exactly that

Posts tagged ‘race/racism’

Tearing Ourselves Apart and Erasing People Outside the Narrative…

The Lappy is back from the doctor and ready to take on the abuse I inflict with having no less than two browsers and thirty tabs open at one time.

The feminist blogosphere hasn’t been the most friendly of people who don’t fit into a particular narrative. This isn’t exactly news for most of us working in social justice. The White, Straight, Able-bodied, Cis people (and I am forgetting to add some modifiers, but I know you get the point) tend to dominate the conversations in most spaces and on most of the Big Blogs.

Most of them.

There are a few exceptions, and it is difficult to break into those spaces and start conversations that go against that narrative, especially if you are a voice that is not part of that paradigm. Breaking into these spaces and altering the conversation to something that is relevant to you and your interests is difficult, it is work, and it is something that should be applauded.

As a non-white woman who wears many other hats, I have been a part of that and have see other non-white women do the same thing. As a non-white woman I have also felt the lash of people harshly criticize us for daring to take our voices and try to amplify them in spaces that are not predominantly that of non-white people. It is hurtful enough to defend discussions and ideas against a group of people, say, for example white or able-bodied people and convince them that they are not seeing something or that they are dismissing my work and erasing my life experiences because I am not part of the mainstream.

It is altogether another thing to have other non-white people tear you down because you dared to work in these supposedly White Spaces.

It does us not good to tear each other apart in this manner. When non-white people choose to take their work to spaces that are viewed as predominantly white we are attempting to change the narrative. We are pushing against the idea that feminist, progressive, and other social justice spaces are only for certain people, and being told that we are tokens fucking pisses me off. I resent the hell out of that.

But apart from that, being asked ‘who are we fucking kidding’ when we are hurt because we are constantly erased, misracialized, misidentified, and dismissed because the readership in a space is having trouble adapting to the voice of someone outside of the narrative is fucking racist — even if it comes from another non-white person/person of colour.

It burns the hell out of me to be ignored, to be presumed white or not coloured enough to matter in issues that affect people of colour or non-white people until some of us dare try to do things that step outside of the lock step that some people who deem to speak on behalf of all non-white people of the world have set up as the party line.

I have seen non-white people do things in so-called “White Spaces” that are revolutionary. Things that are changing the way that we talk about race, ethnicity, and issues that concern PoC and non-white people world wide. These things have altered the racial conversation from focusing on North America to expanding our knowledge of racial politics in other countries, and I respect the hell out of that. When I say I respect that, it isn’t just empty words either. These conversations have finally taken the discussion beyond Black and White and involved issues concerning other peoples. Not that I don’t believe that the the racial politics between black and white people are important, but that every conversation in some communities turn to “Oh, if you are not white, you must be black!”. I don’t see this as much, and I have certain bloggers to thank for the improvement here.

When we, as non-white people, tear each other down, we hurt ourselves. There is no room for it if we are really trying to make a difference. If we want to improve the way discussions about race and ethnicity and related issues take place, then we have to respect the work of fellow PoC and non-white bloggers and writers who are doing work, irrespective of the spaces where they choose to do that work. It is extremely disrespectful to tear that work down and erase it because it doesn’t fit your narrow definition of what is proper PoC fellowship.

It is also disrespectful and racist to erase the identities of people who work at blogs just because you can’t be bothered to get your facts straight.

I’m sorry, but we won’t fall in line behind someone because they believe they speak for all non-white people.

The Hellmouth Presents: Dead Guys On Ice

a pale woman with blonde hair in a grey tank to with her arms cross across her midd, and a darker complexioned woman with black hair in a purple long-sleeved shirt in the same pose stand back to back. The both have their "serious business" faces on. They are Sara Michelle-Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bianca Lawson as Kendra the Vampire Slayer.In the way you would expect a two-part episode to be, Buffy, Season 2’s “What’s My Line” parts I and II have a lot to unpack in them.

In the beginning of Part I it is Career Week at Sunnydale High, and Principal Snyder, in all of his infinite glory has decided that his project of the week is to make sure that Buffy participates. Of course, like we have seen already, the future planning portion of life as a Slayer is filled with many things: doubt, cloudiness, uncertainty, and possibly (another) death. How is a girl supposed to plan a career around all of that?

