Most of the people who post opinions contrary to mine on race play do not take the time to articulate much. As I mention, I take into account the opinions and feeling of dissenters whenever I speak or present on the topic.
I am posting here, unedited, and with the express written permission of the original author, LeatherTBird3, the following blog entry that he additionally cross-posted in response to the Race Play Interview conducted by Andrea Plaid.
I have great respect for ALT’s Senior Editor Mollena Williams in many aspects and on many levels. I can certainly acknowledge and admire the courage required to broach the sensitive subject of “race play” in her recent editorial INTERVIEW BDSM and playing with Race Sr Editor Mollena Williams interviewed by Andrea Plaid Parts 1 and 2. This is a hard subject for me. My own particular brand of “PC” dictates that someone’s kink is their kink and that is to be respected. We cannot control the way we are wired or what flips that switch in us. If I were to be pilloried for all the sick shit that goes through my “heads,” it would be a worse tribulation for me than have been the inequities I have endured due to my race.
That said, whatever turns someone on, that hurts no one else, is none of my business unless I am invited to join. However, I’m just not so sure that “race play” hurts no one else. Furthermore, I am not sure if “race play” alleviates the human need to be culturally and/or ethnically superior by working through it in the realm of fantasy, or simply perpetuates this flaw in the human design that has produced the ugliest of atrocities in our history.
In part 1 of the interview Mollena suggests that fear is what makes the practice of race “play” taboo. I beg to differ with she whom I hold in high esteem. I simply do not have the heart to “play” at that which is still so real in the human psyche and is still a real live affliction suffered by many. This to me is like picking at a wound that you know is infected. It is like giving children toy guns to pretend to shoot each other while bombarding them with images of feigned brutality and bloodshed and then wondering why we live in an increasingly violent society.
There is a paradoxical dichotomy within me that comes part and parcel with my African-American heritage. It is the need to learn the lessons, reap the benefits and garner the strength that seethes within my culture without dragging along the anger spawned of the pain, despair, degradation and indignities which are linked inexorably with being black in America for my generation and the generations before me. Starting with not knowing from which African nation and culture the African contingent of my family actually came from, to being the target of racial epithets right here on our beloved ALT and having the powers that be fail to enforce their own rules regarding racial attacks, my race, my family and I have fought to attain this small and tenuous measure of equality.
My job as a human is to distill the power and strength of character that can be derived from a culture achieving this new-found equality while casting aside the bitter dregs of anger which can only impede further progress despite its justification. The struggle is to identify with my African-American heritage without being defined by it. The struggle to be “just a man” while both holding on to and letting go of the experience upon which that man is built. Many have died and suffered to make this paradox possible. It took quite a bit of soul searching to come to these conclusions and I will not have that which we have struggled for generation to attain reduced to a sex toy.
Mo goes on to say that her pussy is not interested in uplifting the race. I am not trying to “hate” on Mo but admitting freely to thinking with her genitals on issues of such import supports racist stereotypes and smacks of the “I’m gonna get mine,” slave culture mentality that continues to plague our proud race. I know that Mo was trying to be humorous but this statement is akin to a patriot who is willing to sellout his country for a blow job.
Miss Williams further suggests that the subjugation of a race or culture is a part of human nature; an assertion with which I am prepared to agree. I would even go one step further as to say that Dominance and submission is a part of our animal nature; That part of us that so many wish to deny and yet never can quell. We as humans are the only creatures on this planet with the intellect to govern the instincts we have found to be ineffective, effectively bringing about and guiding our own intellectual evolution. It is this need to rule our own passions that has spawned the concepts of law and morality.
The overwhelming majority of the world’s governments have deemed racial discrimination to be unlawful and amoral and for good reason. To play with race in this fashion is to spit in the face of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the thousands of black soldiers who fought in American wars as men only to come “home” to be treated as they were less than other men who did not do as much for their country. Abolition of racial and cultural discrimination is the only way to purge it from society. To make a game out of our on going struggle for sexual satisfaction is to make a mockery of all efforts toward that end.
Andrea Plaid: Next question (and we sorta touched on this): Why do you think communities of color, specifically Black communities, feel the need to police their desires…to the point they won’t explore sexual/erotic practices that some folks deem “racially incorrect”? And, more importantly, play police for The Race?
Mo: There is certainly the aspect of our very conservative and deeply religious background.
Mo: We have a strong church based community
Mo: That isn’t something that is easy to shake.
Mo: The fact is that we have put ourselves in a position where we have to “prove ourselves” in order to survive.
Mo: From jump, we’ve been at a disadvantage here.
Mo: and so now that we’ve reached a point where we actually have a fighting chance, people don’t want anything that may jeopardize or mitigate, in THEIR eyes, our position of moral superiority.
Mo: It is the idea we are “above” that.
Andrea Plaid: ::nods head:: and we do that by saying certain sexual practices, like BDSM and race play, are the things that “white folks do” or “what white folks want us to do.”
