Friday, June 8, 2012

10 Conversations On Racism I’m Sick Of Having With White People


This is a guest post by Dennis R Upkins, the author of Hollowstone.  You can find him on Ars Marginal, as well as on The Chronicle, and of course on his personal site.   This piece was originally published on People of Colour Organize and reprinted with the permission of the author.

The following are 10 conversations that I would be happy never to have with white peepul ever, ever, ever again. While there are countless others, these are at least 10 that I’m forced to endure far too often.

1) Racism Is Bad

This has been touched on before, but as sure as the sun will rise, whenever POCs are sharing their views or experiences on being on the receiving end bigotry and denigration, too often the default white response is something shallow and patronizing along the lines of, “Racism is just bad. Racism is so stupid.”

Really? Thank you Mr.-States-The-Obvious. Do you have any idea how condescending that sounds? Talk about adding insult to injury. That would be like someone going up to a mugging victim and telling them, “Stealing is just so wrong. Stealing is so bad. People shouldn’t rob other people at gunpoint. That’s just…naughty.”

I don’t need a pat on the head and be told what I already know. What I do need is for white folks to lecture OTHER white folks on how racism is stupid and bad, wrong and oh so naughty. What I need is for white folks to do is tell their racist cousin why it’s fucked up for them to hold a racial grudge against all Asians because their grandfather fought in Vietnam.

What I need other white folks to do is remind other white people that Arabs and Muslims were ALSO victims of 9/11.

How about doing that.

2) You Should Stay And Fight For Change

As a POC and an LGBTQ, I’m treated as 3/5 of a human being in this country, on a good day. Living in the Southeast, well….a lot of people are especially bitter about that Civil Rights business.

Too often when I express a desire to relocate above the Mason Dixon line to an area where bigotry is at least tolerable (for me, the next POC’s mileage may vary for valid reasons), or move to another country where I can actually marry who I want or not get treated like a pariah for having brown skin, I can count on some speshul white person lecturing me on why I’m under obligation to stay in an area I would sooner see nuked from existence than reside in.

“But Neo, there were black people who stayed and fought for change after slavery ended!”

Yes they did. And God bless them for it. And I’m not taking anyway from their contributions and sacrifices. Obviously their mileage varies. But POCs are not the Borg. There were also plenty of POCs who headed up north and out west for better opportunities. That isn’t to say there wasn’t bigotry and fail up north and out west but as far as lesser of the two evils go, it was the preferable choice. Because people conveniently forget that for those who stayed behind, they also had to contend with Reconstruction, Jim Crowe, the Klan, Tuskegee, the pushback for Civil Rights, Jena 6, church burnings during the 90s and 2000s, do I even need to continue?

I don’t need to be told where I’m under obligation to stay and fight. I’m intelligent enough to decide that for myself.

If speshul liberal white folks feel that strongly that I should stay and fight for change, why don’t they do the heavy lifting and actually do it so I won’t feel the need to flee like Lot. Why don’t they make dismantling institutional oppression, a top priority or for that matter, a priority.

Because to be lectured about why I should stay and fight for change in a place by privileged peoples who aren’t facing the same bigotry or denigration, comes across as immensely disingenuous and very suspect.

3) I Don’t SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Race!!!!!

Oh yes, this one is a classic. The discussion of racism comes about, those of the Caucasian persuasion have to profess how colorblind they are and how race doesn’t matter to them at all.

Now to be fair, I can see how this trips up otherwise well-meaning and good-hearted white folks. They recognize that racism is wrong (and this puts them ahead of many) and genuinely believe that they are treating people equally and not allowing race to be a factor in their dealings with others. And God bless them for that. They’re at least on the right track.

However, we’re don’t live in a colorblind, post-racial society. I wish to God we did. The institutional oppression that is racism is immensely prevalent and ignoring the problems and the issues will not make them go away.

A lot of people believe that if you ignore racism or don’t talk about it, it’ll vanish. But when Racefail pops off again, we’re all scratching our heads wondering why we’re still dealing with this nonsense.

