Q:Is it racist to suggest that race was a factor in that kid from Ghana getting accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools? Because seriously, with affirmative action these days, does this not give black people like him a leg up over whites? Is that not a simple fact that he had an advantage over white kids with equivalent qualifications? Given this, isn't the REAL racism against white people, especially those white kids who got rejected over him?
Dear Racists: I usually don’t like to answer when you write in with a cavalcade of lies, because just saying “no” over and over again to your bullshit can sometimes give the appearance that you have a point, or that people who aren’t racist are being defensive.
But sometimes, when real pieces of shit like you write in, I don’t know, it’s just fun. So guess what, you racist asshole, even taking your account of how affirmative action works (which is, like everything else you’re saying, a lie), isn’t it kind of pathetic that you can really only ever come up with this one example of how white people are allegedly discriminated against? Like, you’ll conveniently ignore, say, legacy admissions from institutions with a proud legacy of having been white only schools, or the fact that even well meaning teachers unconsciously favor white students, to just rail at “affirmative action.”
Well guess what, you shithead, your only trump card is completely bankrupt, you’re a racist piece of shit, and I’m sorry you were too stupid to get into one of these schools, trust me, you wouldn’t have hacked it there anyway (not that that shit is all that).
PS. I’m sorry you’re so stupid, but go fuck yourself, seriously.
But don’t worry, Walker and Republicans have a plan: make it harder for black people to vote.
backward our motto
The conversation about #CancelColbert was stupid, but probably not for the reasons you thought it was.
Look, I didn’t join in #CancelColbert. I thought the original tweet from the Colbert show was disgusting, discouraging, and disappointing, but I came to the conclusion that I didn’t believe Colbert’s show should be cancelled, so I refrained from participating in that campaign. But Suey Park and lots of other people came to their own conclusions that either the show should be cancelled, or that—even if it shouldn’t—an extreme call to action would generate more attention to a way-too-frequently overlooked issue (white liberal “wink-wink” racism). I disagreed with that, and I respect their opinions and right to do activism that way. Not “but,” “and.” There’s no contradiction inherent in respecting and disagreeing with someone.
But good grief, you wouldn’t know that from the way the internet’s blown up about it.
And this is why the conversation is so grotesquely stupid. Because the very instant the racist, sexist, hateful, violent backlash against the Asian American woman who started the hashtag began, the conversation should have stopped being about “extremists” and “hysterics” and “professional outrage” or whether there is merit and substance to attention-getting tactics.
If you haven’t been following Suey Park, pop over to her twitter mentions and just skim for a few minutes. Look at how people—presumably Colbert fans, right? The we-can’t-be-racist-we’re-Democrats folks?—are speaking to her. Racist slurs, sexist slurs, threats… violence and anger that are absurdly disproportionate to her “crime” of challenging the practice of giving white liberals a pass on racism. And she’s the out-of-control extremist.
Oh, but that’s “just Twitter,” right? Everyone knows thar’s trolls in them hills? Well okay, if you’re one of those folks who think that communication stops being a human interaction depending on the medium then we’ve got bigger problems, but no, it’s not “just Twitter.” Watch this HuffPost Live interview and see how the white male interviewer speaks to her. [Important note to self: become as impeccably poised and professional as Suey Park.] It’s a beautiful lesson in derailment: he ignores everything she says, refuses to move the conversation forward, demands she explain things she’s already explained, pretends she doesn’t understand what a joke is… He friggin’ calls her stupid! A guest on his show! And then whines with his friend afterward about what a bully she is.
But what’s the dismissal this time, that HuffPost Live is just a web show no one watches? How about a blog news network with an estimated 15 million unique visits per month? Oh yes friends, I do mean the Gawker network. Jezebel, true to form, ran a patronizing, whitesplaining article about how women of color need to calm down, not be so angry and over the top, not take every little thing so personally—in short, another classic example of how to derail an issue of racism into an issue of white people giving advice about the Right Way to put up with racism.
But wait! There’s even more, and it’s even worse. The same day, Deadspin ran an article with the headline, “G—s Don’t Get R—s Joke.”
I know, it’s like Wheel of Fortune in here with all these missing letters, but it is my damn blog and I will not be repeating those words here. If you’d like to solve the puzzle, that’s a slur for Asian people and the slur for the people of the First Nations currently used as the Washington football team name. Printed in the headline of one of the most popular sites on the internet. Because it’s a joke.
