Thursday, May 9, 2013

Regarding RADIANCE and Editorial Racism

Regarding the previous post -- I am no newbie to getting rejected by publishers.  What readers should know is that I did NOT submit or query RADIANCE to do the article, the editor sought me out, pursued me and begged me to do not just an article but a series on "the experience of being a fat Black woman." Only she expected this happy, Black fat fairy-land of her imagination (and too many others I met at NAAFA, not you or Lynn but others) where Black women are loved and accepted as we are and aren't victims of the pervasive, vicious fat bashing of the broader culture.  

When she read the first series installment that did not support her fantasy, she questioned my credentials to write about my own experience though I have a doctorate in communication from The Ohio State University. She said I needed a doctorate in psychology if I wanted to write what I had written.  And if I remember correctly, she told me she didn't go to college undergrad and had no "credentials" to be a magazine editor and publisher.

I asked her who were the "plenty of happy, fat Black women" she knew and that's when she told me that she always saw happy, well dressed Black women on Sundays going into a church she'd never attended.  She never talked to these women.  She didn't have any  "happy fat Black women friends"  (and we know the superficiality of the "some of my best friends are" non-sense when people do make that claim).  She had never talked to a fat Black woman about the experience of being fat.  

I am sorry that editor, who invested so much time in a magazine that was positive about large women, at least large White women, did that to me and displayed such racist discrimination and ignorance against fat Black woman.  There are always exceptions in groups (When covering a disabled man for a Cincinnati Post story the subject said, "Just call me gimp." I didn't .  Most disabled people find that a nasty term.).  But the editor pursued me and asked me to write representing my group but then had some illogical reproofs because my experience didn't fit a White privileged fantasy she had about us.  This is the problem that drove me out of NAAFA all those years ago.

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