Without a doubt, almost every single person I have met through food blogging has been kind, thoughtful, and so open to trying new things. These are things I really admire and are what I envision is the best in people. Its not an impossibly high standard and its not unique to the food blog community but I am very glad it is how we are.
When faced with the enormity of the blogosphere, it is human nature to project and fill in cracks; to assume that each blogger is kind, thoughtful, and open to trying new things.
Even with my jaded eye, this week I had an online experience that taught me that the food blogosphere is NOT a homogenous place; all singing kumbaya.
This experience also taught me something about myself and my assumptions.
What the heck am I talking about?
(I do not bring this up to trash a particular blogger so I will speak in non-specifics in terms of the blogger’s identity)
I visited a blog of a food blogger of some fame this week. It told of an experience this blogger just had regarding her being mugged. I have had a similar experience and can tell you it is infuriating and frustrating and can make you feel VERY vulnerable and emotional and falliable.
This blogger wrote about the details. She went further than a simple description of the event and made some race-based statements that were 1) not necessary for the reader to grasp her experience, 2) served to make me feel deeply marginalized (it was my race she was objectifying), 3) made me wonder why I should care what she writes and why that writing should bother me, 4) what obligation she has to any reader that reads her openly public blog, 5) what obligation she might have to the wider food community to moderate her character in the written word, and 6) whether this whole concept of the Food Blog Community is not just an extended illusion many of us care to share.
Lots of meta-issues. Lots to think about.
In my experience with racism, all my life, there is little one can do one-on-one with the racist because they are fully identified with that process; seeing the world in terms of race.
I don’t ask what that person can do to apologize for their world view. I do ask how I find myself vulnerable to it, again and again.