Mo: and so we deny ourselves the very fucking freedoms that our ancestors, or parents and grandparents struggled to give us.
Mo: Freedom has no business being compartmentalized so that it remains frozen in some idealized space.
Mo: freedom is messy.
Mo: Ask the Iraqi people.
Andrea Plaid: the interracial history, esp. when it comes to fucking, is so fraught that we’d think “folks” would look at the Ciara/JTvid and think, “he oppressing her, and she likes it. Gahh!” and clutch their pearls.
Mo: Yeah. OK. SO?
Mo: the part here where you have all the info you need is this:
Mo: “And she likes it.”
Mo: the “Why” is none of your fucking business.
Mo: In this case, the “Why” is purely money.
Andrea Plaid: what? Mollena, that’s racial blasphemy.
Mo: I know, I know.
Mo: I feel us slipping back to the 1950s every time I masturbate.
Mo: It is a huge burden, really.
Andrea Plaid: LOL!!
Mo: That video has as much to do with BDSM as the video of the guy padding the kitty cathas to do with animal abuse.
Andrea Plaid: Now, let’s talk about the Ciara/JTvid: you don’t think it had anything to do with BDSM?
Mo: It has to do with kinky imagery and taboos.
Mo: it is an easy hook.
Mo: videos are commercials.
Mo: and commercials HAVE to get at you.
Mo: because BDSM is still edgy, it is an easy cheat
Andrea Plaid: hmmmm…good point.
Mo: But as to really accurately reflecting kink?
Andrea Plaid: why not?
Andrea Plaid: (I know, totally non-kinkcentric question to ask, but I’m asking.)
Mo: First off.
Mo: it is all about display and visual impact.
Mo: which IS an aspect of BDSM, so, sure.
Mo: there is fetishwear, provocative poses.
Andrea Plaid: I hear a “buuuuut” rearing up…
Mo: yeah here it comes
Mo: it doesn’t do anything else.
Mo: and for some people, that is enough.
Mo: A shoe fetishist would masturbate to any video with feet in it.
Mo: God bless them.
Mo: to say a man having a woman on a collar is automatically BDSM is false
Mo: this video has little to do with BDSM. It has to do with what looks sexy.
Mo: the one thing
Mo: the ONLY THING
Mo: that separates BDSM from abuse is consent.
Mo: now, there is implied consent.
Mo: HOWEVER at no point is she not in control.
Andrea Plaid: see, you beat to the question…
Mo: so if you want to pull it apart that way, guess what.
Mo: I am not going to meta-discuss her lack of control in the white dominated machine of the music industry.
Mo: Sister is doing it for herself. she has a marginal talent a stellar physique, she is making money, end of story.
Andrea Plaid: so, in order to for the vid to show a representation of BDSM, there would have been a 3-sec moment of consent?
Mo: in order for the video to comply with Mollena’s BDSM Bible
Mo: we’d see a moment of emotional connection.
Mo: That is theater.
Mo: Not passion.
Andrea Plaid: right.
Mo: Not that theater isn’t passionate.
Mo: But BDSM for theatrical purposes
Mo: (which I love!)
Mo: is different from a reflection of what BDSM is for me
Andrea Plaid: got it.
Mo: Do you remember 9 ½ weeks?
Andrea Plaid: yep! one of my all-time fave films.
Mo: the scene where she strips for him, and it is kinda awkward but sexy, and she does it because he wants her to?
Andrea Plaid: right.
Mo: THAT, to me, is BDSM represented in the way I see it.
Mo: you really get her awkwardness and her desire to be pleasing to him, and his arousal at her doing so.
Mo: in this video you get over the top dry humping and a leash.
Andrea Plaid: ROTFLMAO
Andrea Plaid: can another read be that Ciara is coming at it from a dom position, too?
Andrea Plaid: a “top” position?
Mo: of course.
Mo: If the whole video is her fantasy, she is of necessity running the show.
Mo: Dominants can wear what they want and do what they want. The idea of teasing with the body can have a dominant tone.
Mo: what bugs me is that it is “OK of the black person is dominant but “NOT UPLIFTING THE RACE!!” if she’s submissive.
Andrea Plaid: aaaahhhaaaaaa.
Andrea Plaid: dig.
Mo: Oo now you get to decide which ROLE is OK for me?!
Mo: Fuck you, buddy.
Mo: I have gotten shit from black dominants about race play.
Mo: even as they top white submissives.
Andrea Plaid: really?
Mo: but that is OK, see, because it bucks the paradigm.
Mo: Seriously. Fuck you.
Mo: Yah really.
Mo: not for play play.
Mo: It gets deep, yo.
Mo: I’ve had people who I know for a FACT do race play fuck me over in public for doing it in public.
Mo: But it is OK for them to do it, just not OK for people to know about it.
Andrea Plaid: Jeez…even in race play there the “We gotta be strong–in this case, top white folks?”
Mo: payback, you see.