So yes, continue to judge people on the content of their character and not their ethnicity but also be cognizant of the realities that too many of us face and those realities is that we live in a very racist and hateful society and do your part to change it.

4) Being Expected To Take It

Stop me if this sounds familiar.

“Ho hum Neo, that’s just the way So&So is. And they’re not going to change, so you’re just going to have to accept how they treat you, even if it is demeaning. And you know, do it with a smile.”

“Well Neo, that’s just the way things are, yes we live in the land of freedom and democracy and equality but you’re going to be discriminated against. You just have to accept it. And you know, do it with a smile.”

Ummm…….fuck you?   *smiles*

Anyone who thinks I’m obligated to simply take racism or being denigrated clearly doesn’t respect me as a human being and clearly not someone who is worth my time. And anyone who even suggests that I should put up with that crap, isn’t someone worth my time either. If you don’t tolerate being treated like a subhuman by others, you don’t get to qualify that for me and others.

Rather than demanding POCs to simply take it or “rise above”, why don’t white folks start shutting down bigots and demand them to stop acting like entitled demented sociopaths. Because if you harbor hatred towards someone because of their ethnicity, you’re a fucking sociopath. How about that for a change? And the fact that I’m having to take the time to explain why as a human being I shouldn’t have to put up with being insulted and demeaned and should be treated on equal footing as white people…..um….again….fuck you?

*smiles*

5) Conflating Racism For Classism

One of the most common tactics racist white folks will use to avoid getting checked on their privilege is conflating racism for classism as witnessed in this episode of bitchassness here. If they had it their way, they would have you believe that blacks were enslaved and endured Jim Crowe solely because they were poor and if they had enough money then they wouldn’t have to worry about bigotry or oppression.

Yes, these two often intersect, yes they often overlap. But racism and classism are two distinct issues. If it was simply about wealth and class, then Henry Louis Gates, a world renowned Harvard professor wouldn’t have been racially profiled and arrested by the police for entering his own home nor would there have been a coverup over the police report.

Barack Obama, another Ivy League educated black man and oh yeah president of the United States (and arguably the most powerful man in the world) has been on the receiving end of nonstop racist attacks. Now, if he’s enduring this level of racism (people still don’t believe he’s an American) from society, what chance does the rest of us have? Those of us who don’t have his resources, who don’t have the media watching our every move?

Yes, poor white immigrants and poor white people have suffered and do suffer and it is a legitimate issue that deserves to be addressed. No one’s disputing that. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. realized this and often reached out to poor white people. Because classism is an injustice, I don’t care what race you are. But it is not the same as racism. They have completely different dynamics at play. Both are legitimate but you can’t use the former to erase/dismiss/negate the latter.

So this whole mindset of I’m poor ergo I know alllllll about racism or have it just as bad or even worse than POCs is dead on arrival.

6) Erasing Racism From Racial Issues

Oh this is another failing that can especially be found among liberal anti-oppressionist white peepul. It’s no secret that when it comes bigotry, racism typically takes a backseat to these discussions. Bring up racism and racial issues and you can count on being shouted down with everyone tacking on ever other oppression, they’re personally invested in just to get out of dealing with their white privilege/white guilt.

Which by the by in regards to the concept of privilege, for those of you who have issue with the concept, READ THIS HERE.

In fact recently when I called out the racism that a WOC endured, I had some condescending white chick demand that I take white privilege out of the discussion.

Yes there is a thing as intersectionality. As a double minority, I’m acquainted with that concept quite well and this isn’t to say that other oppressions aren’t legitimate or don’t deserve attention, because they most certainly do.

But sometimes, it is about race. And sometimes, scratch that, often, white folks need to be reminded of that fact. Especially the self-proclaimed liberal white allies with a Miss Millie complex who suddenly think simply because they’ve read an essay or a blog entry written by a POC that the rules don’t apply to them.

7) Prove It To Me

A common ploy by conservative white people. Whenever racism is brought up and POCs share their perspective and their experiences, they demand proof. They like to set themselves up as Judge and God and we have the burden of proof.

