I want to apologize to Leslie Jones for the awfulness of people on the Internet.
When she was abused on Twitter by a bunch of brain-damaged racist trolls led by some cunt from Breitbart, I was truly aghast at the level of cruelty out there.
It reminded me of the time I was the victim of trolling, an experience I will never forget. Being trolled by an organized group is like a spiritual gang rape. You can’t believe people are so crazy. You feel dehumanized for a reason: Trolls don’t think of you as human. You are just prey.
And yet the Leslie Jones trolls are so vile, your heart breaks just to read a sample of their invective. It’s like a gang of malevolent infants throwing their own shit around and reveling in it.
I just read that the Department of Homeland Security will be investigating the hacking of Jones’ website, and you know they’re going to get that fucker (or fuckers.)
But I also just read something less encouraging, in a piece on Vox about defending Leslie Jones with the hashtag #IStandWithLeslie. The writer discusses the attacks in the context of ‘misogynoir,’ meaning misogyny targeting black women.
I admit I didn’t know this was a thing, that’s how ignorant/sheltered/politically unaware I am. And the Vox piece tells me that hashtag activism…
needs to be connected to the multiple ways black women are systemically targeted and exploited offline, and redress those problems accordingly.
Okay. Or so I thought.
Evidently Katy Perry rushed to Jones’ defense on Twitter, even denouncing “misogynoir crime.” Good for Katy, right?
The Vox writer scolds Katy Perry for her cultural appropriation.
Even though Perry signal-boosted misogynoir, she in her music video for the 2014 single “This is How We Do” can be seen sporting cornrows, baby hairs gelled down, looking at the camera while deploying slang rooted in black culture like “I see you” with a pursed lip.
Perry — like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift — is one of the many celebrities who have created their own cultural cool co-opting the fashion (and sometimes the actual bodies) of women of color as props to give them an edge. And while Perry, as a white woman, is praised, the injustice comes from the fact that the women of color she emulates, like Jones, are punished for doing the same thing.
Here I will stop and lament that we have come to this.
I want to apologize to Leslie Jones EVEN THOUGH I’M WHITE! I genuinely deplore the abuse she has suffered and I worry about her well-being. I look up to her and I feel for her, even though I listen to soul music and own a necklace that says THUG in rhinestones.
Black culture is not sacrosanct in my house and neither is any other culture including my husband’s Mexican one and my Jewish one. We are elevated and enhanced by appreciating cultures outside our own upbringing.
I love you Leslie Jones, whether that Vox writer likes it or not. I hope you will accept my sincere apology on behalf of the human race.