As I type this piece, Janet Mock’s second interview with Piers Morgan and my blood is boiling. I tried to wait for the video to stop before I type but I figured typing this post would be a more productive use of my time than rolling around my bed and screaming at my computer.
Y’all, Piers Morgan was dead ass wrong. Wrong as two left shoes and unsweetened ice tea.
In case you didn’t know, Janet Mock, a trans activist, writer and author, went on Morgan’s show to promote her book, Redefining Realness. She has been making media rounds as expected for fledgling author and she probably figured that it would be pretty routine. Sadly, Morgan showed his white cisgendered privileged ass. The first interview was cordial enough even though Morgan and his news packaging team kept emphasizing that she was supposedly a former man or boy and asked some fucked up questions. All hell broke loose after that interview when Janet used her Twitter account to express her dislike of the terminology used during the segment and in the information bars placed across the screen. Her supporters called him out and then the tears started flowing. There were enough white tears to keep Janet’s curls tight and defined for months.
It was messy and the mess carried on to a second interview on the show. During the exchange, Morgan’s tone was hostile and accusatory as if Janet stepped on his Jordan’s and kicked his dog. He was demanding of explanations he didn’t deserve and when Janet did get the chance to speak, he interrupted and cut her off. When asked why she didn’t say anything about Morgan’s use of terminology during the first segment, Janet admitted that she was scared and considering how Morgan acted on Twitter and during the second interview, I can’t say that I blame her. She felt unsafe, like many marginalized people do in certain environments, and addressed her issue the best way she knew how. Morgan continuously stated that he felt villanized but from the looks of that second interview, it seemed like that was his intent with Janet.
As I watched these segments, I couldn’t help but think of Laverne Cox‘s and Carmen Carerra‘s visit to the Katie Couric Show a few weeks ago. Like Morgan, Couric asked both of the ladies some invasive questions and used incorrect terminology. Couric also reacted indignantly when Carmen brushed off one of the questions by asking Laverne the same question and making slick remarks about Carmen refusing to answer her. Like Mock, both ladies kept it cute and remained cordial although it seemed like these television hosts wanted to fetishize them for ratings. Both Couric and Morgan claim to be allies but like many so-called allies, they suck at it so I’m going to give them a few pointers:
- When called out, shut your damn mouth and listen.
- Marginalized people don’t owe you a damn thing, including an explanation. If you really want to know, do the damn research.
- Sometimes marginalized people don’t say anything because they feel unsafe. It is never too late for them to stand up for themselves when they feel safe.
- EVERYTHING AINT ABOUT YOU.
Ugh. That’s all I got for now.
I have plans to do a learning type thing on allyship as well as something with Janet’s book so keep a look out.
Wanna add some tips for these fool ass allies? Leave a comment.