“I’d call their strain ‘hipster-racism,’ which typically uses sarcasm as a cover.”
Zinzi Clemmons, a writer from Lenny Letter, announced on Saturday via Twitter that she’s walking away from the publication citing Dunham’s “well-known racism.” The TL;DR is this: Clemmons, who has been a contributor to Lenny Letter’s online newsletter, wrote “I have decided that I will no longer write for Lenny Letter. For all you writers who are outraged about what she did, I encourage you to do the same. Especially women of color.”
It was because of her relationship with Lenny Letter’s editors, Clemmons wrote, that she chose to stay until now, but said that it was Dunham’s reaction to the sexual assault accusations against a Girls writer made by actress Aurora Perrineau that incited her to leave. Clemmons cited examples of Dunham’s strain of “hipster-racism” that “typically uses sarcasm as a cover, and in the end, it looks a lot like gaslighting–’It’s just a joke. Why are you overreacting?’ is a common response to these kinds of statements. In Lena’s circle, there was a girl who was known to use the N word in conversation in order to be provocative, and if she was ever called on it, she would say ‘it’s just a joke.’ I was often in the same room with her, but I never spoke to her, only watched her from afar in anxiety and horror.”
Clemmons, a contributing editor to LitHub and author of the novel What We Lose, encouraged people to “hold Lena accountable” even if it means “sacrificing some comfort and a little bit of cash.” You can read the statement in full below.