I wanted to reach out to all of the people I had befriended while doing the Dixon D. White challenge with a PSA. It’s very hard to tell sincerity online and the ability to manipulate an image that one has craftily created, especially if one is articulate and fairly talented is unfortunately quite easy in our digital world.
When I first saw Jorge Moran’s (Dixon’s) initial video about racism, I was impressed with what seemed like raw honesty about an issue people of color (PoC) have been grappling with for centuries; that sincerity might still be present in some semblance, but there were many things about Mr. Moran that I found highly problematic. As a woman, especially a woman of color who is often objectified and sexualized, it’s very important that we feel safe when dealing with any man, let alone a man who initiates contact under the guise of discussing an important socioeconomic/political issue.
Jorge made it clear at the outset that he didn’t really want to discuss racism with me! Any doubts as to his intentions were silenced when, upon coming to New York a few weeks ago to receive an honorary membership to a “change” coalition at the Tribeca Film Festival and a $5k award, he promptly invited me to spend the night at his hotel room. This is after having ONE telephone conversation where I tried to keep the dialogue centered on political issues. He candidly confessed he was living with a woman (FYI, black of course) whom he’d been in a relationship with for years so I’d “know what I was getting myself into” but claimed the relationship was over because they only loved each other 40%.
I did agree to have lunch with him once he arrived in New York, not wanting to judge and hoping, perhaps naively, that he was indeed dedicated to the cause and was just, unfortunately, being a “man”. During lunch he admitted that the group he’d met with had wanted him to “ham it for the crowd”, to play up his redneck accent, that of course is “put on”; that although his profile says he’s in New Orleans, he’s really in Orlando; that it was clear the mostly white members he was meeting with didn’t really want to talk about race, but he didn’t want to “ruin things for himself”. He told me that he liked passive women. He spoke glowingly, almost wishfully of a Hispanic roommate that he lived with who was a shameless manipulator and womanizer; he spoke of how “amazingly great” it was that he could con so many women out of their money, and how impressed he was with him. When I dropped him off at the place where he was going to have dinner with his group, he asked me in the car if I had ever “danced” – I was confused until I realized he meant stripping. Though I had initially been invited to hear him speak at the Tribeca Film Festival, the only invite forthcoming from Jorge was to his hotel room, and a few passes to see some films if I was interested. I left his presence more than a little skeptical.
A few days later, after not having spoken at all, I received a text message at 11:30 pm asking “how I was doing” which I didn’t respond to. A few days after that I received another asking if he was in the friend zone, asking me to be brutally honest because he was sexually attracted to me but would be okay to be my “friend”. I tried to avoid what I viewed as these intrusive, inappropriate questions by stating simply that I did not know him.
Fast forward to the present, Dixon creates a thread stating he LOVES different ideas and opinions and asking for thoughts. I make the mistake of responding with my ideas. I get a call from Dixon the next day stating unequivocally, as if he was talking to a child that: he would not be lectured, publicly attacked or challenged by me; that if I had something “negative” to say to him I was to do it privately. His invite to opinions was a rouse and he wanted to control how people responded to him; I told him as much and he told me that if I didn’t do as told, he would unfriend and block me…which this morning he did. Actually, “Dixon” has unfriended and blocked many people who have simply expressed opinions on their experience with racism, which as a PoC, we have more of a right to do than “Dixon”. “Dixon” has threatened that he has a friend in the CIA that can make anyone’s life hell if they DARE mess with him. “Dixon” confessed to me that the person he attributes to make him hate racism, who bullied him relentlessly growing up is his own father — the man he works for, is financially dependent on, and has been since he left college.
Childhood trauma is a terrible issue for any adult to grapple with, but it is my opinion that Jorge is trying to resolve his childhood issues with his father on a public platform, and we are all just along for the ride. As an emotionally scared child inside, he’s a scared man that cannot abide by any independent thought, which he always perceives as threatening to a very fragile sense of self. No one of us are perfect, but projecting our issues onto others and attacking them for it is one of the most dysfunctional things an unhealthy person can do.
Please be mindful of self proclaimed “leaders” with their own agendas.