Even Giles seems a bit grumped out that Buffy isn’t as studious or book smart as he would like, and as expected, Buffy gets a little up in his card catalog about that. She reminds him just how he could get another Slayer that might be more to his liking: She could die and he could just watch the next one.

Buffy is painfully aware of both the fragility of her current situation and the what is to come. And what most people write off as whininess (something that irks me to NO END), I see as a well deserved side effect of the bitter pill of being very self-aware. Buffy fully understands that every time she goes out into that graveyard she could never come back, and that she only need to slip once and the burden she carries on her shoulders would slip to the next person. While, yes, she is “The Chosen One”, she is but a tool of The Powers That Be (even if we haven’t met them yet) and a person the Watchers’ Council only care about for the moment; the next moment she could be dead and their biggest concern could be the next Chosen One. I imagine being both So Important and at the same time Hardly At All is an odd balance on a fantastical fulcrum.

So, while Buffy is whinging trying to imagine balancing her duties with a future she can’t grasp, Angel offers to take her ice skating to help her forget about being cosmically chosen for a bit. During all of this we see that Buffy has been stalked by the Order of Taraka, magically imbued badass assassins and Angel has been stalked by… a mysterious Black Girl who rides in the cargo bay of airplanes and beats up on preppy looking white boys, and who accidentally sees Buffy kissing Angel, clearly misunderstanding their Cosmically Forbidden Romance for, well, sexay vampire love because who would… OH NEVERMIND!

This dark and curious stranger with the deadly moves gets the jump on our Vampy Heart-throb, (NO NOT HIM! STOP LOOKING AT ME EDWARD!), and when Buffy can’t find him, she comes all forlorn to his bed for a nap.

Where she is jumped! By none other than…

Kendra, the Vampire Slayer.

As much as I love Joss Whedon, he has a problem with non-white people in his shows, and Kendra is only my first taste of many. I loved the idea he went with here, of Buffy dying for only a minute, and that being long enough to awaken the next Potential, but there were so many faily things to unpack with Kendra’s character.

First off, is the back story of Kendra being whisked off by her parents to nobly give her as a babe to her Watcher to be raised, because some faraway exotic tribe would have some greater sense of duty, as opposed to clueless Joyce Summers, who can never be told. Why would Kendra’s parents be more in-the-know? Because they are closer to The First? Remember how exotic and savage she was?

Everything about Kendra was exotic, from her accent to her “only shirt”, to her not being permitted to talk to boys. She was raised in a funny culture far away with funny customs, and WOW IS SHE ODD, AMIRITE? But don’t forget she IS HOT! Whooo! You can even talk to her in any language! Buffy does this, using “amigo”, or other words ending in “o” as if that makes them easier to understand because Kendra has dark skin and a funny accent, she must understand this funny language you ARE MAKING UP!

In many ways, she was constructed as the anti-Buffy. It is hard to convince me that it is a coincidence that a non-white woman was chosen for this role. The dark to the light, the unemotional, perfect form, well-learned, no-shades of grey Slayer that Kendra is. I felt that she was to be the Yin to Buffy’s Yang (if you knew that in Mandarin one means, almost literally “sun” or is part of many words meaning “light” and the other the same in many words meaning dark, it gets even more interesting a comparison).

Even at the end of the episode, Kendra gets a moment to be a wise woman to Buffy, letting her know that being a Slayer isn’t just a job that she does or is fired from. She has wise words for her to set Buffy back on her way (but don’t forget to NOT hug her, because Kendra is a BAMF, and do not touch her, HELL-O). Oh, and ha ha! Buffy explains to her to make sure to use the seats on the plane! Oh that funny Kendra! We’ll see her again. The exotification of Kendra the Vampire Slayer isn’t over.

