The discussion surrounding Secrets of the Sex Masters has taken a turn for the worse. This is extremely disheartening. This statement, coming from Carl, is problematic. [Statement has been updated by Carl.] It has caused the discussion to backslide when it looked like we were moving forward.
Do I believe that Carl and Sheri are racist?
Do I believe they actively follow tenets of white supremacy?
Do I believe there is a systemic underlying and insidious thread of racism and white supremacy embedded in history, sociology and philosophy that can influence—in subtle and overt ways—the way people think—regardless of their intent or beliefs?
Are those words harsh to hear as a white person? Yes they are.
Are they necessary? Moreso now than ever.
Sometimes it takes a sledgehammer, literal or figurative, to drive a point home.
In the first go-around of this discussion, I asserted my personal agency to say I fucked up. I too wondered “Well, who do I know in the sex community of colour?” Upon reflection, I realized that was a foolish line of thought and that I do actually know a number of people! I listed just a few in my post, and since then have spoken with more as a course of the work that I do. I am very glad to have them in my networks.
And it is these networks that I will continue to work in and as I do, I need to ask questions of project managers to ensure my beliefs are being upheld. I did not in this case and I still stand by that apology with complete sincerity.
I do believe that Carl and Sheri had done good work to learn and move forward. Which makes it hard to see that work unravel. A “bullying” graphic (since removed) was a most unfortunate choice to illustrate their upset. And even that upset at language…it is ill-founded.
We, editors and contributors of Secrets of the Sex Masters, have been slapped in the face with a harsh, hard truth: racism is alive, it is enduring and we are a part of it. While I was told a statement would be issued, I was not privy to the wording and, as such, I feel no remorse in disavowing it.
That statement of hurt on the basis of “racist” and “white supremacy” terminology is not my statement and I do not stand behind it.
Instead, I vow to ask for more details on projects, I vow to continue to have people of colour on my site, on my radio show and in my future projects. I state that my first book, coming out this spring, includes people of colour because it is a space that needed to hear all voices. (I’m not naming it right here because that feels like grandstanding).
Finally, I promise to look for and at ways my own privilege might affect my decisions, interactions and judgements of inclusivity.
Please, let’s move forward.