Because it’s such a hilarious fucking joke.
Until someone you’ve made the butt of that joke calls you out on it—then the “I’m not actually racist, I’m just joking about being racist” mask falls, and the gale of latent entitlement, superiority, and dominance blows full force.
At which point, after Ms. Park has clearly demonstrated that racism against Asian Americans is alive and well, how can your problem be with her tone? Continuing to make the conversation about her and her strategy of getting the internet’s attention, after all this, serves only as rationalization for abusers.
The conversation about whether Ms. Park is “histrionic” or whether her “over-the-top demands” are “divisive” and “counter-productive” is so, so, so, so not the point. It’s not the point. If you don’t care about the racism she and the broader community have faced in the purported defense of “satire” then you, my friend, are the divisive and counter-productive one. If you can look at this issue, at how this has played out in the real world in 2014 America, and think that Suey Park is the problem, then I do not know how to find common ground with you on this topic. I think that position is abhorrent.
It’s wrong to prioritize critique of the tone and tactics of oppressed groups challenging oppression, over challenging oppression. It’s wrong to think that someone’s tone or tactics justify the actions of the real histrionic extremists here: the white supremacist infants throwing tantrums about their right to dictate what is and isn’t racist. It’s wrong that comfortably observing and pointing fingers at what women of color are doing wrong whilst calling for “reason” from a cozy white tower of privilege is what passes for the sane middle ground.
I keep hearing this “just a joke” thing, as if I don’t understand that the point of Colbert’s bit or even the Deadspin headline is to use hyperbole to make a point. I know that it’s to get a rise. But if it’s so cool and edgy and satirical to make an over-the-top exaggerated display of a point of view you don’t agree with in order to highlight absurdity, then remind me why Suey Park is getting slammed with abuse for doing… exactly that?
The entire conversation is disheartening and embarrassing, but not for the reasons y’all seem to think.
Let’s talk about The Kumbayah Myth.
In the Kumbayah Myth, racism will just stop if everyone just started acting nice to each other, and the only reason we still have racism is that people are silly.
Part of the Kumbayah Myth is the erasure of history, violence and power. In this falsehood, either no one is really at fault, or, actually, EVERYONE is at fault, so everyone is equally bad. This actually exists only to make white people feel better and never have to change their behaviors.
Go look at Without Sanctuary and maybe read up on The Reconstruction and come back and tell me it’s all equal and IF ONLY Black people were nicer shit would have been different.
Now, let’s talk about this picture I linked. It says, “Love is Blind” and has a blind black woman and a blind Klansman walking across the street holding hands….
Well, even the symbolism fails, because:
a) The black woman is basically minding her own business
b) The blind Klansman DRESSED UP AS A KLANSMAN- even blind he still HATES PEOPLE.
c) AND WE’VE JUST EQUATED A BLACK WOMAN, by nature of simply BEING A BLACK WOMAN as equivalent to a murderous terrorist.
Oh. Ok. If only those damn Black women would stop being so Black, the KKK wouldn’t HAVE to lynch, murder and burn them in self defense.
You know, tit for tat, right?
But let’s keep going- the only reason, at least, we’d see this picture working is because HE DOESN’T KNOW SHE’S BLACK. Otherwise, he’d push her into traffic and claim, “I’m blind! I didn’t know what was happening!”
What the world needs is not more hugs. It needs you white people to stop killing people of color. It needs for you to stop defending murderers. It needs for you to stop equating dark skin as violent threat, and therefore, justifiable homicide in self defense. It needs for you to recognize that YOU, collectively, pull this shit, and no, it is not “equal”, there is no “reverse racism”.
Love is not blind. Hate is blind- it refuses to see what it does, it demands no one speak of it or say a thing. And it kills and conveniently forgets a moment later.
Then demands hugs and holding hands and singing kumbayah, and wonders why everyone is so mean to it.
But I don’t benefit from racism! And who does in the modern age?
The examples below are only illustrations of some of the ways people still benefit from racism:
- Your name. If it sounds Irish, Polish, French, Spanish, Belgian, Norwegian — no problem. Our names, if they sound “black”, are often reasons to toss our resumes without even calling us. If we resort to our initials, or names that do not “sound black”, then you can see the surprise on the interviewer’s face when they encounter a non-white face. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t pick your name, your parents picked it. It doesn’t matter that you don’t think it’s fair (and it’s NOT) that a Rebecca will get looked at before a Tamika; a Bobby before a Kwesi. You’re still benefitting from racism just by not being a person who can be identified as not-white by the name on your resume.
