Music By The Tone Deaf

Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco (Photo credit: FLC)


Sorry I have been away for more than a week. A busy holiday schedule at a job I am still in the process of learning, the Christmas craziness outside of work, and life in general has kept me away. Also, there are distractions that I have to learn to minimize. You, my readers, have been fantastic and faithful and I always feel like I am letting you down if I don’t post for a few days, much less a week. Maybe I just needed a good spark to get me going again. Thankfully one can always count on some fool, or group of fools, to provide that spark.

For the record, I have been an Ani DiFranco fan for a long time. Save for a period when constant requests from wonderful, adolescent patrons who likely did not fully appreciate her lyrics left me saturated beyond my ability to take anymore I have often gone to her for my righteous anger music fuel. So I find it sad that she is giving me that fuel in all the wrong ways. Mind you my personal beef is far less important than those she has hurt by her recent choices, and more importantly her silence over the criticism of them, but it is a kick in the gut just the same.

You see Ani decided to hold a feminist get together in a plantation outside of New Orleans. That it did not occur to her that this might be triggering for women of color is pretty sick. That she has not displayed the decency to at least apologize and promise to either change the venue, or if it is too late for that, make sure that the next event is handled with greater care is even more appalling. Add to that her continued lack of presence as  a mockery of a debate (it is only a real debate when both sides have at least some valid standing, which those defending the choice and lack of contrition over it once the call out occurred do not have) regarding this issue unfolds and what you have is a complete travesty.

I do not expect everyone to always get it right. Hell,I don’t always get it right. When someone points it out to you though, the decent thing to do is at least consider their position, let them know they were heard, and let them know you are going to do all you can to make it right. Hiding behind the faux outrage of fans who cannot stand to see their idol tarnished at all is pathetic. That so many are willfully blind to their privilege is not surprising, unfortunately, but it is still messed up. Equally messed up is the fact that as off this writing I have yet to read a single white, cis-woman call this out. I have seen trans women of all colors post links calling it out, but our white, cis sisters have been tellingly quiet.

I understand it is easy to get wrapped up only in those parts of a struggle against oppression that affect you. To ignore other intersections of oppression, though, feeds the beast. It keeps us locked in the same chorus of an out of date, uninspired song. Well I am bored with it, and you should be too. If those that fancy themselves the composers of anthems of revolution insist on instead being the conductors of the status quo, then we have to find a new tune. We have to raise our voices in unity with those who have suffered in ways we have not. Otherwise, we are just as much a part of the problem.




One thought on “Music By The Tone Deaf

  1. I have just learned the retreat has been cancelled. I read a rather long nonpology by Ani and remain upset. As one person commenting on her FB status pointed out: “a simple ‘I fucked up'” would have been a lot better.

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