Vampires: The Duty of Conformity


Many times in Urban Fantasy we see the various monsters and preternatural beings as a stand in for marginalised groups - and this is often extremely appropriative and skeevy in many kinds of ways as we have discussed.

But there is one message we see repeated in many of these TV series and books that certainly has parallels with both being marginalised or just different from the “norm”. The message of how to be appropriately “Other.”

So many of these stories cover supernatural beings integrating opening into a human society - and the measures they take to be accepted. In short, they are stories of how the alien Other manages to become part of society. And one message we see repeated in many of these is one of acceptability - one of conformity. The way the Other becomes part of the Mainstream is to become the Mainstream, to repress its otherness, even repress who and what they are.

We see this most strongly when there’s a romance in the air - usually with a human woman and a Musty Vampire. The Musty Vampires are nearly always contrasted against a vampire that is either evil or morally ambiguous at least - we have the vampire who is trying to be human, denying his vampirising against the vampire who embraces his own nature and doesn’t compromise to please the mainstream.

Obviously, many of these vampires have reasons to resist their nature - murder and mayhem being primarily among them - but the mustiness is taken to extremes and the contrast between them is large, almost exaggerated, to carry the full weight of the message - to be good, the Other most Conform.

Whether It’s Being Human U.S., or Being Human U.K., a good vampire is one who abstains from blood and associating with his own kind. The objective is to be as close to human as possible.  While being a vampire means a loss of control and most likely death to any human in the vicinity, to be truly understood as good one must maintain the model of conformity. In both of these series, Vampirism is an analogy for drug addiction, which in itself is problematic because of the appropriation of a human experience.

In Being Human U.K., Mitchell pays the ultimate price for his failure to conform by dying.  He commits suicide by werewolf by having his best friend George kill him.  Mitchell begs for death because he knows no matter how hard he struggles that he will always return to drinking blood and thus killing humans.  When you consider the analogy to drug addiction, what hope does this give those who suffer with the disease? It says that one is inherently damaged and that there is no hope. 
 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the Unwritten Rules: Ep. 3 "I Heard It Through The Cubicle"

The Unwritten Rules is back and this time, they are talking about the tendency of coworkers wanting to get up in your business no matter how many times you ask for privacy.  It also deals with the classic over share because we all know people who seem to think that we are interested in the intimate details of their lives.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Advocacy Differences


Mike is an 18 year female to male transman. He is currently studying psychology at The Evergreen State College between making quilts. He someday aspires to be a social worker, and in the mean time, he wants to fix the fact that not everyone is born with an inherent right to be themselves.   
I am a far better advocate for the transgender community than I am for the disabled community. And I know why. I pass pretty well now, and unless I tell people, they usually can’t tell that I’m a trans man. On the other hand, canes and wheelchairs are pretty easy to spot. In addition, it is apparently a mind blowing fact that sometimes I’m in a wheelchair and sometimes I use a cane, and sometimes I don’t use any mobility aids at all. It means that people ask me what happened whenever I wheel around and they haven’t seen me in my chair at all yet, regardless of whether or not I look like I have places to be. There is not a lot of consent involved in any transactions about my disability. Everyone is curious, and they want to know what is going on that I am in a wheelchair or using a cane.

I play a game on campus called Humans vs. Zombies in my wheelchair. It’s easier. There are a lot of stairs to run up and down. Stairs are absolutely awful for me, and they turn off the elevator for the games of Zombies. It is also agony to stand up for that long. Even if I’m having a good day, fibromyalgia wise, I like to use my chair. It’s a lot of vigorous activity and I like to not feel dead the next day. There was a girl who has seen me outside of my chair and probably saw me bumping it up the stairs outside of my dorm and she asked me if there was some tactical advantage to playing Zombies in a wheelchair. Yes, the tactics of not feeling dead the next day. There is absolutely no advantage to playing in a wheelchair. I can get going pretty fast on the smooth paving, but I still cannot run people down as well as the able bodied people can. In addition, I have to use the elevators (I get the key), which not only announce my presence but take absolutely forever. Usually by the time I get to the floor where everyone else is, I have to get back on the elevator and go to a different floor. It isn’t perfect, but I get to play. That is more than I can if I tried without my wheelchair.