Another interesting thing I feel I need to discuss is the torture turn made-for-TV-sexy-time that keeps turning up in everything. OK, it isn’t like I am watching reels and reels of Cinemax after 10 PM or, but after watching what the Mord’Sith do in Legend of the Seeker, and reading more about it in The Sword of Truth series (of which I should blog soon), now I am watching on Buffy what Drusilla is doing to Angel (pouring holy water on him as he is restrained w/ his hands tied above his head, etc) as an hor d’orve to the ritual that will restore her to full power and, I am a little overloaded w/ this imagery right now.

Is there no other way to make the point that these people enjoy inflicting pain on beings who are morally good? None?

Practically every representation of Vampire sex is violent (See: Breaking Dawn, True Blood, the entire Darla story arc on Angel, or even “The Fanged Four”). It is always angry and/or it always hurts someone or destroys buildings or furniture.

Every representation of pain for pleasure is advanced by an “evil” entity onto a “good” entity.

It is kind of ridiculous.

I understand the role of the Mord’Sith in Legend of the Seeker, how they are created, how they are “bonded”, how they become redeemed, and even, possibly, how they are supposed to be meant to be read as “strong female characters”, and I will blog about that and the representation in both the books and the TV series later. I won’t engage in an in-depth discussion of them here, only a cosmetic one about how they apply to my point over-all.

I also understand the relationship and history between Dru and Angel; I understand what Angelus did to Drusilla when he created her (OH LOOK ANOTHER POST TOPIC!), but there is quite a bit of triggery sexy-time vampire relationship in this episode (and other times). It is dark, it is disturbing at some points (enough so that I will send some viewers away to refill a water bottle or for a bathroom break), I get what is going on here: Dru is having her revenge. But is this the way this type of sex play is always meant to be? Pain inflicted by the one in power, and always painful, never enjoyable for the one receiving it? I find that hard to believe, and yet it is always depicted as such. Especially in fantasy series like this.

Of course non-fantasy series’ seldom, if ever do it better (thinking legal/cop dramas, or even CSI with its “Lady Heather” arcs that made me so uncomfortable, as if she was a spectacle).

I think Joss does it just about as well as anyone else here, which I think is not well at all.

If anyone wants to discuss this, feel free; the idea of pain for pleasure as part of a healthy sex life is a little out of my AOE, and I don’t want to do it an injustice. But I get disturbed by the way it seems to turn up always displayed as a negative thing. Something that is always enacted by the depraved (those without souls, those tortured since early childhood, etc.). I don’t buy that it is the only way to depict such a thing.

Previous Summer of Buffy blogging conveniently archived.

The One Where My Boundaries Were Also Violated…

Warning, this post if very rambly…

I went to a very whitewashed high school in the U.S.

My U.S. History teacher had a fucking shrine to Monticello in back of the room, and we learned about what a Great Guy Christopher Columbus was. He was seriously a hero.

We were taught that the Trail of Tears was a necessary means, and that the gov’t was Really Very Sorry for it.

Mad Ann Bailey was a Women’s History icon.

No one ever mentioned that my tribe was the only one to hold off the French oppression. In fact, most people have never heard of my tribe at all.

(You don’t “look Native”!)

I took the standard history I was fed.

I grew up scraping together pieces of my heritage because I only had parts of it to keep. I won’t rehash it because the people who know me know how difficult and personal it was to hold together and how fucking hard it is to assert my right to keep my non-white identity.

I can barely keep up w/ my own heritage and the emotional toll it takes on me, because discussions about race are extremely personal for me. Just because I don’t blog loudly and publicly about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t touch my life deeply on a daily basis. I don’t have to pass a litmus test to get cookies. I bake cookies if I want them.