- Your pay. PoC, on average, get paid less to do the same job as anyone white (or white passing)
- The jobs themselves: Carnival’s failboat is a prime example. White-looking people get the good, customer interacting jobs, the ones that pay the most. PoC get the jobs that involve bussing tables, cleaning toilets, garbage, etc, and have to hope their meager pay is supported by generous tips. But any hotel or office building can shows the same breakdown.
- Your fashions: Your hair, whether it is curly, fine, thin, short, or long, is still considered appropriate for work. It’s getting to the point where even anime colours are not looked askance at anymore. Our hair, when not abused with chemicals and heat, is usually considered “political” if we wear it in a natural style. Or “unprofessional”. There are no less than 3 men on the supervisory and management teams at my job who cut off their locks because they knew that they would never progress with their ambitions unless they conformed to Corporate’s euro-style. That’s having to give up something with a cultural meaning to them in order to have a job they want and can do. I can’t count the number of women who, rather than go natural, have chosen to wear wigs to work, because either option is cheaper and less painful than bi-weekly trips to a hairdresser to chemically treat or heat treat their hair to make it look more like European hair.
- Shopping: If your skin is light enough, you can walk into a store and be treated like a customer. When the clerk, salesgirl, or whomever greets you with a smile and a “can I help you?” they mean it. They hope to find something you’ll spend your money on. And they will let you get on with your browsing. Not us PoC. When we walk in, we are often told, “can I help you?” with that same smile, but with practice we have learned to see the apologetic wince in the body language that means [sorry, but my bosses tell everyone to shadow you in the store in case you’re a thief]. And since a lot of white people, or white-passing people know this, the store gets robbed by the ones they’re not looking at. Doesn’t matter if you’re not really stealing. You benefit by being treated better just because of how you look.
- Shopping: Walk into a drugstore, a Wal-Mart, a Target, or a supermarket one day and check how many products there are for “everyone” vs how many products there are in the “ethnic hair care and/or cosmetics” section. Doesn’t matter that you like shea butter too. You benefit in that all the products are assumed to be okay for you, and the products marketed to us are a niche. Diversity is an afterthought. In skin and hair and face, you benefit by being treated as the default and the first type any company considers when they choose to whom to market their product.
- Driving: The term “driving while black” is shorthand for the fact that police, if seeing a black person — particularly a man — driving a car they think he should not be able to afford — he’ll get pulled over on suspicion of having stolen it, or only being able to afford it through being a drug dealer. You benefit bybeing able to drive your BMW or Mercedes home without anyone assuming anything about you. Real drug dealers benefit by being able to drive their cars full of cocaine home without being bothered by the police.
- Arrest: If you’re white, you can be as “fight the power” as you like. You benefit by the police being unwilling to knock around anyone white because you never know who has powerful relatives or friends. If you’re a person of color, you gotta go “yes officer” and loudly and politely and cooperate as noisily and clearly as you can, and you better pray somebody is videoing you, because if you sneeze, if you twitch, the police may decide you’re going for a gun and unload their entire clip on you.
- Just existing: Trayvon Martin is a prime example. He was visiting his father in the complex, but George Zimmerman didnt know that. And didn’t care. He also didn’t care that the police told him to not follow the unidentified Person of Color walking home with his hands in his pockets and his hood up (like anyone might in the rain). Mr. Zimmerman was convinced he was protecting his neighborhood from hoods and thieves and just bad black kids. That Japanese college student who turned up at the wrong address for a Halloween party and was shot dead without the homeowner even asking him anything is another good example. And the person who recently shot a Latin@ for daring to use his driveway as a turnaround. Then there’s the esteemed Ivy League professor who got harassed by the police trying to get into his own house. As a person who is or looks white, you benefit by never, ever having to worry that this will happen to you or anyone who looks like you .
- Your education: You can complain all you like about a Black History Month when there are History Months for multiple other White ethnicities and cultures. A quick google search will reveal them. That being said, the shortest month is given to Black People for their history. And our history is ignored entirely except during our month, even though there are Black and African people who have made significant contributions to American Industry, medicine, and countless other fields of study. You benefit by continuing to look good while the accomplishments of PoC (NDN and Latin@ and Asians) all get downplayed, glossed over, or flat out not mentioned at all.
