Fan Mail

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Hi ********,

I am glad that for you, hair is just hair.

I am glad that the way in which you move through the world and experience it puts you in a place where you feel confident to send me an email dismissing my show, my life experiences, and my politics.

I am glad that your experience of childhood enables you to conclude that ‘my anxiety’ at five years old was what ‘drove children away’.

I am glad that your knowledge of parenting and parents leads you to the conclusion that kids are just kids, and do not absorb the toxic messages of the society around them.

I am glad that your experience of that society enables you to ignore the fact that it is a white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist, imperialist, heteronormative society, violent to those most vulnerable within it.

I am glad that your experience of that society allows you to move through the world as though race and gender are unimportant.

I am glad that you do not see your message as patronising and paternalistic, and an exercise of your privilege as a white woman.

I am glad that you think ‘white women dream of having afro babies’, that you have not seen or experienced the scorn that many black children face at the hands of white women.

I am glad that you do not see this desire for ‘afro babies’ as a colonial hangover, the commodification of blackness, dehumanising and objectifying.

I am glad that you are able to shut your eyes to the politics and history that influences and shapes various decisions, that means that black women’s hair is discussed and pathologised in a way that you, as a white woman, will never know nor experience.

I am glad that you think dismissive blanket statements such as ‘women are just women’ negate the political and social structures of the world that we live in.

And I am glad that you think that the statement ‘women is just women’ is a liberatory one, rather than one that flattens into nothingness the complexity and diversity of the lives of over 3 billion people on this planet.

I am glad.

I am glad.

I am glad.

And I hope you are too.

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