So, I don’t think that I need to explain in great detail, that when I was enjoying an internet free day, while my partner, in my single computer home, was playing EVE Online and I was tucked into a great Space Opera novel (Spin, I recommend it), that shit went down that I was unaware of…

I didn’t check my email, my backends, or anything that day… in fact that email couldn’t have hit my inbox any more than an hour after that first angry comment went into the mod queue at FWD, which is a site that has a comments’ policy that clearly states that we have bloggers from four countries in several different time zones and that comments (all comments are in full mod all the time) can take up to several days to respond to or even approve. That first comment was given fifteen minutes time before the next came in, and then they rolled in again and again. On a website where the mods have disabilities and have to manage spoons that need to fuel their on and offline lives…

Then came the abusive — yes, abusive — comments asking if we didn’t have the spoons to deal with our racism… calling into question our disability status while many of us were sleeping or spending time with families or taking self care time. Something we have a right to do and that the internet has no right to take away from us. All within a couple of hours’ time… (but I hadn’t seen any of this yet) I would never dream of calling into question another person’s racial/ethnic or disability status when they have laid it out publicly so often…I would expect to get that shit called out quickly. That doesn’t fly in my playground…ain’t how we roll on my rez (OK, that is how they did roll on the rez, and maybe that is why I am so protective of people I love now, because calling that shit out is racist/ableist and I ain’t gonna do it)…

Then, Father’s Day was observed for us here on the base near where I live, even though we are currently living in the Republic of Korea, which I will point out is in the Eastern Hemisphere and in the same date and time zone as parts of Australia (you’ve heard of them, right? It’s another country, and continent), and we had plans to go out and spend some great family time together, after we finished up the grocery shopping. I made a list, and noted that the Kid is on school holiday, so I needed to incorporate home lunches for two into that, and was going to plan for home made bread which I remembered might be more fussy than my Korean oven would allow right now, with it’s temperature numbers missing, so I needed my Laser Gun (thanks s.e. for helping me choose!) thermometer, and decided that before I forgot I needed to really quickly close my Amazon cart…

I always leave my email open, but since we have multiple computer users Apple does this neat thing where we can have different screens running at once, and I used the “apple + left arrow” to scroll over to my screen to open a new tab and saw at the top of my inbox an angry email calling out myself and my fellow FWD blogger, Chally, for not addressing the issue of racism at FWD, since we were “POC”s and such…

That was the official moment that I learned what the fuck “Juneteenth” was. So, my ignorant ass had no idea that any internet crime had been committed. And suddenly I had to spend two hours derailing my family’s plans — because that is how OCD works — and had to catch up on WTF was going on. But our policy states that we have that long mod time to allow us to work on an international schedule and to make every attempt to contact the original poster… none of us can move unilaterally in this situation and I don’t know why the fuck this is still being explained b/c you all could read it if you were so inclined (which many of you are not or you would have)…

We have this in place to protect us from reacting too quickly and rashly to things, and it has been this way since the beginning…but I suppose it is less fun to read silly things like comment policies and intro posts than it is to run amok all over the internet w/ whatever information you believe is the truth and tear people’s lives apart — some of those people being people who have mental illnesses that are affected by this kind of abuse — there’s that word again — and create more page hits and fun bandwagons to endorse for yourselves…

Because I have read the posts, I firmly maintain that there was no fault at FWD. I think that Anna and s.e. didn’t need to apologize for shit — and I realize that this will be unpopular because everyone fell all over their damned selves to rally around the loudest person yelling — because the Helen Keller Blogswarm invitation was clearly an invitation to write about what was important to each of us, and about intersectional issues. The date wasn’t specifically chosen by FWD, but by a larger group celebrating a well known, international disability rights activist. If this meant that Juneteenth was important to you, then by all means, write about that. It would have been productive, and it would have been eye-opening instead of destructive. If I am accused of Tone here, fine. Accuse me of tone. But claiming that an invitation to write freely in any space in the internet about anything that you desire is erasure is disingenuous (so sorry you were caught doing some shit you shouldn’t have and this is how you reacted, but we didn’t deserve this kind of fucking abuse). At best, really. And more obviously a way to openly attack a group of vulnerable people by using the privilege of voice, platform, and popularity. Details are made up and twisted (comments closed specifically to shut down Black people? That is some incredible foresight to close comments on a personal blog months ago and to request the same permission weeks in advance!) and no one bothers to do the required reading before throwing a hat in the ring and trashing bloggers’ names.

