, 21 tweets, 14 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD: It’s true. I’ve been running the @GroupBABEL Twitter account for way too long & no one gives a damn. Not to mention that I no longer want to be associated with this group since they attended @KzooICMS 2019 even though Medievalists of Color were iced out. #MedievalTwitter
To be super-frank, I’ve been (heart)sick because of @GroupBABEL’s inattention to divisive issues in the field ever since 2016 when I urged boycotting the Kalamazoo Congress after Allen Frantzen’s misogynist & racist writings came to light, to no avail. I haven’t been back since.
I spent a lot of time in 2016 ranting about Frantzen’s misogyny & racism (& theft of junior colleagues’ work) & also wrote letters to every learned society begging them to censure him, to no avail. But thank you @JonathanHsy, Suzanne Akbari & @muellerale for helping me with that.
I will also share here FOR THE FIRST TIME that I brought conclusive evidence to the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) of Allen Frantzen’s theft of a junior colleague’s work & they basically said, this is not the sort of thing we want to deal with. So screw them too.
In 2016, I lost a bit of my sanity trying to draw the attention of #OldEnglish & #AngloSaxon scholars to fact that Allen Frantzen’s misogyny & racism and Andy Orchard’s sexual harassment spanning 3 decades was not unique but symptomatic of rot at the heart of the field. #TimesUp
Ultimately no learned society in medieval studies wanted to deal with any of this, except to revise their “inclusivity” statements or draft harassment policies. But I’ll give some chops to @MedievalAcademy & @lisafdavis for going further and doing more. Everyone else sucks.
In light of all of this, it’s noteworthy that the Int’l. Society of Anglo-Saxonists not only STILL DON’T have a harassment policy but apparently shut down attempts to draft one JUST THIS YEAR, the same year their leadership couldn’t get consensus on a name-change (cause: RACIST).
But let’s back up. ISAS went to Honolulu in 2017 for their biennial meeting under the theme of “global” perspectives & literally rejected a paper proposal on settler-colonialism by the only native Hawaiian in the field, @adam_miya who had this to say: bit.ly/2v75OPI
Flash forward to 2018 when @KzooICMS released their list of sessions approved for the 2019 Congress & not only were BIPOC iced out but a session I proposed (under BABEL’s banner) on alt-Right medieval-styled hate groups, public history & #OpenAccess publishing was also rejected.
I was livid & as some know, I went a little crazy on social media & behaved in ways that were rude & disrespectful to my so-called colleagues. On purpose, and: NO REGRETS. I urged a protest and god bless @julieorlemanski & a few others for taking on the labor of doing just that.
Volunteers in @GroupBABEL put in some real labor to crunch the #s on 20 years worth of programming at the KZoo Congress & it was 100% clear that structural racism & other prejudices have always been the norm. But BABEL stopped short of making this fact 100% clear. I was so angry.
BABEL’s open petition to the leadership of @KzooICMS got a lot of signatures and kudos to KZoo leadership for admitting errors & agreeing to make programming more transparent. But what no one wanted to say out loud was: the KZoo Congress has been structurally racist from Day 1.
I urged leadership of @GroupBABEL not to attend the KZoo Congress this year but they chose to go & to be allies to BIPOC scholars as best as they could while there, but white scholars doing work on race or ANYthing else at this critical time felt absurd to me. #CenteringWhiteness
So this is my long way of saying that it’s just a continuation of my disappointment that BABEL appears to be absent in the current discourses on social media around the continuing insensitivity to sexism & racism of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. @ISASaxonists
Why are white scholars so afraid to confront #racism in their midst? A racist is not just southern men in pickup trucks waving Confederate flags. It is anyone who refuses to SEE or to ADMIT that racial capitalism built everything in our country, which includes our universities.
This means racism is STRUCTURAL. Racism is not an event, who, or what. It’s the foundation of everything privileged persons enjoy & benefit from, including our academic professions. Anyone who refuses to see this is a racist. Due process & collegiality won’t fix or repair this.
Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. Racist. That’s what all of this is & what we all are & there are no “good people” on any other side of this.
When I look back to what I *thought* I had accomplished with @GroupBABEL I realize that we never paid enough, or ANY, attention to structural racism & we thought we were so radical! Well guess what!?! We weren’t! We did some good, I know, for the misfits. But I’m also ashamed.
Someone in @GroupBABEL please relieve me of my Twitter responsibilities. I’ve felt for too long that no cares what the account does or says anyway. To the organizers & speakers at #RaceB4Race: thank you for helping me to sort through so many difficult issues in my (racist) field.
And to Mary Rambaran-Olm, who has been fighting the good fight with Anglo-Saxonists that I gave up on long ago: thank you for your bravery and your passion. Read why her voice matters so much here: link.medium.com/MMpsA8MbUZ #MedievalTwitter #AntiRacism #DecolonizeMedievalStudies
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