In his recent article on spring break and its relationship to ongoing colonial violence, Menchavez writes,
There’s something sinister about a white person who is unaware of their white supremacy and racism and instead is shrouded by the false guise of their “wokeness” – they simply can’t see the violence they perpetuate because they learned what “intersectionality” was in a lecture and reside in a “liberal” school like the UW.
I would like to add there’s something sinister about white ‘Redditors’ who storm Menchavez’s The Daily articles and post some terrifyingly racist comments under covert guises – without seeing the violence they perpetuate because they think racism is non-existent and that the world revolves around them.
The gaslighting comments aren’t new and have been around almost since the beginning of Menchavez’s career at The Daily. Yet today, as a matter of disproportionate retribution, 20-some angry ‘Redditors’ on The Daily website (and counting!) are showing some of their worst colours I have seen in their attacks against Menchavez. The sheer number of racist ad hominem comments alone took me by surprise it even briefly knocked me out of a Zoom meeting. If the Chekhov’s Gun is that big alley party in Greek Row earlier this year, then the Chekhov’s Gunmen are the racists who take overseas vacations and/or make futile attempts to justify these and similar behaviours. Can’t we BIPOC folks catch a break for once?
To demonstrate how violent these angry ‘Redditors’ are, I’d encourage you to set aside context and think for yourself–and yourself only–how you would feel if someone said these things to you.
These aren’t the kind of comments that make me question my beliefs and assumptions about the world at all. They just make me furious.
(Pause for self care)
If there is any purpose these comments serve, it is they only prove the existence of colonial violence that operates in our everyday lives. To question the existence of BIPOC folks in colonised spaces like The Daily is to betray your complicity of benefitting from systems of oppression. It is the behavior of these ‘Redditors’ that punish BIPOC journalists for seeing through bull**** and fighting for their communities. There is no sense of understanding in the comments that sought to gaslight Menchavez or to justify the actions of the vacationers. The unwillingness of white commenters to learn is part of what drives a growing sense of distrust among BIPOC communities against white folks.
Andre, I can never truly understand the frustration you felt throughout your career at The Daily with these so-called ‘Redditors’. But God **** it, I continue to be amazed you have the guts to bring forth some much needed thinking about the violence BIPOC communities face every single day at University of Washington. You are such a powerhouse at The Daily, I wish they have the ability to keep you well beyond your years at UW. You don’t owe anything to these ‘Redditors’. As BIPOC folks, your stories–and ours–matter. It’s not a moment too soon for your timely truths and wisdom.
That’s it. See you.