But if I may: Making something All About You when it isn’t is awful. Someone I once respected taught me that. Once again, taking something that wasn’t specifically aimed at excluding an obscure U.S./North American holiday (but was intended to include it if any author wanted it to) and making it so, is selfish, so obviously a cry for page hits and fabricated drama, and once again centering a discussion that shoves people aside and silences voices that aren’t as popular or powerful as your own. Once again, this forcing of a race issue to be Black or White is erasing people who fall in between. Where is the outcry when Aboriginal/Islander/First Nation/Indigenous holidays get no attention? Where is this outrage when our people are misidentified or white hipsters appropriate our traditions? Sport’s teams our names as mascots? Where is the cry of racism when mixed ethnic people are labeled Black or White, and their identities erased? Where is the Day of Emancipation celebration for Indigenous people in the U.S.? (We don’t have one because we are not free.) Where is the freedom from oppression for PWD? (There is none!) These identities also intersect within my own body, both of those having extremely high instances of sexual assault that is ignored by law enforcement, placing bodies in situations where pay is cut/lower than livable, benefits are denied…the list goes on. And yet, instead of bullying anyone off the internet I was/am proud to be part of something that cherishes all voices and wasn’t working to hurt some in the name of my own singular, louder voice…

I am not going to ask permission for this one: I appreciate being tokenized about as much as I appreciate being erased. I have drafted and re-drafted an email response to that original email, before I gave up and realized that no response will suffice, especially after being publicly flogged for having the audacity to be offline with my family for days. I have a right to self-care and non-internet time. I have a right to value time with mine. No one can take that from me, as my body tried to take that from me, and as this abuse now tries to take more of it from me mentally, I will not stand for it as I now need pain pills to cope w/ the flares this added stress is causing.

It is equally racist to call me out because of my ethnic heritage and demand that I stand with you. Yes, “POC” can be racist too, and this action was racist. Expecting me to stand in solidarity (as baseless claims and hurtful half-truths were slung) based solely on my non-white status is a racist act. Telling a person to don white sheets is hateful abuse. Emailing me and expecting me to react instantly is a North American-centrist attitude, and expecting that I could/should respond while I was sleeping because you said so smacked of an attitude of colonization. Too many times am I erased because my color is not the right color, and finally, when it is convenient to you, I am expected to fall in line and fight, or be called a colluder. Fuck that.

I have a right to decide where I lay my loyalties, and I have decided that I stand with intersectionality, and with people who don’t need an Either/Or, because there isn’t a limit on pixels or tube space. We can have all of it. We can share the space and overlap our margins, and that is what I am striving for. No one gets to tell me how I use my spoons or what battles I fight. I resent being chided like a child, as if somehow I can’t understand my actions. I will not be colonized, not by White people nor by anyone who forces any label on me. Not with any form of guilt (I spent enough years as a Catholic TYVM). My people still live in poverty and in special places set aside for them. Slavery has not ended. I know racism, I don’t need a primer or a racesplainin’.

Oh, yeah? Closed comments? That was a lesson I learned from a very wise person indeed. You call it silencing? I call it self-fucking-preservation from your fucking abuse. I won’t take any more of your public floggings, and is sure as hell won’t happen in my fucking space. Anyone who comes here will know the dog damned truth.

Me, Elsewhere — Some Shameless Self Promotion

Katie Leung as Cho Chang holding a tiny owl. Text bubble reads "It can only carry messages of 140 characters or less. I call it 'Twitter'."It’s been a while since I have updated Readerland on where I have been and why it has been abnormally quiet on random babble… lately.

In no particular order:

Racialicious — Wopajo

FWD/Forward — For Cereal, Time?

For Cereal, Stars and Stripes?

A Conversation With a Pharmacist

Trust Me

Change.org’s Women’s Rights Blog — KBR to Jamie Leigh Jones: You Were Asking For It

Military Restricted Reporting Does Not Put Rapists Away

WASPs Receive Congressional Gold Medal For WWII Service

Judge Sentences Abuse Suspect to Marry His Victim

MyCAA Program Reinstated for Existing Account Holders

Lesbian Sergeant Outed by Police and Discharged Under DADT

Repeat Offenders Account for 9 Out of 10 Rapes on College Campuses

Equal Rights? Men Make All the Policies for Women in the Military

DoD Stops Payment on the Military Spouses Tuition Assistance Program

Gates Declares It’s Time For Women on Subs (with an attached Action Item)

So that’s what I’ve been up to…well, a little bit of it anyway. I have more tumbling around in my head. What have you been up to?

