My Authors
Read all threads
1 / THREAD / Shortly after the story of Harvard anthro dept’s 3 sexual harassers broke, we were contacted by a Black anthropologist whose experiences of bullying, harassment & abuse at a top UC anthro grad program have been routinely silenced for years.
2/ With her support, this thread & the links in it detail what happened to her, and connects the dots around the racism & silencing she has experienced in several anthro spaces a lot of us would find safe…
3/ …including us @metooanthro—she had to contact us twice; we failed to respond to her first email. After yrs of being ignored, dismissed, tone-policed, this non-response from us added to that accumulated cruelty.
4/ Because she cannot safely share this content herself under her real name, she has asked us to refer to her as Discuss White Privilege (DWP)—a pseudonym w/ which she has worked to direct anthro’s critical interest in power back onto itself.
5 / This work was part of DWP’s research on Whiteness and everyday white supremacy in the US. DWP tells us this project challenged anthro’s unspoken expectation that “people of color study themselves, white people study everybody” (Chin 2006: 44). Her work was read as hostile.
6/ As @j_wald has detailed on DWP’s behalf in this thread from last year, DWP was harassed by a white man in her grad program, who was ultimately supported by staff over her, a Black woman
7 / Read the thread. Its details are key. Especially the part about how her abuser, keen to safeguard his future career against her harassment claims, took *her* to court to get an unconstitutional gag order with which to silence her.
8 / But as is all too sadly common, it worked. Even though his original lawyer was eventually disbarred for another felony & the DA doubted the order. This is why it’s not safe for DWP to speak out herself.
9 / DWP’s experiences echo so many who have gathered under #BlackintheIvory. Including the lethal threat of calling police on her.
10 / When DWP returned to campus after maternity leave, her infant in a tummy pack, faculty emails (that were later leaked) encouraged staff to call the police on her if she “became disruptive” and they felt “in danger”.
11 / In the emails (which we’ve seen in their original form) DWP is described as “a small, very dark-skinned South African.” Staff offer to find & distribute a photo of her. Essentially, relying on colourism & circulating a mugshot, they construct DWP as a threat.
12 / Remember, the “threat”, here, is a small woman carrying her baby.
13 / Excerpts of the leaked emails are contextualized in this blog from 2018 on the willingness of white people to immediately call the police on Black people who haven’t even committed a crime.…
14 / See also Amy Cooper.
See also
Possible death for white discomfort.
15 / For context, DWP’s reasons for visiting campus are outlined here.
16 / Part of the frustration DWP rightly expresses, that we all ought to feel too, is that she was combatting these violences in the years before #hautalk, before #metoo, before BLM was a global movement. Her engagement has been lonely as well as dangerous.
17 / DWP is heavily tone-policed for her comments on this post on the old Savage Minds blog —the post, by Kevin Karpiak, is on ‘Using George Zimmerman as an object lesson in the anthropology of policing’.…
18 / Karpiak’s blog turns to focus on community policing & DWP critiques this straying from the issue most central to Zimmerman’s murder of Trayvon Martin—the dehumanization of Black lives. Her subsequent comments build on this observation, drawing on her own experiences.
19 / The moderator then deletes one of her comments and diminishes another in this post.
20 / Other commenters are engaged with in nicer terms than DWP is for saying the same thing—for calling for Black anthropologists to comment on Zimmerman and for critiquing Karpiak’s choice of theorists so removed from the racial issue at the heart of Zimmerman’s killing.
21 / Reading this post & comments from the retrospective of the BLM movement in 2020 is instructive. Consider how DWP is responded to, compared to critiques made in an aesthetic that doesn't disrupt the status quo.
22 / As DWP notes in a @anthrodendum guest post: “Whose resistance is even recognized as a political act...& whose is instead seen as the dangerous rioting/violence of subhuman animals who must be controlled and silenced, by any means necessary?”
23 / This nitty gritty is important. White & (a lot of) POC anthropologists need to work HARD to confront white supremacy in their minds, instincts, assumptions let alone classrooms & faculties.
24/ When have you, as a White of POC, been irked by a Black or Indigenous academic’s anger? When did you last witness a scholar be punished publicly for their tone and said nothing/assumed it must be warranted? How do you challenge stifling norms of unconstructive civility?
25 / DWP tells us, on email: “The anti-Blackness…is so deep…most anthropologists don’t even see when they’re reproducing it or that their inability to see my actions as protest & the result of trauma over abuse … is in fact anti-Blackness cum misogynoir & colorism in action.”
26 / DWP owes anthropology nothing for how it has treated her. We are grateful for the time she makes to continue this triggering work of engaging the discipline. We grieve for the discipline’s loss; how much more we could have gained from her study of everyday white supremacy.
27 / We think of all those pushed out of anthropology, or who choose their wellbeing & leave. We think about status, & whose speaking up we take seriously, whose we do not: how it usually takes the whistle-blow of tenured & “superstar” anthros, usually white, to mobilise a mass.
28 / As DWP says here: “I have long been living in this future/the future, waiting for anthropology to catch up. Still living in another future they still have yet to get to.”…
For accessibility: @threadreaderapp unroll please.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Keep Current with MeTooAnthro

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!