Fat Girls Belong on The Pole Too

I saw this video of LuLu trying out for America's Got Talent and it appealed to me instantly.  LuLu is a dancer and from the moment she walked on stage in her two piece out fit the audience was shocked.


Review: Snow White & The Huntsman

I went into this movie not expecting anything positive, and I must say that it completely lived up to my low expectations. With the exception of a few action scenes, Snow White and the Huntsman essentially remained true to the fairytale which we are all familiar with.  There was some money spent on a few pretty good special effects, particularly the troll and the time they spent in the fairyworld and it helped to distract from the piss poor acting on the part of both Kristen Stewart and  Charlize Theron.  Having watched all of the Twilight movies to date, I didn't expect Stewart to do a great job, but I was disappointed in Theron, who won an Oscar for her role in Monster. For her part, Stewart spent the majority of the film with her lip trembling - a slight twist on her customary lip biting, while staring all big and doe eyed into a camera.  A concussed penguin would have had more personality than Stewart on film. Much of the time that Theron spent on screen she was screaming which gave her a character a single angry note.

Snow White's mother wished for a daughter whose skin was as white as snow, lips as red as blood, hair as black as a ravens wings, with the strength of the rose that she pricked her finger on. Shortly thereafter Snow White was born.  All was well and good until the queen died during a harsh winter.  The king mourned his wife, until one day he was drawn out to war.  The forces of the opposition were magical and they were quickly defeated by the kings forces.  The king discovered Ravenna chained in a carriage, and was so overcome with her beauty that he married her the next day.  As they lay in bed, she told him about how men use women and suck the life out of them, just before she thrust a dagger into his heart. With the king dead, it was easy to overrun the castle and imprison Snow White.  In the years that followed, Ravenna consumed the youth of the villagers to maintain her strength -- until one day -- the mirror told her that now that Snow White had reached adult hood that she was more fair than her.  Thus began Ravenna's mission to kill Snow White. 

In order to add a twist to the story, Snow White's escape was wrapped around the idea of the people rebelling under Ravenna's oppression.  Essentially, Snow White became the chosen one that everyone adored virtually on sight, to the point of pledging their lives to her service. Even the vicious troll did not have it in his heart to kill or otherwise maim Snow White, so enthralled was he with her heart and her beauty. Snow White didn't have to do a damn thing to earn their loyalty, but be born a special snowflake. This is hardly a positive re-envisioning of the classic tale.  Her only personality trait throughout the movie was the pureness of her heart.  Do we really need another movie promoting the pureness and beauty of White womanhood? 

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Luka Rocco Magnotta's Sexuality and Violence Do Not Go Hand in Hand

 
I have been following the news regarding the alleged murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta. For those who have not heard of him, Magnotta was recently arrested at a German internet cafe, for allegedly killing his lover and mailing body parts to Canadian politicians.  According to the CBC, Magnotta "faces charges of first-degree murder, committing an indignity to a dead body, publishing an obscene thing, and mailing obscene matter."

Obviously, what this man is accused of is absolutely horrendous.  If he is guilty, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of Canadian law; however, his sexuality should not be part of this discussion.  Magnotta is a gay man and he is alleged to have killed his Chinese immigrant lover.  Part of the reason that this has become such a sensation in Canada, is because of the politicians he threatened, including the right dishonorable Stephen Harper; however, the constant mention of his sexuality is disturbing.

If Magnotta did indeed commit the crimes that he is accused of, his sexuality didn't make him do it, but reading the news stories about this case, as well as watching televised media, one would be led to believe that there is some sort of connection, because there is a constant reference to the fact that Magnotta is gay.  The reporting on crimes committed by historically marginalized people is always treated differently in the media, to those of privileged people, but this is the first time that I personally have seen the constant juxtaposition to this level of violence and sexuality. 