Your Infinite Wisdom

While I was experiencing some technical difficulties I got a most interesting comment in my mod queue for this post. My first inclination was to delete it, but instead I decided that I would write a post about it, because there are some points about it that need to be addressed.

Also, it should stand as a warning, that anything sent to me could be potential mockery fodder, as per my comment policy.

This problem is only with Whites…We see this in the Black community. Blacks passing for White??? Ugggg, they are white. We don’t have Chinese passing for White? Filipino’s passing for White. Wherever White people land their boates, they convert their ethnic background. You look White because this is 90% of your genes. Did you ever see a Native American? One close to full blood. Sorry, you don’t resemble one. They are not even close to European looking. Their features are related to Asian. You look European and this is what you mostly are, get over it. people closely mixed with Native American, are the most exotic least looking Whites I’ve seen.

Oh, so many things to say. I swear there are people all over Bloglandia crying “BINGO!” as I type. I can’t possibly address everything…but I will take a few points down.

The first thing I have to say: The only person who gets to choose a person’s racial identity is that person. There is no way for a person outside of a body to know their story, their background. The stereotypes with which people base their assumptions of what a particular racial group should look like are not the only defining factors that make a racial group. Race is made of so many components. History, blood, family…it doesn’t come from a passer-by shouting your identity at you.

The only point that is true in the screed is this: Wherever White people land their boates, they convert their ethnic background.

The systematic whitewashing of indigenous people has been responsible for practically demolishing their cultures and histories. We who try to grasp on to it are within our rights to hold on dearly to that which was violently torn from our ancestors. Your insistence that we assimilate into that which was forced upon us is not going to change us. I suppose the next time I go home to the tribe I grew up with I will just tell them all to give up? That we can just forget about holding on to any of our past because you said we just need to accept that we aren’t Native enough for you?

Did you ever see a Native American? One close to full blood.

Did you know that people are different? Did you know that there are hundreds of indigenous tribes in the U.S. and Canada alone? There may just be a slight variance in how those people look, first stereotypically according to your preconceived notions, and second due to years of systematic whitewashing, cultural decimation, and societal change. People from Northern tribes will look very different from people from Southern tribes for many reasons. I hate to rip your world asunder, but human beings have variations in them. We aren’t all copied from coloring books. Close to full blood is rare today. It is estimated that about eight in ten indigenous people in the U.S. alone is of mixed blood because of colonization. Wherever White people landed their boats they decided that they had to save us savages by intermarrying with us to make our children whiter. The lighter the better, right?

You look White because this is 90% of your genes.

You are wrong, and you could not possibly know this. Why? Because you are not me, nor are you my family. Plus, your maths are absurd. How can I be 90% of anything? It boggles me, truly. I will not and should not have to prove my racial identity to anyone. It is mine and mine alone. The only person who gets to label me is me.

You base all of this on one photograph. Good for you, being so awesome that you can gather all of that infinite wisdom from a quick glance. I wish I had your powers of intuition.

Excuse me now while I go weep at not being exotic looking enough for one drive-by commenter.

What Pictures Can’t Tell You…

Glamour, in response to the thunderous applause they received for the photos of Lizzie Miller, seems to be putting out a calendar using this photo of some “plus-sized” women:

Seven nude women, one black, and the others of unidentifiable race/ethnicity.

