Someone tried to tell me this weekend that Black people needed to stop focusing on their Black identity and can’t we all just get along because we’re all human beings, you know, he doesn’t look in the mirror and see a white man, he just sees a human being! I was like, “Well that’s male privilege to say…” and he cut me off and went “Male privilege is bullshit, female privilege is what’s hurting us! Feminists just want special perks!”
Cue me slowly backing away…
But yeah. Calling for non-white people to just shut up about race stuff because it’d be more “peaceful” (AKA wouldn’t require white people to examine our privilege or change any part of a system that disproportionately benefits us) is total privilege bullshit.
Basically a typical White person’s one-dimensional take on race and racism.
Here’s a mini-rundown of everything that’s wrong with that note. I’m doing this so you don’t have to.
- The bitch put blackface in quotes like the shit doesn’t exist.
- She used the “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” argument. (Pretty sure I can judge the shit out of your book when you put a white girl in BLACKFACE on the damn cover.)
- She said, and I quote, “the premise is all too believable in the face of extreme global warming.” … The fuck?
- Her explanation for the above statement: “If global warming results in a meltdown of the ozone layer many things would change, including the inability of those with little melanin in their skin to survive the blistering effects of increased deadly solar radiation. […] In Revealing Eden, “The Heat” (basically, skin cancer) wipes out the majority of people with light skin. Then people with dark skin are in the majority. In this future world, because those with fairer skin suffer a debilitating, perhaps fatal condition, they are considered second-rate.” …So white people will be oppressed because they get skin cancer. Right…
- She also mentions that if the main character (the white bitch on the cover in blackface) doesn’t fine a “mate” by 18 she’ll be killed. Why will she be killed you ask? The fuck if I know! That shit doesn’t get explained.
- She honestly believes that because her main character uses blackface because she “wishes” she was black and not to make fun of black people, that makes it a-ok. (Is you serious right now? You can’t wash away decades upon decades of historical context just because you wished really hard.)
- She uses the term “blacks” instead of black people. (I AM NOT A GOD DAMN ADJECTIVE!)
- Her explanation for the coals and pearls bs? “Imagine a gritty, post-apocalyptic world where all that matters is survival. What good will a pearl do you when luxury items have no use? Coal has energy, fire, and real value. It is durable and strong, not easily crushed like a pearl. Pearl is a pejorative term here. Coals are admired.” Once again, historical context homie! You can’t make that shit disappear just because you want it to.
- She admits to turning the black love interest of her blackface wearing main character into “the first hybrid man-beast.” (Say it with me now kids: HISTORICAL CONTEXT! I mean shit, it’s not like black folks, more specifically black men, have been historically compared to and used like pack animals! FUCKING REALLY!)
- In book two (yes there’s a god damn book two) she wants the blackface wearing bitch and her half-human/half-animal, walking stereotype of a black man to “restart the human race like Adam and Eve.”
- She professes that she “abhors racism” and wished to “turn racism on its head in order to portray its horrors and its inevitable road to violence.” (…And you couldn’t do that without the blackface and stereotypes?)
- She then goes on to gush about all the awards she’s won. (Those plaques on your wall don’t mean shit boo boo.)
- She ends this clusterfuck with a quote from Emily Dickinson.
There you have it. Victoria Foyts bullshit all summed up in 13 points. I read it so you didn’t have to.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT I AM READING.
WHAT IS IT ACTUALLY.
“To condemn any book on the basis of its cover is hardly different than condemning a total stranger because of the color of his/her skin”
YES. BECAUSE TO CALL YOUR RACIST PIECE OF SHIT BOOK COVER A RACIST PIECE OF SHIT COVER IS *EXACTLY THE SAME* AS SYSTEMATIC OPPRESSION THAT LITERALLY KILLS PEOPLE EVERY DAY.
