RSS Feed

Category Archives: Racism

I Hate Political Correctness.

Posted on

No really, I do. I mean, I know cray-cray feminists are supposed to be all politically correct and intolerable to be around and stuff, but I legit hate political correctness.

What’s that? Did I just hear a gleeful stream of racist, sexist, homophobic, cissexist, and ablist slurs? No no no. I’m not ok with that shit. When I say I hate political correctness, what I mean is—

I hate language and ideologies that support oppression, that ignore inequality, that prioritize the concerns of the privileged. I hate it when inequalities are only superficially discussed—when people try, for example, to talk about class without also addressing race, gender, and sexual orientation. (I’m looking at you, OWS.) I hate it when people say, “sure, he’s kinda racist, but he’s not a bad guy.” I hate calling someone out on their racism, only to be told that I’m not “patriotic.” I hate it when tone arguments are lobbed at members of oppressed groups, and then used to justify the completely unwarranted anger from members of privileged groups. (“Well, you put him on the defensive!”) I hate “I was just joking,” and “you’re just looking for something to be angry about,” and “it’s just a movie.”

I hate all forms of bigotry, basically. That is political correctness—bigotry wearing a mask. Native American Day and Black History Month are not politically correct; if they were, racists would have no problem with them. “I’m not racist, but” is politically correct. And that’s why we hear it all the fucking time.

“I don’t see race”—politically correct. Reality incorrect, of course, because it’s not true, and it’s a stupid and superficial way to address racism. But politically correct.

The thing is, I do see race. And I am racist. I try not to be, but I was socialized to be racist, and I benefit from white privilege, and now, here I am. Racist. And I don’t think I’ll ever be not-racist, but I can be less racist, and that’s my goal. To be less racist, and to shut the fuck up when I think something racist, and to really look at my motivations and prejudices and supposedly-objective opinions about racial politics. And to step the fuck down when I have nothing useful to offer, and to avoid swanning in on discussions between POC about race, and to learn through reading and listening, instead of pontificating.

Of course, I’m kind of pontificating now, but at least I co-run this blog?

And I also hate that, in writing about race, it’s the writing of white people that gets read, promoted, and praised. So. Here is a brief list of social justice tumblrs I’ve been reading lately—please feel free to add more in the comments!

Dumb Things White People Say

Hi-C Educates the Masses

Soy Dulce de Leche

Esoterica

Advertisements

I’ll Make This Quick.

Posted on

Hi NYC Slutwalk! How are you? I bet you’re cranky. You certainly have sounded cranky lately. That’s unfortunate, because you really have no excuse to be cranky at all. On the contrary, you should feel ashamed.

No really, you should!

Slutwalk, I want to support you, and in theory, I think you’re great. But this racism and racism apologizing bullshit is giving me a rage.

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Slutwalk organizers, you were never going to erase the damage that was done by the racist fuck who made this sign, but you had an opportunity to say “no, this is wrong, we’re against this,” to show your solidarity with non-racist-fucks, to condemn anyone who didn’t stand in solidarity. And you blew it.

There is nothing that excuses the sign, ok? Nothing. John Lennon doesn’t mitigate a damn thing, and it’s frankly hilarious, where hilarious = goddamn depressing, that anyone would think it could. “But guys, a white man came up with that saying first!” is an absurd defense. It always has been. And “Yoko Ono told him it was ok!” is absurd too. One woman of color does not equal all women of color, and while I’ve no doubt that Yoko Ono has heard a lot of racist bullshit in her time, I somehow doubt the N-word is included in that.

Slutwalk, you didn’t just create an environment where a woman thought it was ok to hold a sign with the n-word; you created an environment where it was ok. She held her sign, and only one woman of color asked her to take it down, and she didn’t do it. She didn’t need to do it, because she knew she could get away with walking around with her racism prominently displayed on a huge goddamn sign.

And she held it up, and posed for the picture, and basically became the face of exactly the kind of feminism I can’t get behind.

And this is why I roll my eyes when white women bitch about WOC who don’t identify as feminist. Yeah, I wish more WOC would identify as feminist, but I see that as a failure of feminism, not WOC. Because why the hell would a person of color—whatever their gender—want to stand with a movement that has such a history of epic race fails? I can’t imagine I would.

When this shit happens, I usually just say, well, that’s not my feminism. But that’s easy for me to do, because feminism is all about young, white, cis, het, college women. Feminism is a pretty safe space for me. I get angry when things like this happen, and disgusted, and ashamed; but that’s it. I’m not threatened by it. I’m not marginalized. I’m just pissed.

This—this, right here—is why feminism has such a piss-power track record when it comes to racial issues.

So, dear Slutwalk organizers whose first response to get all defensive and whatnot, y’all need to sit the fuck down and think for a minute. Ok, so maybe you personally didn’t see the sign. Fine. It was a big crowd, you can’t see everything. But now that you’ve seen it, condemn it. Don’t bring up John Lennon. (Really, don’t. Every time I read the name John Lennon, Imagine starts playing in my head and I hate that song.) Don’t try to invoke the power of Yoko. Don’t take the criticisms personally. Don’t think about yourself at all, because it’s not about you.

And don’t, for fuck’s sake, try to argue that the N-word is only offensive in certain contexts. If you aren’t black, you can’t use it. Ok? That’s the rule. Your whole protest is about reclaiming the word “slut”; would you be ok with a bunch of men saying “uhhhh, you guys are using it, which means we can use it too, in whatever context we want”? Of course not. Logic, people. (And let’s be honest here—slut does not have nearly the sordid history that the N-word does.)

Oh, Slutwalk. You had a chance to make…not good, exactly, but better. You could have made better. And you chose to be racist, privilege-denying douchecanoes instead. If you don’t get your act together, I’m gonna have to let you go.

All I’ve Got Right Now

I don’t have anything new or insightful to say anything about the fucking heinous miscarriage of justice that happened yesterday. I signed the petitions and tracked the updates obsessively, briefly hoped that he might be saved, and felt no surprise when he wasn’t. I’m disgusted and speechless and I have no words.

All I have to say is this: I am not Troy Davis, and if you’re not a person of color, then neither are you. And if you’re not Troy Davis, but are wearing the t-shirt, or updating your Facebook status to say that you are, or WTFever–shut up. I understand that you want to show your support. Support is good. But white people are not Troy Davis; that’s the whole fucking point. And when you say “I am Troy Davis,” you are turning the focus away from Troy Davis, from people who are discriminated against every single day; you are turning the focus back to you.

I don’t feel eloquent today. I just feel angry.

So here are some links:

The Innocence Project

Students Against the Death Penalty

10 Things Anyone Can Do to Help Exonerate Innocent People and Prevent Wrongful Convictions

Amnesty International’s Not In My Name Pledge

“Few are guilty, but all are responsible”

“The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all those who will come after me.” — Troy Davis