White people throw “edgy slave market” event in Denmark, because slavery is so fun!
July 24, 2017
Why do white people love re-imagining slavery so much? I mean, it’s not like the power dynamics have changed profoundly. But apparently the fact that Black people are still dehumanized and criminalized to such an extent that our children are killed routinely by their police–who then walk away without consequences time and time again–just isn’t enough.
Only days after Game of Thrones showrunners announced the “great” idea for an HBO show about an alternate reality in which the confederacy won the Civil War, Danish collective The Borderland is throwing it’s first annual “Edgy Slave Market” event, where participants can “come and get sold as a slave […] and experience ultimate freedom”:
According to its website, The Borderland is “a collaborative community where we co-create events and gatherings as prototypes for our dreams.” And, apparently, they love to dream about slavery.
As many users pointed out on the Facebook event, for the rest of us, slavery is neither a game nor something fun and exciting to be a part of.
Predictably, organizers defended the event by telling those who were offended to lighten up and reminding them that Black people weren’t the only ones to experience slavery. But the Danish slave trade has it’s own terrible history with the diaspora, a history that cannot be understated.
According to the Scandinavian Journal of History, Denmark’s ships transported approximately 100,000 enslaved Africans, about 2% of the total number, in the early 19th century. To this day, the country still has yet to come to grips with this past.
Kinks are a fascinatingly complex subject. As history illuminates, the policing of of the actions of consenting adults is often rooted in patriarchal ideas that are violent against women and queer people especially. But there is a line between a defending the rights of consenting adults and the violent exploitation of a marginalized experiences, and turning slavery into an “edgy” mocking of slavery, with the only defense against those who question your actions being that they need to get a sense of humor, crosses it.