“this book is meant to provoke the white community that has never experienced racism or been oppressed because they have been in the majority in this country”
THE WHITE COMMUNITY HAS NEVER EXPERIENCED RACISM OR BEEN OPPRESSED NOT NECESSARILY BECAUSE THEY ARE THE PASSIVE MAJORITY, BUT BECAUSE THEY ACTIVELY WORK TO SUBJUGATE AND, YUP, OPPRESS RACIAL MINORITIES.
SEE FOR EXAMPLE: MEMBERS OF SAID COMMUNITY WRITING BOOKS IN WHICH THE WHITE HERO LEARNS HOW SPECIAL HER WHITENESS REALLY IS.
…. ALSO, YOUR SCIENCE IS THE KIND OF SCIENCE THAT ISN’T. AT. ALL.
It’s a little long, but so worth the watch. And the AAPAC folks are unbelievably flawless.
As Americans, we constantly talk about the supposed danger that black boys pose in the society. When black boys commit crimes, it is an indictment of the entire demographic of black boys in the country. But we don’t talk about the danger white boys pose. And when they commit heinous acts, which is pretty regularly, we don’t cast aspersions on the entire demographic. We treat their actions as individual, as exceptions, even when the acts are remarkably consistent.
And god forbid we talk about how boys are socialized and how strict patriarchal and hypermasculine demands and violent forms of media indoctrination turn our boys and men, whatever their color, into walking war zones.
—Son of Baldwin (via sonofbaldwin)
Okay. I’m going on another rant here and forgive me, but I saw something that just irks me so, and I’m feeling the need to grab people and shake them and beg them to just understand please.
So I’m reading various things on tumblr, related to Legend of Korra, the portrayal and representation of dark-skinned characters in fiction, and the question that comes around is: Why is this even important?
Let me answer that for you.
Okay, so I have a boyfriend. He’s black, and like me, he’s into cartoons, anime, tv shows, etc. On his facebook, he keeps an gallery of images of dark-skinned characters. Doesn’t matter if they’re Egyptian, South American, Indian, etc. Just dark-skinned characters in general. A friend once asked him why this gallery exists in the first place, and bf answered how they were all positive portrayals of black/dark characters in anime/video games/cartoons.
That someone, who was Caucasian, was like, oh, and simply though it was a small quirk, little hobby, something my bf does when he’s bored.
For bf and me, who are both persons of color, that gallery means much more than a quirky hobby. I can’t explain it well, but basically, it’s a huge deal for us, particularly him. It’s a collection of the few black/dark characters in fiction, it’s representation, it’s him seeing people who look like him be scientists and geniuses, do martial arts, kick ass, look beautiful, be human; it’s people who are dark-skinned be valued and be deep, developed characters and have their own stories and desires and goals; and it’s so damn rare in fiction that he has a gallery of about only 50 characters and that’s it. Compared to, say, the hundreds of thousands of light-skinned characters.
My bf, he’s a writer. He wants to one day make books and tv shows and movies where the main character will be anything other than a straight white male character. He’s making his life goal to do so.
Because growing up and even now, still, he was loved seeing characters that are black like him. Loved characters that looked like him getting to be heroes, go on adventures, save the day, be cheered on and loved - showing him that little kids like him, black kids, kids of color, can do anything they want and they are just as good as the white kids who are already heroes and adventures and princes and princesses and whatever the hell there is to be. In a society where he eventually grows up to tell me, one day, when we were out for a drive, how to respond if I ever get pulled over by a cop, to be respectful and calm and make no sudden movements - he doesn’t know if it’s different for Asians but still, be safe - and he has to do all this, be extremely careful simply because he’s black…well, it’s something when black/dark characters are portrayed as anything other than dangerous or expandable or a bunch of horrid shit.
And then there’s me, who’s Chinese and tans easily and, along with my dad, is the darkest in the family. And let me tell you how screw-up colorism, light-skin-is-better-than-dark-skin mentality is, because there’s my mom (pale) who looks down on my dad for having olive skin and would hush hush tell me when I was younger how ‘dark’ my dad was and how ‘dark’ his family was, it was such an unfortunate thing, let’s hope that I don’t turn out like them, and made it as if their being ‘dark’ (at most an olive skin tone, geez) had something to do with all their flaws and whatnot. And then she goes through the trouble of wearing gloves when driving just so her arms wouldn’t get tanned and take out an umbrella when going outside on a sunny day. And I grow up in this setting, being told how pretty I would be if only I was pale like her.
