The rising of the Black Lives Matter movement has taken us out of blogging. After an intense week of fighting on line, and joining protestors in the street, it is time to return to our business. (the B&W pictures illustrating this post were borrowed from The Washington Post).
Black Lives Matter
Although we stop writing about sex and porn because we were busy supporting the fight, we did have additional reasons.
I am not Black. As a an ally of our Black brothers and sisters, I thought it was time not to talk, but to listen, learn, and of course, to support. Too many allies are speaking for Black Americans out of human empathy, but I think it is time to let their voice heard.
And there are thousands of eloquent, bright, insightful, powerful voices to express the Black American experience. Just research African American History to learn the events, or study the thinking of intellectuals like Dr. Cornell West to understand as much as we can, or enjoy the myriad of Black artists creating beauty out of the pain in their hearts and bodies.
As a White Latino (not Caucasian but Italian), my personal experience relates more to that of White Americans. I am originally from Argentina, where people who look like I do, enjoy a privilege similar to USA Whites.
I’ve never lived in fear, I’ve always felt free. I’ve never worried about me, my brothers or my dad getting pulled over and arrested. I’ve never had a second thought about going running, walking around, and traveling wherever I want. I don’t live in fear. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have this in my life.
Fighting our own Racism
That is why we chose the documentary “A Time for Burning” (1966) to pin in our Twitter account. Despite being filmed 6 decades ago, it is astonishingly relevant. It was shot by a White documentarist, by request of an Omaha Lutheran Church.
Talking about listening and learning, the film documents the eloquence of many Black voices. Listen to everyone, but pay special attention to the barber. He is Ernie Chambers, who became a politician and nowadays is still active, representing North Omaha in the State Legislature (Nebraska). We can hear the power of his arguments when debating racial integration in a Christian congregation.
However, I chose to highlight this movie because of the White voices documented on it. Although the Black experience triggers my human empathy and moves me to tears, I can more easily relate to the struggle of those White men and women against Racism, but specially against their inner Racism. They know that there is something repugnant inside themselves, they are gaining awareness of their Privilege, and they are lost not knowing how to eradicate the poison from their hearts.
I firmly believe that no one is immune to the culture that nurtured us. Growing up in a Racist culture imprints deeply Racist thoughts and attitudes in our subconscious. I do not see myself in the inspiring and insightful Black men and women in the film, but in the struggle of White men and women to reconcile their lives with their beliefs of universal love and fairness.
I wish Racism were something easier to examine, identify, isolate, and exorcize out of our minds. Unfortunately, as everything we learned in our first formative years (psychologists usually agree on that stage of our development lasting until age 8), it is not. I have been trying to cleanse myself from my early 20s, and still feel I have much work to do.
Fighting others Racism
The battle against our inner Racism is the toughest of all. However, we cannot stop battling Racism in our inner circle and the broader society.
It is tricky. It is easy to fall in the trap of pointing to others, and in the process placing the problem out of ourselves. This level of awareness is challenging and requires not only to know yourself, but also to listen to others. When someone calls us out on a Racist thought, attitude, or behavior, it is not easy to control the natural, initial defensive reaction. We must.
This balance is personal. Although Racism is an objective reality in our lives, it has subjective consequences that do not allow easy generalizations. Do not take my rant as a call for action, or as prescriptive preaching. Instead, this is just my very personal testimony.
Regardless of conflictive feelings we may have, we cannot remain silent out of fear of making a mistake. When I think I am confronted with some form of Racism, I am compelled to speak up.
Although the Black experience is untransferable, the fight against oppression is the same. I am not playing the game of who suffer the most, which is a variation of playing the victim game. All minorities experience oppression in different ways. However, our fight is the same because the enemy is ultimately the same.
Black Lives Matter, period
Where to trace the line? How to decide who is playing in our team and who is not? There is no single answer. In my opinion, it depends on specific circumstances not only situational, but also personal. Now, in the USA, in Washington DC, my line is questioning the obvious inclusive nature of the call for all Black Lives Matter.
Until the current crisis, I would accept in my circle people who would respond with All Lives Matter to the desperate cry for human decency coming from Black Americans. I would tell myself that they were well intentioned, that they were ignorant, that they were clueless, but they were not Racists. Now, I think I was blinding myself. This is 2020, not 1960. There is no excuse for ignorance and cluelessness. You cannot live in the USA and not know what is going on. Only if you do not want to know, only if you intentionally choose to ignore the obvious.
I am done with them. But remember, this is just me. If you are still willing to reach out and try to educate them, good for you. If you want to appease their reaction by adding a clarifying “Too” after Black Lives Matter, so they can feel relief that their privileged lives are safe, good luck.
For good or for bad, that is my current line. Just as I walk away from people who question the Moon landing, or Natural Selection and Evolution, I do not share my time anymore with the All Lives Matter folks. Just as I do not entertain in conversation with earth-flatters, I do not poison my life with the lack of human empathy manifested by these elevated spirits.
