Earlier this month, writer Ijeoma Oluo and author of So You Want to Talk About Race was targeted by a swatting hoax after her personal information was posted on a swatting site. While no team was deployed, Newsweek reported at the time, the experience was traumatic, especially because Oluo’s teenage son was at home alone sleeping at the time of the attempted attack.
For the Guardian, Oluo wrote about her experience in the face of police officers who told her to “stay quiet” until the threats died down. “If I let this work go in order to avoid paying that price, every other price of existing as a black person in America still waits for me and my family,” she writes. “It does not go away. It does not make my sons more safe. It does not make me more safe.” As Jezebel reporter Anna Merlan documented in a piece for the site after trolls were threatening to swat her, police officers can often be inept when it comes to protecting women targeted online.
While Oluo says she has been supported by a community of love, she makes it clear that this swatting incident is not a one-time ordeal that has a definite end, despite what law enforcement may believe. “I do not believe that white supremacy will allow me to ‘take a break’ and then get back to the fight for liberation when things calm down,” she writes. “I do not believe that white supremacy will settle for anything less than my silence.”
Read Oluo’s full essay here.