Mo: we aren’t getting reparations, so go beat up some white bitch and get yours.
Andrea Plaid: …and here’s me shaking my head.
Andrea Plaid: and, it’s up to *you* to keep my image up.
Mo: Ya feel me?
Mo: because, then,of course ALL white people will feel ALL POC are fair game
Mo: but the thing is this: ignorant fuckers have been doing inappropriate shit for YEARS
Mo: is it possible that talking about it makes it bloody fucking clear that it is NEVER OK to make that assumption?
Mo: But when I get a message form a POC who says to me “I thought I was the only one, thank you for talking about that, I felt terrible!” it is worth it. Truly.
Andrea Plaid: guuuuuuuuurl. ::fist pump::
Mo: I have, in my 12 years, had one person say to me “I wanna do a race play scene with you.”
Mo: why is that?
Mo: 1) I am, evidently, hella intimidating
Mo: which kinda sucks but that is another discussion
Mo: 2) I live in CA, where the PC thing is strong
Mo: 3) I make it bloody fucking clear it is NOT ACCEPTABLE for you to EVER ask someone to bottom to you in that type of scene. I feel it really has to come from the person being the “victim”
Mo: this is my approach.
Mo: if they are doing it in their heads anyway, best to know WHO those people are, right?
Andrea Plaid: like seeing Ciara and JT is instant license for white folks to put dog leashes on Black women.
Mo: There ain’t shit new under this sun when it comes to mans inhumanity to man.
Mo: and sure, people get ideas.
Mo: But if you think denial and silence will crush desire
Andrea Plaid: but ideas=/=actions.
Mo: all you have to do is look at a few numbers on the porn industry.
Mo: Ideas CAN move to action.
Mo: But I am not responsible for anything except living an ethical life, being true to my God, and respecting this planet and her inhabitants.
Mo: the rest is outside of my control.
Mo: and those who would be the Race Police can take a fucking page from the Serenity prayer
Mo: God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Mo: Grab some wisdom. You are never going to change the way people are wired.
Andrea Plaid: right, but people act as if the ideas will run tsunami-like and overtake them. thus, JT and Ciara are making it open season on white men (and PoC men) to put dog collars on Black women. ::horror scream::
Mo: you CAN change your attitude and judgments around other folk’s desires, and choice.
Andrea Plaid: it’s like, dudes, no. it’s not.
Mo: Send them my way, please, those hot white men looking to stalk and tackle Negresses.
Mo: I got a boot handy for them.
Andrea Plaid: roll credits?
Mo: Has anyone taken the temperature among younger folks on this?
Mo: I am willing to bet most people 25 and under would be like “What is the big deal? They are having fun and it is sexy.”
Mo: and THAT is the real fact.
Andrea Plaid: and the younger adults and teens, who’ve grown up with Dan Savage giving advice, do feel the way you described.
Andrea Plaid: ya know, the single is hot right now. And the folks who want to comment about the children say in “Don’t expose them to these kinds of images. What would a 7-yr-old understand about kink?”
Mo: I first saw a gay leatherman when I was 5 or so
Mo: NYC,West Village, you know the drill.
Mo: I asked my mom (a nice church girl) why they were dressed like that. She said “Different people do different things.” and left it at that.
Mo: And I never tripped about it again.
Andrea Plaid: The wisdom of mums.
Mo: She had to get very creative with me, my Mom did.
Andrea Plaid: My mom gets horrified walking into a sex shop in New Orleans. and that happened when my sis and me were out the house.
Mo: But the thing is this.
Mo: if you are anti-sexuality for young children, fine.
Mo: If you are anti BDSM, OK.
Mo: These are absolutely your choices.
Mo: in the same way it is MY choice to think differently. And I appreciate the respect I show you and your opinion mirrored back to me and mine.
Mo: and I furthermore appreciate thoughtfulness, not knee jerk reactions.
Mo: Only the most vulnerable mind watches a video and runs out and does what it says.
Mo: and those people are beyond your protecting them but not talking about difficult topics, really.
Andrea Plaid: but, I fear, children is the go-to reason for the knee-jerk reaction.
Mo: So don’t let your kids watch TV
Mo: And keep your kids out of my dungeon, thanks.
Andrea Plaid: what? Mollena, that’s an American blasphemy!
Andrea Plaid: LOL
Mo: I know! TV is, after all, “Friend … Mother … Secret Lover” to quote Homer Simpson.
Andrea Plaid: and folks want to pretend helplessness before the “onslaught” of pop culture instead of being the grown person and buffering what the children are seeing.
Mo: People make me crazy sometimes
Mo: Why can’t we all just admit we have our freaks and move on?
Mo: I am the Rodney King of kink.
Andrea Plaid: ::horror-film scream::
Andrea Plaid: “I am the Rodney King of kink.” (*DEAD*)
Andrea Plaid: LOL!
Mo: that was pretty good…..
Mo: And if you don’t want to explain shit to kids, you are kind of fucked. That is your JOB as a PARENT