I just don’t get it. I am an academic, a writer, and a blogger, and in all three of those pursuits, when I write about an idea that other people have also written about, I refer back to them. In blogging, it doesn’t take nearly as much as it takes in, say, academic writing. All you have to do is say, hey, people are talking about this, so-and-so over here wrote about it, these folks here are talking about it, and I want to add this to the conversation or build on this idea. Even journalists, who frequently do not cite sources as thoroughly as academic writers, do this. As X herself says, these are issues that people are writing about. So why the refusal to refer to her sources?
I think what happened is that she felt she didn’t have to cite her sources - quite a lot of people don’t cite their sources, and she’s hardly alone. But she got called on it, and it’s embarrassing. The classy thing to do would be simply to say, “yes, quite right, I neglected to cite these sources, here they are, here are links so that you can check out their good work, sorry about that.”
On a different note is what you are doing, Hugo. You’re suggesting that when a white feminist addresses issues of women of color, then, by golly, that’s all that matters. Further, your conflation of the Seal blow-up with this issue is simply inaccurate and fairly insulting. You are defending X’s professional integrity at the cost of BFP’s. You are essentially suggesting that women of color are only upset (and, FYI, contrary to your assumption, there are plenty of us white women who are upset on their behalfs, as well) because they’re not getting published. You’re making it about personal gain. You’re worried about professional reputations, and they’re worried about the social change they’re trying to effect, the change that is being stalled by white women twisting their words and denying their realities.
But you are right that there are some of the same dynamics operating in both of these instances, as well as in this very thread, which involve white folks tuning out people of color and not taking their work seriously enough to even think that perhaps, just maybe, it deserves to be acknowledged and given proper credit. Instead, the body of BFP’s work - which was really incredible - has been winnowed down to this one speech, as if she hadn’t been writing about these issues all this time, as if she hadn’t had a tremendous influence.
Update: Still more on this.