Dear White Christians of Florida:
Far be it that I, a white clergyman who is not a lawyer, instruct you as to the illogical nature of your “stand your ground” license to kill but let us note something that is apparent now after two cases where your predominantly white juries could not agree to convict a man who admitted he killed an unarmed teen-ager: if you convict a person for attempting to murder ten teens but fail to convict the killer for actually killing a teen, then you have incentivized killing since, not only on the face of it but in actuality, you have told the person we will not convict you for killing a black, unarmed teen-ager but we will imprison you for attempting it.
The stench from your houses of worship is wafting its way across this country, polluting citizenship, demoralizing parents and families, mocking accountability and blaspheming the Holy God whom you say you love and worship. If that offends you, try reading Amos.
Here is my premise and I dare you to prove me wrong: if white Christians in Florida stood up and cried out for justice, demanding an end to the license-to-kill-stand-your-ground law, it would be rescinded immediately. Where is your conscience? Where is the little light you promised to shine for Christ? You have put it beneath a bushel and suffocated it. You know as well as anyone that teen-agers should not be killed for playing loud music. But then, we all know don’t we, that Jordan Davis was not killed for playing loud music. He was killed for being an uppity black kid who dared to smart off to a drunken white man with a concealed weapon’s permit.
Speak up, for Christ’s sake, for the sake of your conscience and because you know in your heart of hearts that had a black man killed your white son playing music in a car with friends, you probably would not have to be demanding he be tried because a mob of white folks would have administered mob justice. Shame. Shame. Shame!
White Christians of Florida, speak up for justice. Stand up and demand that this license for murder be removed from your books, from your lives. Stop defending it. It is but a few steps removed from lynching. And you recall, do you not, that the center of the Gospels is the story of the passion of our Lord who was lynched by Romans who perceived him as a threat? […]
Speak up for justice. Rescind Stand Your Ground for the blasphemous sham it is. Do it because were the roles reversed, you would want someone to cry out for your murdered child.
In the Name of the Murdered and Risen Christ,
Dr. Michael Bledsoe
Pastor Michael Bledsoe of Riverside Baptist Church, Washington D.C., “Dear White Christians of Florida: An Open Letter”
[emphasis added mine]
At least some white people get it.
Repeal Stand Your Ground laws and help bring an end to the brutal, perpetually open season on black children in this country.
After 40 years of impoverished black men getting prison time for selling weed, white men are planning to get rich doing the same things. So that’s why I think we have to start talking about reparations for the war on drugs. How do we repair the harms caused?
Funny how, as soon as Ryan mentions rural poverty, the idea that there are no jobs comes in right away. But when he’s talking about inner city poverty, it’s all about the lack of a culture of work. Even when the man is trying to deny racial overtones, they slip in.
This is the backtracking of a Republican who knows he’s been just a liiiittle more blatant in his racial pandering than he’d intended and is trying to stuff the genie of his real message back into the bottle of right-wing talk radio, out of the notice of the general public. But we know what you said, Paul. And worse, we got your meaning the first time.
Paul Ryan could never make his speeches about big cities in big cities. He has to use his coded, racist dog whistles in areas that approve that type of lazy rhetoric. Come to NYC, Paul. We’ll destroy you.
Most upsetting thing I’ve learned this semester: African Americans took thirty years to establish Seneca Village, NYC as an autonomous village with churches, homes, organizations where they could have freedom and exert political control. The village was destroyed by white backlash culminating in the creation of Central Park on that site to, which successfully erased it from the city’s history.
The fucking tears in my eyes right now.
A photograph from the 1870’s showing tens of thousands of bison skulls. They were mass slaughtered by the U.S. Army to make room for cattle and force Native American tribes into starvation.
Mass slaughter of buffalo and bison took place in Canadian territory as well, and was part of a deliberate campaign to break Indigenous resistance to (further) settler incursions onto Native land and the railroad. The removal of the buffalo also meant that when it came time to sign treaties, the Canadian government could more or less set any terms it saw fit and Indigenous leaders basically had to comply with them or their people would freeze and starve (that’s if gov officials even bothered to translate the actual terms of the treaty at all).
The “disappearance” of the buffalo is narrativized as part of a larger myth surrounding the “disappearing Indian” whose absence clears the land for the incoming white pioneers to take their place. The murder, destruction, slaughter of bison and buffalo was a tactic essential to the genocidal colonial project.
