Let me be clear: black lives matter to me. And there is no “but” following that statement.
Being a white old fart myself, black lives matter to me and that is exactly why I am worried about the conversations I read on facebook where people from the “Black lives matter” movement are turning more and more unforgiving and reactive even when supported by ‘my’ people, the kinksters.
If you are not with me, that is reason enough for me to not only compartmentalise you as ‘the enemy’, it is a reason for met to be against you. “I’d rather shout at you than educate you!” is understandable from the ages of frustration. And it is the easy route, not the route Martin Luther King Took, not the route Mandela took.
And believe me, I am not saying that the world changed as much as we -at the time- hoped, when we were in the streets calling:
“You can blow out a candle, but you can’t blow out a fire”
Let’s not turn against each other for we need each other.
As we as white people know shockingly little from black history because the people who tell the histories of the differently coloured people don’t get much public voice, the same happens to the people because of ‘kink’. So if kinksters tell you they want to stand by your cause, please understand that they might not know everything that is important to you. And that is most likely because of exactly the same reason why you don’t have the background of kink.
We are all silenced. And I am not trying to compare, or steal the light. But if people publicly shame the kinksters and say that is just about horniness and lust…
Oh sure, that is an important part. But it is also about love. And please remember too that kink has always had political aspects.
Again, not trying to compare or belittle here, just a little info from the perspective of an old kinkster.
Because My whole life I’ve rather educated than shouted.
Kink has always been political
From Marquis de Sade (being the basis of the word “sadism”), who was also a political satirist, writing his main work from the Bastille -where he was put because of his subversive writing-.
To Sacher-Masoch (being the basis of the word “masochism”), writing “Venus in Furs” as a part of his “Legacy of Cain” cycle, in which he wanted to explore the themes of “Love,” “Property,” “State,” “War,” “Work,” and “Death.” (and if that sounds political to you: that was meant to be!).
To the gay Leathermen of the American culture of the 50’s and 60’s because after having fought in the WW-2 and Vietnam wars they were pursued and persecuted for their sexuality, drawn out of their jobs and families. So they stuck together and used their army background as a basis for a feeling of safety. Being cast away from their families they created new kinds of ‘chosen family’, “leather families” with rules and rites built on the feeling of brotherhood from the wars they had fought.
Gay SM -clubs
Several of the first gay SM clubs were not there just for cruising, they were political organisations partially, discussing the raids by the cops at the time, and trying to reform local politics to be more accepting toward gay culture, to get a more liberal City Attorneys elected.
The “gay pride” we are still celebrating every year? It remembers gays and transes fighting back a copper’s raid. For that was the start of the “Stonewall riots” in 1969…
The uniforms, the “Leather” look, with the Levis and the biker jackets and the black caps? It was the uniform of an oppressed minority finding its power, building upon the image of their oppressors and being inclusive to people of colour, and to women and trans people.
Tom of Finland’s depiction of Cops and army uniforms on clearly gay men enjoying their sexuality, it was a travesty at the time.
It was a disguised but direct attack on the policemen and navy-men attacking the gay clubs at the time.
Kink has always had political consequences
Kink has always been political and has had political consequences.
Like the case of “John Lawrence vs Texas” that had to do with a man of colour, fighting back up to the supreme court. In the end, winning that case on the account of having a right to privacy.
And by ruling thusly the judges made it then illegal for cops today, to storm into your house and throw you in jail for things you do on your bed or on your kitchen table…
But I must say: I am curious and worrisome of how the judges of today would rule this case. The judges elected by that president that is elected in the USA of today, only 22 years from then.
If I am allowed to be cynical? I do fantasise Trump and his true white oppressors being so fucking happy to see people hammering away on each other, not leaving any room for nuance and discourse. I am betting that they are really happy people trashing the “cops-as-an-institute” so that he can replace cops by the army, gaining again even more power.
If we keep listening to each other, then we stand a chance.
But am afraid that if we remain in the reactive brain-stem “Fight-Flight-Freeze”-modus we can only let things escalate, thus paving the way for the true oppressors… (white oppressors by the way)