I hate it. I hate all that and love it whenever I see somehow who is olived-skinned or dark-skinned and they were beautiful - considered beautiful, are beautiful-, and I would know that I am pretty too. And I hope no kid would ever grow up in a screwed-up environment like that and they can look everywhere and see that their dark skin is beautiful, desirable as well.
So, Korra. Dark-skinned Korra, gorgeous and headstrong and desirable and powerful and Avatar, protector of the whole world - it’s one of the first time a dark-skinned character has been portrayed as so, main character of such a beloved mainstream TV-series. (My bf loves Legend of Korra and its predecessor series before it. I do too.) And if she is in fact getting lighter, even unintentionally. Well. That would be a devastating blow.
And that’s why skin color in fiction is important. Because of formative influences, of subtle stuff in psychology that worms its way into the mind of little kids, telling them this is how the world worked, this is how your life will eventually be, this is the way you should think. Of the simple fact of having positive role models for all types of children.
Please try to understand. And at the very least, please don’t just brush off and scoff these concerns.
If you are a white girl, a black girl or a black boy, exposure to today’s electronic media in the long run tends to make you feel worse about yourself. If you’re a white boy, you’ll feel better, according to a new study led by an Indiana University professor.
Nicole Martins, an assistant professor of telecommunications in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, and Kristen Harrison, professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan, also found that black children in their study spent, on average, an extra 10 hours a week watching television.
“We can’t deny the fact that media has an influence when they’re spending most of their time — when they’re not in school — with the television,” Martins said.
Harrison added, “Children who are not doing other things besides watching television cannot help but compare themselves to what they see on the screen.”
Their paper has been published in Communication Research. Martins and Harrison surveyed a group of about 400 black and white preadolescent students in communities in the Midwest over a yearlong period. Rather than look at the impact of particular shows or genres, they focused on the correlation between the time in front of the TV and the impact on their self-esteem.
“Regardless of what show you’re watching, if you’re a white male, things in life are pretty good for you,” Martins said of characters on TV. “You tend to be in positions of power, you have prestigious occupations, high education, glamorous houses, a beautiful wife, with very little portrayals of how hard you worked to get there.
“If you are a girl or a woman, what you see is that women on television are not given a variety of roles,” she added. “The roles that they see are pretty simplistic; they’re almost always one-dimensional and focused on the success they have because of how they look, not what they do or what they think or how they got there.
“This sexualization of women presumably leads to this negative impact on girls.”
With regard to black boys, they are often criminalized in many programs, shown as hoodlums and buffoons, and without much variety in the kinds of roles they occupy.
“Young black boys are getting the opposite message: that there is not lots of good things that you can aspire to,” Martins said. “If we think about those kinds of messages, that’s what’s responsible for the impact.
“If we think just about the sheer amount of time they’re spending, and not the messages, these kids are spending so much time with the media that they’re not given a chance to explore other things they’re good at, that could boost their self-esteem.”
Martins said their study counters claims by producers that programs have been progressive in their depictions of under-represented populations. An earlier study co-authored by her and Harrison suggests that video games “are the worst offenders when it comes to representation of ethnicity and gender.”
Other research is starting to show the impacts of other kinds of entertainment sources, such as video games and hand-held devices. It indicates that young people are becoming creative at “media multitasking.”
“Even though these new technologies are becoming more available, kids still spend more time with TV than anything else,” Martins said.
Interestingly, the young people were asked about their consumption of print media, but the results were not statistically significant.
Martins conducted the research while she was completing her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, as part of a larger longitudinal study done with her co-author, Harrison. They sought out certain school districts in Illinois because of their diversity, but African-Americans were the predominant minority group.