abi Karam). 3. Until I became your Captain I didn't know your name. Exhibit D. Most of the writers and organizers/ designers/ readers (NOW) involved are queer (myself included) and/or people of color and two are trans. I hate when queerness is used as a personal platform to disenfranchise other marginalized groups. 4. From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won. Afterthought: Th ways in which the neo-liberal white-abled feminist desires to improve the material conditions for marginalized peoples through prayer or curation often appears in the taking charge of or organizing of an object or objects as in or relating to a relation with property: I mean person I mean housekeeper groundskeeper gardener errand-runner. Iccccccccccccccccccccccccccccck. Exhibit E. I am sure you can imagine how difficult it is to put together a meaningful benefit with only 5-6 weeks to work with. The wonderful large venue that donated its space (and I went to 5 different ones who wanted $$) unfortunately isn't wheelchair accessible. Fact: About 56.7 million people -- 19 percent of the U.S. population -- have a disability according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's about 1 in 5 people, hence; the largest minority group in the United States. 5. Everyone wants ways to connect, everyone wants to belong: a potted phyladendron a weeping money tree a Christmas tree on its last legs of a New Year, all needles and hashtags on floor. A usefull accessory until it becomes a fire hazard. I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I I-I-I. Fills a sentence, a paragraph, your dreams. Afterthought: I as Instead -- a substitute or equivalent an alternative to something expressed or implied always depend on the wrong impressions (Andrea Abi Karam). Instead depends on the wrong impressions, which allows for the act of discriminating against a nondominant group by means of such comments or actions. Exhibit D: So we had limits to work with but tried our best. 6. In an excerpt from Cruel Work, Wendy Trevino writes, Representational politics does not just fail -- it doesn't even try. 7. I.e. to curate objects as a representation for goodness. Nothing New. A series of impressions, breath fog against a glass pane. A child's mouth huffing hot air in and out: hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah. Fact: (equality is a transitive relation). That is the relation holds between a first element and a second and betweeness of the second element and its third, between the first and third elements. What I meant to say is. 8. Don't tell those white bitches they got it wrong Do not tell white stakeholders about their inauthenticity of representation. Or the ways in which one marginalized person cannot stand in for anther Do not ask neo-liberal feminists to unpack their crosses. To all future Captains: rise up and hear the bells. Fact: The problem of becoming the problem because you are trying to address a problem that others do not wish to recognize as a problem (Sara Ahmed). 9. Dear AM, Indeed, equality is a transitive relation. Exult O shores, and ring O bells! As a parting gift to you and other ASUR founders safeguarding whiteness over minority representation and other conscious considerations. A writing prompt. Describe the moment you knew or realized you were a bigot? The shame you must have felt, the anger, the disappointment. Your refusal of apology, because you deserve a part on the back -- a platform for your 'good' works, a book contract! The image of 100 sad face emojis spanning the length of the poem divided into two lines. 100 sad faces! After all, you are a 'good' person despite your socio-cultural incompetence. Embody that. Write toward the axial space of the visceral body. Take your pulse; note the tightness in your larynx, chest, coccyx. Feel free to blame the harbinger. You can cite me later. Carry the trauma of that lode -- carry it until you misrecognize yourself and all that's left is the goodness of your philanthropic heart. A slightly blurry screen grab of an email with sections redacted and every instance of the word I, me, and myself circled in red and one single instance of the word we've underlined in blue. On December 20, 2016, at 3:23PM. Redacted at gmail dot com wrote: redacted. I do not wish to change your mind, but I do wish to clarify something that has come to my attention. Redacted of redacted made me aware that redacted Mg, has said untrue things to redacted individuals about the intentions behind and facts regarding event we've been working so hard to create (so hard to create as meanningful). It's confusing to me that Mg would interpret the things she has, but for what it is worth I want you to know that I have made every effort, along with the co-organizers, to make sure the evening may reflect the Bay Area's diversity. I heard concern about there not being transgender writers featured, but two have chosen to be involved, and with another confirmation pending. Most of the writers and organizers/desighers/readers involved are queer (myself included) and/or people of color, and two are trans. I am sure you can imagine how difficult it is to put together a meaningful benefit with only 5-6 weeks to work with. The wonderful large venue that's donated its space (and I went to five different ones who wanted $$) unfortunatly isn't wheelchair accessible. So we had limits to work with but tried our best. Thank you for reading this. I do hope you are okay. Again, I'm sad it didn't workout. It is important to me, at least, that I might clarify those things, as I had been looking to corresponding with you. Alas. Redacted. There are 10 instances of the word I, 1 use of I'm, 3 of me, one of myself, and only one use of we.

 

 

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