This is a thread I posted on Twitter about being Black in the workplace. This is specifically about the oppression at Bon Appetit and the Test Kitchen podcast that was canceled because the hosts/producers of the show did not support the unionizing that was happening at their own place of work, Gimlet Media.
So, I am not a listener to Reply All. I clicked on the Test Kitchen trending tag out of curiosity. I kept researching because I became interested.
Now I am interested in the full discussion because of how benign gatekeeping works, especially as those who benefit are actively complicit.
I am in the process of experiencing this again in my professional life. It is painful, traumatizing, and 100% normal.
I have said repeatedly that people fight oppression to the point that they risk losing some status. The oppressed will oppress others for status.
This is how people who materially and socially seem to benefit from patriarchy will not just allow but will actively enforce it. And the ones who may not aggressively enforce it will remain silent claiming it doesn’t affect them personally.
Rules will be written, rules that would seem fair on paper but whose enforcement was at the discretion of those in power.
The reality is that whiteness has rings of gates limiting access to their varying circles and as they created them, those in the circles look like them, reinforcing their reality.
When everyone in your circle reflects you, coupled with the basic white supremacist lie that tells white people they are always right, always the authority, always the voice worth listening to & seeing that reflected in their professional circles is just how it’s supposed to be.
I can’t reiterate how much this is bullshit and that it continues to be our normal.
The Black people who move up in organizations compromise. Look at Van Jones. Look at how many spaces he has access to. He caters to white supremacy in exchange for access.
Non-Black PoCs who move around in these organizations will align with whiteness cuz that’s where the power is.
That’s where the access is.
That common outsider gets them closer to the gate & they won’t jeopardize that.
In the meantime, Black people just keep being traumatized.
Those levels of gatekeeping are an integral aspect of maintaining the hierarchies.
Watching the magazine cancel the TestKitchen series cuz their hosts cosigned on oppression when they themselves both cosign and benefit from it, has silenced the stories of the Black and PoC whistleblowers.
Black people, Black womxn are rarely ever provided large platforms to tell their stories. We often create our own because that’s the only way we are heard.
We are victimized repeatedly when we dare to be the voices of the oppression we experience.
I say all this to say that @replyall needs to finish the series with different hosts.
In fact, improve upon it. Get Black hosts who have lived experience in the oppression you seek to highlight. Do more than exploiting Black trauma for ratings.
Actually BE the fucking change.
If you want to take a listen, here’s the link. The fact that these stories continue to be filtered through whiteness is its own issue but I want to hear the voices of Black people living our lives — preferable without being centered around oppression.