So, I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with punk.
I wanted to be a punk (which itself is a really fucked up statement, implying that I needed permission to be a punk, which is NOT true, but totally totally totally is true, if you get me) but there were many barriers to my being a punk.
When I was in high school, there were a lot of messages that punk was not for me, as a woman, as a black person, as a fat person. So, I didn’t even try. It’s been a long time since then, my narrative was rewritten, reshaped into “I’m not a punk.” I let other people tell me how I could identify.
Lately I’ve been reading awesome zines (like Thou Shalt Not Talk About the White Boys Club by Sari) about punk culture that have really helped me realize how the patriarchal and white supremacist aspects of punk culture have brainwashed me into thinking I’m not a punk, rather than seeing that punk culture is exclusionary.
One point toward this- I assumed the Dead Kennedys was an all white band. I had no idea DH Peligro, the drummer, was black, until I watched Afropunk a few weeks ago.
My high school experience was pre-internet, in South Dakota. I can’t imagine to know what was in the mind of others, but I suspect they assumed Dead Kennedys was all white, too. I wonder wonder wonder what punks in my town might have thought if they knew that wasn’t true.
Even with the internet, I still hear “there’s no black people in rock” and “there’s no black people in punk.”
I still hear “there’s no black people in Fargo” and “North (and South) Dakota is completely white”, for fucks sake.
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