I am certain that part of this fascination is built upon the false idea that gay men are predatory. The media, no matter how often it claims to be neutral, is guilty of enforcing harmful stereotypes in its reporting.  Crimes that are committed by privileged White men for instance, are constructed as an aberration from the norm, and there is no repeated reference to their race in the reporting.  Though Magnotta is White, he is marginalized by his sexuality, hence the repeated reminder that he is a gay man, as though this in any way factors into a reason for his alleged actions. 

While I am disgusted with the reporting on this issue, what I find interesting is the similarities on how this crime is being discussed in the media, to crimes committed specifically by Black people.  When the accused is a visible minority, the media drives home the point, and it not only "others" the accused, but frames race as a causation of the violence, without looking at systemic issues which are far more relevant to criminal activity.  The reporting serves to elevate Whiteness and to push the idea that Blacks are uniquely violent and people to be feared and institutionalized. 

Nostalgia doesn’t look, nostalgia denies


This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky. 

In these hard days, it’s tempting to think back to happier times. After all, things are so hard and awful at the moment - there’s no money, we’re tightening out belts, arseholes are everywhere – time to indulge in some gentle reminiscing. Never far away, the tides of nostalgia have become especially strong lately.

In fact, recently in the UK we have had the Bishop of London lamenting deeply how terribly immoral we are – and wishes to return to the simpler, better days of 60 years ago.

And Sparky does not approve.

I hate Nostalgia. Yes yes I do. Nostalgia is blinkered, it’s more heavily edited than Fox News and about as distorting. And it’s privileged, deeply, unbelievably, privileged.

When I hear the older generation mutter on about the 50s (or, ye gods, the 40s – the 40s? Because the Blitz was so much fun, right?) and even my parents reminisce of the 60s I have to fight the urge to roll my eyes or, at least, snidely say “well for you maybe!” Because for marginalised people? Yeah, the past was not a happy fun time and if you’re remotely historically aware, you should know that unless you’re a wealthy, cis, straight, white, able bodied man, the last thing you’d want is a time machine trip to the past – even if it did include spending time with a sexy sexy Doctor.

We have come a long way. Now, that’s in no way shape or form a suggestion that we’ve arrived at equality or are even remotely close to reaching it – we’re not, not at all. And a lot of people like to point to past progress as some kind of excuse to stop or, worse, to shame people for keeping pushing. The “aren’t you happy yet!?” argument is sadly alive and well. But, acknowledging we have a lot further to go, we have come a long way. In the last 50 years most equality movements have taken considerable strides to an extent that all but the bigoted would look back at the prejudice of the past and cringe at how truly vile it was.

Gun Range Hosts Birthday Party for Eight Year Olds

'S&W Pre 34 22/32 Kit Gun 1950's' photo (c) 2006, Stephen Z - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As a Canadian, I simply do not understand the American fascination with guns.  I don't buy the ridiculous justification that guns don't kill people, people kill people.  The presence of a gun escalates any situation, and anyone holding a gun is more likely to perceive that someone else is also holding a gun.  This weekend, we had a shooting at the Eaton Center in Toronto that left most people in absolute shock.  We have strong gun control laws in Canada, and our problem right now is with illegal American guns slipping across our border. 

I have never held a gun and intend to go my entire life without doing so.  We teach our children that guns are a serious matter and can lead to death.  We don't allow them to play with toy guns, nor do we allow them to play video games that exalt gun violence. We believe that this sort of thing normalizes guns and the violence that often results when guns are involved. This is why I was absolutely disgusted when I learned that a shooting range in Texas plans to hold birthday parties for kids.

A new gun range opening this summer in Lewisville, Texas, will have two rooms available for hosting children's birthday parties. Owner David Prince tells WFAA that the Eagle Gun Range will be available for children as young as eight years old.

"The age limit is eight years old. You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table," Prince said. "They're not gonna be left unattended. Parents are gonna be one-on-one, or if there's not enough parents we'll have range safety officers here to show them how to do it safely."[source]
Birthday parties are celebrations and I cannot for the life of me understand any justification to include a gun. Even more importantly, children that young have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality and this means no matter how many times that they are told that guns are serious, many won't be able to make the connections that are necessary.  Furthermore, having an introduction to a gun at a party
negates the idea that guns are to be taken seriously.