Meanwhile, in this side…
This last week has been plenty of intense experiences. I am an older guy, I have lived through other democratic uprisings, and I am aware that we may end in the same place where we started. However, this one is truly one of those that seems to be historic and making a difference.
The diversity and the numbers are impressive. The one variable that shows homogeneity the most is age. I am not sure whether this is explained by the pandemic (I hope so) or by an actual generational gap. I do know that I am afraid of joining the street protest because I hold a few of the pre existing conditions that increase the risk to develop serious COVID 19 symptoms.
As I said before, I am not trying to preach but to share my personal testimony. Although I cannot speak for Black Americans, I can share my previous experience in other uprisings. We were fortunate to be political activists in the Argentine democratic rising of the 80s, and 90s, as members of several political organizations and also gay liberation groups. From that experience, I can tell we are making some same mistakes now.
I dare to share a few tips, my friends:
- If you are not joining the protesters but you are a supporter and an ally, do not allow anyone to distract you with the looting and the violence. The overwhelming majority of the protest is peaceful, and the demands are just and necessary. If you happened to have any control of any outlet, focus on celebrating the communion and the fierce determination of peaceful protesters to face troops dressed up and equipped to scare and to harm. Always, always bring back the conversation to what is important: Black Lives Matter, George Floyd’s life matters, his murderers deserve to be jailed. You can add to that all the local demands relevant in your city.
- If you are an activist or an organizer, be aware that in every single popular, peaceful uprising, there are infiltrated agents to promote violence for their own political agenda. They can be from a government agency or not, they may be Leftist and/or Right Wingers, but they are there. You must be prepared to deal with them.
- Train an educate your people to respond quickly to different situations. Establish a common language of signs, if the situation gets heated, you may not hear each other. Teach them to move as a team, and stay away from violent agitators. After the first days of the current protest, I think the good guys in the field have been making an amazing job on this.
- Violent protestors may be infiltrated agents, but may also be fired up demonstrators. Always first try to call them to reason, remind them why you are there, and the importance of remain peaceful. If they ignore your calls, do not hesitate to move away, or even catch them and turn them to the uniformed agents.
- Despite all your previsions, violence can blow out anyway. Be prepared. I am attaching some images with very good recommendations. Besides equipment, the behaviors I saw the one day I dared to challenge the nova coronavirus are perfect. Never respond to provocations. Kneeling, and raising your hands and yelling “don’t shoot” are effective ways to expose unjustified repression in case it starts.
Porn Black Lives Matter
And one last tip, this presumptuous blogger dares to share. Remember who the enemy is. The enemy is the Police and the State, not really the police officers and state agents that are controlling and repressing you. Sure, some of them are irredeemable pigs. But many of them are also victims and in the right circumstances, could turn their weapons against their boss. The enemy is White Privilege and Racism, not the White folks, many of them are your strongest allies.
When there is a democratic upraising, many players who used to be in the other team try to join yours when the scoreboard seems to be changing. They are not the enemy either. If they embrace Black Lives Matter, we must welcome them.
It may seem we are winning, but we have not yet won. Now it is not yet time to be picky with friends and allies. Once we attain our goals, then perhaps we may need to reassess our supporters, but not when the battle is still going on.
It is specially worrying the situation right now in the gay porn industry. Adult entertainers of all colors are accusing each other of not being supportive enough in the past, in a mindless competition to prove who is the most consequent with the Black Lives Matter Cause.
Please stop. When we see Racism, when we see abuse an/or its condonation, we must speak up and switch to denounce and confrontation mode. But we must not start a which hunt, digging out from the past old statements and behaviors.
This is not the right moment. Please, stop.
Back to our topic
Our intention has always been to discuss Politics sometimes, mostly Sex Politics. We could not stay silent. Some of the stuff I am writing today will make some people unhappy. I am not sorry. I am unapologetically confronting White privilege where I see it, just as I am opening the doors to everyone to confront my own, please.
We cannot choose our relatives. We cannot choose our colleagues, or the people we interact with in public forums. But I can choose my friends. If you do not like it, I am not sorry.
After this post, we are back to celebrate the talent of our favorite adult artists. The pandemic has specially affected the adult entertainment industry all around the globe. Slowly, we are getting back to activity but we are not sure yet of how the post cover 19 landscape will look like.
As we are far away from the end of the pandemic, it is not possible to make predictions. We can be reasonable confident to say that many businesses will not survive. What is going to happen with gay bars, sex clubs, resorts, and saunas around the globe? I am specially fond of Rio saunas, but the Brazilian situation looks quite desperate right now.
Anyway, if you are fighting the fight in the streets, you will have new stuff to read in I LIKE PINGA when you are back home.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amig@s!
BLACK LIVES MATTER!