I will give the criticism where it is due. I am irked that these women are considered “plus sized”, because I think that they are probably closer to the representation of the average size of women than the majority of cover models that we see. They are certainly not what I am going to say “normal” or “average”, because I have learned in the last years that these labels have just as much harm as they have the intended good that people try to put behind them. Maybe more. Also, if this photo is trying to be representative of diversity, it does fail to hit that mark in its exclusion of differently abled bodies. I am not surprised by these oversights. I don’t want anyone storming down into my comment demanding that the fashion industry as a whole eat a sandwich…

One critique that I did find that I want to expand upon was over at Renee’s blog:

They have one Black woman in this photo spread, sporting straightened hair and she represents their attempt at inclusivity.  Putting one Black woman in amongst a crowd of White women, only serves to other and create her as exotic.   News Flash:  There is more to WOC than Black women.  I suppose all of the first nations and Asian women were in hiding and steadfastly refused to pose the day this image was taken.   Diversity means adding various WOC instead of promoting the White women as the representative of beauty.

With no disrespect to Renee, because I do have a lot of respect for her: This photo is definitely heavy on the light skin and blonde hair collective, that is for sure. And I am going to say, yes, I would like to see more brown, red, and other bodies represented in mainstream modeling. Something, however, always irks me when this type of narrative comes up. We don’t know, in today’s world, by looking at a photo or representation of a person what their racial or ethnic identity is. I can only speak from a USian perspective, but our country has had a great and proud history of whitewashing people’s heritage. Native American and First Nation tribes have had their people systematically married off with white folk, either to civilize them or make them more religiously appropriate, to the point where there are almost no blood lines that are not at least half European anymore. In other words, you won’t know by looking at a person if they are in fact Native. There is a damn good reason why many people who identify as Native or who have the government sanctioned appropriate amount of Native blood in their veins might look European. I am not going to get into all of them, again. I’m tired. I’ll give you all a moment to work that one out for yourselves.

I feel that I know what point Renee was trying to make (without saying “what she meant to say” because I would never presume to do so), that it would be nice if we had more people in mainstream modeling who looked more obviously like stereotypical representations of different racial groups. Some color would be nice. But I can’t even say I agree with that, because I have such a hard time agreeing that someone needs to look X in order to represent it. Being bi-racial or mixed race is such a hard thing to be, because you never quite feel like you belong in any one group, and no one else is really like you, so who do you belong to? We all talk about how we want to see someone who looks like us represented on the television, but for most mixed race people, there isn’t anyone. If we embrace one aspect of it, we don’t look Native enough, or they don’t look the right kind of Asian, her eyes aren’t slanted enough, or his features are too European, or they are too white…

Race isn’t just black and white, brown, red, or yellow. Mostly it is a spectrum and everything in between now — especially in melting pot areas like North America. Honestly I can’t get into some of this anymore without feeling dismissed. I want to discuss race issues, and be open to these kinds of dialogue… but every time I feel like my own personal identity is fading into the background. I too want to see more representations of people of color, especially WoC, but I get hesitant to bring up the lack because I don’t want to assume that everyone who isn’t obviously First Nation or Latin@ or Asian is white. I don’t want to inflict that hurt of erasure on other people that I feel every damn time race comes up in Bloglandia.

Incidentally, one of the women in that photograph looks an awful lot like me. Enough that she could be related to me, on my mother’s side.

Important Announcement

feministcatThis post brought to you by Teh Feminist Kitteh Collective.

PS:  I use adult language.  Nyah.

If you read this article, and the only response you have is:

“Japanese Bitch”

or

“Stupid Slant Eyes”

and are called out on your shit, and all you have to say is:

“OK, I am not a racist…”, and proceed to defend your racist and misogynistic bullshit, while failing 100% to see how you are, in fact a racist and misogynistic ass hole, then I can not help you.

The linked article is awful.  That poor father.  I can not express enough how I ache for him.  I would be beside myself if that happened to me.  Is that a shitty situation?  Yes.  Do I think that something needs to be done to fix this?  Absolutely!  And as soon as we can make that shit happen.

Is throwing around gendered slurs and othering an entire race of people, or using hateful and bigoted language against a specific nationality going to fix a damned thing?  Nope.  Not going to happen.  In fact, it’s probably also not going to help matters, whatsoever.  In an international situation insulting the other person is probably not the way to go.

I’m just sayin’.

But, hey, keep it classy.

Oh, also, shit like that will get you “unfriended”.  Especially if you can’t even have the courage to own your bigotry.

But don’t worry.  You won’t be lonely.

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