The Big Business of Black Artists Who Play Racist for Clout
The Part About the Blogger
I know I’ve been on the internet too long when every article in my feed is about how to write better, longer, faster, and stronger. My mushy mind succumbs to the kind of clickbait I’ve spent years learning to decode and remix for media jobs.
“Easy” this. “Secret” that. The “one trick so-and-so never tells you” doubles as “the one mistake beginners (like you) can’t avoid.”
Unless I click them all, how can I know for sure?
My magic bullet reading habit got so bad I fell into the vortex of a blogger who, as far as I’d noticed, was the only Black voice in a sea of “Get Rich on Medium” screams. Of course, I hit the follow button and browsed his page.
The weakest, most regretful parts of me—the brain stem still fueled by immigrant parent shaming, the balled-up-fist-clutching-worn-bootstraps— got fooled by his headlines.
“The Reason You Keep Making Excuses For Your Failure to Write”
“How to Get Up Off Your Ass and Be the Writer You Pretend to Be”
“The Couch Will Always Lure You With Laziness. You Know What Won’t?”
How could I resist naked fear-mongering? Who was I to feel like I’d done enough? Like I was enough?
He took a page from the psy-op handbook on reinforcing childhood trauma and built a business model. Yes, he’s selling a course and touting his success and profits as evidence that you need to get like him.
Social media is lush soil for these scams. And even a platform for writers and readers isn’t immune from a grifter, the confidence man who swears his snake oil is the one that’ll lubricate you into million-dollar action. I can tolerate that up to a point. Sometimes, I seek it.
But when I peeled back a layer of unflagging conceit, used my discerning brain to read the work, inquired more of his social presence, understood the con, I kept noting a bold, dangerous claim. His cult needs divisive beliefs to grow even more. And he’s found the worst one to spread.