Things What are not true about your fave Social Justice Necromancer.

Shannon Barber
6 min readMay 31, 2018


It has come to the attention of management via the magic of Google alerts that some of my social justice necromancy is circulating on the Internet and some folks have opinions about it. Opinions are great, what is not great are some of the outright lies and general untruths about yours truly that have gone with them. So let’s correct some of that shall we?

First thing. When I talk about Blackness, it is not theoretical. See photo below:

[image description: Black person with black winged liner, making a silly face.]

See that person? That is yours truly. I am that person, been Black since March 16, 1977. There is another writer who is also Black and Queer, we have a similar moniker but I am not them.

Second thing. I am not actually a part of the terrifying liberal elite. I am not some super educated big word slingin, meta human. By traditional measures, I’m barely educated. This is not a secret. I am very open about this. I almost dropped out of high school due to disillusionment with the American educational system. That said, I know shit because I have been an avid reader my whole life.

I’ve spent years of my life educating myself about my own identities, how my set of marginalizations intersect with life, and that sorta thing. I also apply my lived experience to my work. So, to clear the air I am not secretly a multi degree holding, super elite, educated snob. Nah, I’m a nerd who likes to read and believes in teaching themselves.

Third thing. If you have read or known me for more than two minutes you know I talk about a lot of things that make folks uncomfortable. Racism, gender, Queerness, Blackness- scary shit. For let’s be cautious and say the last twenty years, I’ve done this to varying degrees. There is an idea that I do it to be popular. To flag or signal to the world what a great person I am. I do it for fame and money. Actually, let’s talk about some of what has actually happened to me because I talk about these things.

The bulk of my writer origin story is made up of poetry and pornography and we’ll talk about that some other time. For this let’s start in the early 2000s. This was long before I ever dared to try and get an essay published, I was an online diarist. I used the beloved Diary-X and Livejournal. I wrote a lot about my life, I wrote about my dating and sex adventures, sometimes I talked about uncomfortable racial or sexuality things.

The first time I wrote seriously about race, it was in the context of a racially charged thing that happened to me and I was trying to work through my feelings about being fetishized without my consent. It was really, in terms of what I write now pretty gentle. At that time, I hadn’t yet really found my niche in terms of writing about race. Someone who read it, took enough offense to become my first internet stalker. He spent hours reading my entries so he could cherry pick my “racisms” and sinful homosexualities to email me daily reports about my behavior.

Back then, I don’t recall hearing the term doxxed but, he did that. He called me, he threatened to rape and murder me. He tried to call my family, my job etc. That was fun.

In the 18 years since, my social justice necromancy (with dips into chaotic evil apparently) has not yet garnered me the big bucks. Nor have I gotten super popular, unless popularity is code for harassed, threatened, doxxed, bothered and generally emotionally tread upon at least once a month if not more. If popularity means that some anonymous-ish folks who will spend their time digging up dirt on me, some of them “found out” (as in read some very old public blog posts on the wayback machine) that I’ve done sexwork in my life, that I like a lot of problematic shit, my language as in saying problematic stuff has changed. You know, I’ve strangely evolved as a human being. LIBERAL CONSPIRACY.


Fourth thing. In spite of known/having a passing familiarity with a lot of other Black folks on the internet, especially those who say stuff or write stuff, um I’m not in some Black Supremacy super Cabal intended to I dunno, do stuff. I know how that reads but, this is something someone actually said about me not too long ago. I dunno what we’re doing exactly but, okay.

Let’s talk about the fame and fortune.

The reality is that most of the people like me, the writers, etc who do this stuff don’t get the big bucks. Most of us don’t get book deals and TED talks and whatnot. Most of us are struggling. We do a lot of labor for free and are mocked or harassed when we ask for payment or help. We have to deal with clearing out mentions, inboxes etc of not only the regular unsolicited dick pics and whatnot but also, folks going after our families, trying to take money out of our pockets, damage our lived lives.

I am not special in this regard. I see my peers go through it. I see us being exhausted by lies and nonsense that is weaponized to do the most to ruin us.

This is one of the few cases where I will say, if you really feel the need to take me down personally, save your energy. Don’t read me. I’m probably not for you and that’s fine. You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. If someone you know shares my work and that upsets you, take it up with them. Don’t take it up with me either directly or via shitty blog posts that you then delete because I showed up to correct your facts.

This brought to you by some random White woman who made an entire blog post to somehow take me to task/correct me (without actually speaking to me) about the ways in which I do intersectionality wrong. The post is deleted but a few highlights before I go.

  1. When I say POC, I mean people of color. When I say Black people, I mean Black people specifically. This is not division this is specification. It is not erasure to speak specifically to my own experience.
  2. I don’t live in X other country so no, I’m not going to speak to the ways racism works there. I’ll leave that to the POC who live in X (any not US) place.
  3. I am not within a stones throw of being heterosexual.
  4. I will not speak to the experiences of other marginalized people because, that’s not my lane.
  5. I don’t do prescriptive stuff about gender or sexuality because I don’t believe in it.
  6. Yes, sometimes I ask for financial support so I can continue living my life and doing this work.
  7. No, I won’t be mad about another POC having success I don’t have in terms of mainstream media acceptance and support. Get them coins boo.
  8. If you dig hard enough you’ll find dirt. Problematic language, ideas I used to have about gender, my spritual practice, how I write about stuff, people I associate with- I have changed as a human being from then to now. Whenever then is, I’ve changed because I’m about that growth life.
  9. I’m probably going to fuck up more. It happens.
  10. Me being specific about how I do this work, is not division, it is not ignoring other people. It is how I operate. If you don’t like it…

Thing is, there are so many of us who do this work. We do it in so many ways and y’all, we live in the mother fucking future. We have the Library of Alexandria times forty million at our very fingertips. In less than four seconds you can find more information presented in more ways than you could ever actually need about anything. Why waste your time with useless bullshit?

I understand trying to gain followers and get eyes on your work by shitting on other people. That is the Capitalist method. But, like……what if we didn’t do that? What if you can exist and I can exist and we don’t have to fuck with each other? We don’t have to kick each other in the shins in order to get read or be successful.

So, maybe just stop.

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