Game of Thrones, Season 2, Episode 10: Valar Morghulis

Season Finale of Game of Thrones! Wow that passed quickly! Just in case you’re getting lost, here’s another link to HBO’s excellent guide to the series.

After being injured in the last episode, Tyrion wakes up, heavily bandaged and calls his serving boy Pod to tell Varys and Bronn that he’s alive (awake 2 seconds and he’s already thinking of politics). While he was unconscious his room was moved – and he is no longer Hand of the King (since he was only holding the rank until Tywin appeared).

In the throne room, Tywin rides in on a white horse (thankfully they don’t have carpets so it’ll be easy to clean up after) while Joffrey pretentiously welcomes him, thanks him for saving the city and names him Hand of the King. I’m vaguely hopeful about the possibility of Tywin – who doesn’t suffer fools easily – strangling the little monster at the earliest possible opportunity. Indeed Tywin already makes this clear by saying “ta for that” and riding out again.

To reward Baelish (oily little squit) for getting the Tyrells  on side he gets Haranhall, the big impressive dragon-fired castle. It also earns a venomous side-eye from Varys.

And Loras Tyrell is asked to name his reward for bringing his house in support – and Loras asks for Joffrey to marry his sister, Margaery.  Margaery assures everyone that’s what she wants. He protests that he’s promised to another (Sansa) – but the small council (so says Cersei) says it’s wrong for him to marry the daughter and brother of traitors anyway (and Margaery is, politically, a more powerful and useful match). Cersei asks him to set Sansa aside. Pycelle speaks up on behalf of the Septa as well assuring Joffrey he has no duty to marry Sansa (it seems Joffrey is eager to keep Sansa to abuse  after all, she has no champions. He cannot abuse Margaery in the same way he does her). Joffrey agrees to marry Margaery.

Sansa leaves the room, apparently distraught but once her back is turned she starts laughing – until Baelish turns up to offer condolences – and to tell her that she’s not safe. Just because she’s not betrothed to Joffrey any more doesn’t mean he won’t abuse her – and beat and rape her. Not being her fiancé doesn’t mean he won’t touch her. As ever, Baelish is obsessed with Catelyn the Spunky and because of that he will help Sansa.

Meanwhile, Varys is meeting Ros in a brothel (it’s been a while, but Game of Thrones will always return to the brothels) and Ros begins to strip (I think the actor who plays Ros may get a reflex where she starts to disrobe every time a camera is pointed at her) until Varys tells her not to. He instantly begins to question Ros about Lord Baelish – and seeing the potential in Ros beyond just being a prostitute. He also says that he doesn’t tolerate his servants being abused (and I actually believe him, as he’s one of the few people in the show who appears to be decent and not foolish. It’s a short list.) Baelish has made a very bad enemy.

Varys goes on to meet with Tyrion and inform him that during the battle his sister tried to have him killed and that’s why he was attacked and hurt. Bron has also been relieved of command of the city watch as well, the gold cloaks are now in Tywin’s hands. The Hill Tribesmen he hired have also left. At least Varys acknowledges that Tyrion is the only reason Stannis didn’t win the battle – but no-one else will. Shea joins him to examine Tyrion’s wound- he thinks she should charge him double for being scarred and a dwarf, which offends Shae deeply because she is not there for the money. Shae urges him to leave Kings Landing since he can trust no-one there – she wants to flee to Pentos. But he won’t – he’s too good at the politics and he enjoys the politics so much that he can’t bring himself to leave. Shae refuses to go without him.