Q:Come now, don't throw around "racist" just because a 15 year old from NZ wrote a song about not relating to gold teeth. The girl is a great influence on pop culture. Im so happy that my younger sister has a teen she can look up to who encourages self respect and feminist thinking. Lorde isnt trying to deny any Black royalty by claiming her own. That said, Mumu kills it.
This is in response to this post (the link is to Mumu Fresh’s remake of Royals, which is, as onlytimeiknow, says, killer.) So, Royals was written by a teenage Lourde and Joel Little, at the time, a 30 year old man. They’re both from New Zealand, and I don’t have first hand knowledge of what racial politics are like in New Zealand, but I know what they’re like in America.
The original song sounds good. It is a good sound. It is well produced, and melodically pleasing, for all I know about music (which is nothing, keep in mind.) I originally was really into what I perceived as the anti-materialism message. And that’s the shitty thing about white privilege. You don’t even notice a lot of things that hurt people really badly. You can propagate things that hurt people really badly because you don’t feel it at all. Being white is being immune to race and the damage caused by racism.
The wikipedia article on the song describes it as a “response to everything that’s on pop radio.” But that’s not entirely accurate, is it?
I don’t remember who it was who pointed it out. It was someone on tumblr, and it was a reblog. I’ll paraphrase the quote, “the song is called Royals, but she’s singing about Cristal and gold teeth. How many royals do you know who drink Cristal and wear gold teeth? It’s a bait and switch.”
And that’s true. The song’s not anti-materialism. Rappers and hip-hop artists who have money because of the art they’ve made are not the problem with capitalism, and that’s who are being targeted by this song, if it is indeed a response to pop music.
And finally, I guess I’d like to address the term “throw around ‘racist.’” Lourde was 15 when she helped write this song, and 16 when she recorded it. That doesn’t excuse being racist. Being ignorant of racism doesn’t excuse racism. If she was a vector for a deadly disease, nobody would think that she should be sheltered from that knowledge just for being a teenager, let alone be allowed to propagate that disease.
I don’t believe it was Lourde’s intention to send an anti-black message, but you don’t have to intend to cause damage to cause it. Ask every drunk driver ever.
Being white and having a public voice is being a drunk driver. You probably shouldn’t do it, but if you’re going to anyway, you need to be careful to not cause any damage and to repair the damage you do cause.
In the instances when POC say shit like ‘Oh I can’t stand white folk’ or ‘Damn white people’, they aren’t saying ‘Oh I think they are inferior, I want to humiliate them, abuse them, enslave them and wipe out their people!’, they’re saying ‘Damn, after a couple hundred years of white people thinking I’m inferior, humiliating me, abusing me, enslaving me, and trying to wipe out my people, I don’t wanna deal with them.’ The context is completely different.
So Lantern Theater in Philadelphia has apparently screwed up royally with a racist “Japanese-inspired” Julius Caesar. Makoto Hirano, member of the Team Sunshine Collective and “actual Japanese person,” has penned a great response that should really be rules for keeping any of your shows from being racist.
Lantern Theater has issued this non-apology:
“One of the major goals of Lantern Theater Company has always been to foster dialogue and discussion among our audience. We have a long history of hiring actors of all backgrounds for Shakespeare roles, but our production of Julius Caesar has offended some people, and we want to better understand their concerns. I have reached out personally to Makoto as well as other members of the local theater and Asian American communities and am interested in hearing all points of view. I welcome the opportunity to further discuss diversity and cultural representation in the theater with anyone who has an interest in an open and direct exchange.”
Lantern, guys, you didn’t create a dialogue, you straight-up didn’t have one with ANYONE who could have helped you not make these mistakes, and that’s how you got into this mess.
This hits me in ways that are unimaginable
I just can’t not reblog this, every single time.
I’m fairly sure I have reblogged this before, but I cannot help but reblog it again. I see this and I weep. Truly sobbing at my computer because I see all of the faces of my 8th grade boys who have had to grow up too quickly because they’re black, poor, and male. I think about their lives and the lessons that I can’t teach them in my 45 minute writing class. I cry because I know that some of them will not survive the war that Javon speaks about in this poem. I cry because I care so deeply for my students, but no matter what I do I am just one more adult that cannot protect them from their surroundings.