Brienne, at the behest of Catelyn the Spunky and in the absence of anything even remotely resembling common sense is escorting Jaime Lannister home. He continues to banter with her – especially sexually. They find 3 hanged women with the sign “they laid with lions” attached – probably hanged as collaborators for being friendly with Lannister soldiers. Brienne ties Jaime up, intending to bury them and three men (who will probably die soon) approach mocking Brienne. She pretends Jaime is a thief being taken to justice at Riverrun. Despite that, one of them recognises Jaime – and he has a great method for testing if they’re lying. Brienne kills 2 of them quickly – and 1 of them slowly, just like the three hanged women while Jaime looks on looking rather poleaxed. Oh I like her. Then she buries the hanged women.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

White Teacher Calls Child Nappy Headed

I most certainly was not surprised when I heard that a White female teacher decided to tell a 13 year old girl in her class, to "sit your nappy-headed self down."  Of course, the fellow students in Brea Persley's class laughed, thus shaming the child. The teacher later called to apologize but the parents were not satisified, and booked an appoint with the principal which lead to Brea being removed from the school with three weeks to go in the school year. According to the Persley's the principal claimed to be "happy" that this happened and further went on to comment, “bad things need to happen to mean kids.”



To be clear, there is never any circumstance in which it is appropriate for a teacher to ever speak to a child in her charge in this manner.  The fact that it came from a White woman further makes her comments racially charged. Hair for Black women is a very sensitive issue and something that we have to deal with from a very young age. Having nappy hair and of itself is not a bad thing, but the manner in which the teacher framed her comment suggested that nappy hair was not beautiful and in fact something to be laughed at and ridiculed.  It was a case of a teacher not only exercising her adult privilege but most certainly her racial one.  She chose a characteristic known to be harmful and apologizing after the fact does not erase the harm done. Of course, she didn't mean it that way though.

I'm Sorry For Killing Your Daughter

The following video deals with a trans man's feelings about his father after transition.  I present it to you without comment as it is outside of my experience.


transcript below the fold.

The default setting is not set to ‘inclusive’

Biyuti is a bakla Filipina living on stolen Algonquin land. He works to sustain and increase the biyuti of the world through decolonization and through her explorations of the intersections of race with queerness/gender. She also blogs at The Biyuti Collective and you can find her on Twitter: @JustBiyuti

I had someone ask me not too long ago about how I thought the language of the trans* movement was exclusionary or erased PoC. A little bemused, I essentially pointed them to my posts here because it is practically all I've been talking about. In the course of answering, however, I said something, the truth of which still makes me feel something I can't quite describe.

What it was, was that the language of the trans* movement is so full of erasure and marginalizing of some narratives that it took me until about a year ago to even realize that the 'movement' thought that it had been including people like me this entire time.

I began my posts at Womanist Musings talking about gender imperialism. One of my sources was the call out for the first SF trans march. A callout that haphazardly lumped bakla with a bunch of other non-western and western identities. This is what I'm talking about. The trans movement thought it was including people like me.

The way that the movement and the trans* umbrella conceives itself, the fact that I belong (or that they think I do) is something that is taken for granted. Simply assumed. White trans people stay assuming that by doing what they've been doing and by building the community they've built, this bakla girl would simply skip under their umbrella and live happily ever after.

Apparently Donald Trump Isn't Racist, Because He Picked Arsenio Hall

To be clear, I am firm believer that once someone amasses a certain amount of money that they are generally speaking probably not a nice person.  This is especially true in the business world where to become a success one must tread directly on top of others.  I watched The Apprentice religiously until I became aware of Donald Trump's obvious bigotry. It's fair to say that at the very least that this man is a homophobe and a racist.

The question of where Obama was born has long been settled to any reasonable person, but like a dog with a bone, Trump refuses to let it go.
'I'm With Arsenio' photo (c) 2010, TheDorkReport - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Donald Trump's bizarre racism defense: I’m not a bigot, my show’s latest winner is black.

The billionaire blowhard offered that zany explanation after critics blasted his new birther rants as race-baiting.

In an address at the North Carolina State Republican Convention, Trump said the outcome of this season’s “Celebrity Apprentice” shows he’s no racist.

“Somebody said, ‘Oh, because I brought up the birth certificate, I’m a racist,’ ” Trump said Friday.

“I said, ‘How can I be a racist? I just picked Arsenio Hall.’ ” [source]
I know that there are sell outs who would be happy to be used this way, but I am quite sure that Arsenio is not one of them.  We are after all talking about a man who refused to tap dance because of how it would appear as a Black man. Despite his class privilege, Hall has made it clear that he is racially conscious.