To The People Trying to Claim We’re Not Racist Because We Voted for Obama

I’ve seen some very oblivious white people in my Facebook feed claiming that this election couldn’t possibly have anything to do with race, because people voted for Trump who voted for Obama. Why would they vote for a black man and then a white supremacist??

Gosh, fellow white people, I dunno. Why don’t we stop denying we’ve got racist as fuck tendencies and start thinking of the reasons, eh? It’s actually pretty simple.

CN: racial slurs, racism, bigotry

You can vote for a black man and still harbor racist thoughts and tendencies. Trust me. I know white people. I know conservative white people – I was raised in a house and community full of ’em. And I know how they think. They’ll swear they haven’t got a racist bone in their body as they call their Iranian coworker a sand n*gger. They’ll claim they’re not at all prejudiced in one breath while they bleat about all those foreign brown people sneaking into our country and taking  our jerbs – complete with slurs like w*tb*ck and ch*nk. They’ll all have that one black friend, but they’re super nervous around black people and steer clear of black neighborhoods, because everybody knows that’s where the thugs live.

Even those of us who have friends of color and really try not to ever use racial slurs and are pretty embarrassed by our more openly racist relatives and really admire a select few people of color are scared of what’s going to happen to white people when the brown folk outnumber us. And we may not admit it to ourselves, but we think affirmative action means some lesser human is going to get the job we deserve, and that more brown people getting college educations and entering the workforce means fewer opportunities for us, and so we’ll support policies that keep that from happening. We may not consciously realize we’re doing that. But we’re doing it all the same. Continue reading “To The People Trying to Claim We’re Not Racist Because We Voted for Obama”

To The People Trying to Claim We’re Not Racist Because We Voted for Obama
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How to Stand with Standing Rock – And Why We Must

Long story short: white people have spent centuries trying to eradicate Native Americans in order to get their land, their resources, and their wealth. That hasn’t stopped. It’s ongoing today. It’s probably happening in your community without you even realizing. It’s happening in North Dakota, and if you’re not aware of the situation, please remedy that right now.

The Standing Rock Sioux are trying to preserve their land and their water from a pipeline that (overwhelmingly white) Bismarck refused to have passing through their city. You know why they don’t want it: pipelines break. They explode. They spill. And for women, there’s a whole other set of horrific problems that come along with a pipeline.

Image is a map that shows the current Standing Rock reservation and the much larger boundaries of the 1851 treaty.
We have taken so much from these tribes, and now we’re trying to take more, and this is where it needs to stop. It needs to stop for the health and safety of our indigenous peoples. It needs to stop so that corporations and governments no longer assume it’s no problem to take what they want from the reservations without regard to the residents. It needs to stop for the sake of our land, our water, and our air.

This is one of the most important movements for Native American self-determination and survival in our lifetime. The people of Standing Rock need you to stand with them. Here’s how you can do it: Continue reading “How to Stand with Standing Rock – And Why We Must”

How to Stand with Standing Rock – And Why We Must

SPN Analysis – S1E13 – “Route 666” – Representing Supremacy

Zeroth has come through with one of his most powerful analyses of a Supernatural episode to date. See, this is why I don’t mind the bad ones: he makes something good out of them!

Yeah, this is Racist Ghost Truck. Not one of our favorites, although it has its good points (even some great moments!). Zeroth shows us where it really falls down.

Content note for racism and white supremacy. Continue reading “SPN Analysis – S1E13 – “Route 666” – Representing Supremacy”

SPN Analysis – S1E13 – “Route 666” – Representing Supremacy

“Let Us Not be a Community Who Says, ‘We got ours so fuck you.'”

Gregory Gadow gave me his kind permission to repost his very incisive Facebook post here. This is so important.

A friend of mine made a very good point. Thanks, Calvin Hipps!

Dan White murdered San Francisco mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978. Charged with two counts of first degree murder, he was eventually convicted on two counts of “voluntary manslaughter,” the lightest possible sentence given the evidence. It was later shown that the jury gave him that sentence because A) White had been a SF police officer, and thus jurors presumed that he was acting against evil-doers, and B) because Supervisor Milk was an openly gay man.

When the verdict was handed down on the afternoon of May 21, 1979, the gay community went ballistic. San Francisco’s gay community had long been a target of SFPD’s bigotry, and many saw this verdict as police literally getting away with murdering community members. What originally started as an angry but peaceful protest quickly changed when the police tried to stop the demonstration. Police were attacked, and damage was done to SF government buildings. After several hours, the rioting subsided.

Black and white image shows a ghostly building with high windows and balconies in the background. There is a line of skinny trees whose trunks end in a puff of branches. Below the trees is a line of silhouetted figures standing in a line. The scene is lit by a streetlamp whose light seems to be diffused by smoke or mist.
Rioters outside San Francisco City Hall the evening of May 21, 1979, reacting to the voluntary manslaughter verdict for Dan White, that ensured White would serve only five years for the double murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. Image and caption courtesy Daniel Nicoletta (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Then the police staged a massive round of retaliatory raids in the Castro District. Cops in riot gear swarmed into gay bars and assaulted patrons, without even a pretext of claiming the mantle of law.

Sound like anything in recent events? Continue reading ““Let Us Not be a Community Who Says, ‘We got ours so fuck you.’””

“Let Us Not be a Community Who Says, ‘We got ours so fuck you.'”

What We Must Do

It’s been a horrific week for police violence. Alton Sterling was murdered for the “crime” of selling CDs. Philando Castile was murdered for the “crime” of exercising his Second Amendment rights and driving while black. Castile’s slaughter was so egregious that even many of the white folk who typically find some infinitesimal fault on the part of the black man that excuses his extrajudicial execution have to admit this one was pure, undeserved slaughter. Not that they haven’t tried. They always try. It can never be the police who are to blame.

And as protestors peacefully gathered, a sniper in Dallas shot down cops and protestors alike, in a city that was trying to get it right. This will be all the excuse some people need to declare war upon people of color in this country. Not that a clandestine war wasn’t already being waged. Black folk in this country might as well be living in a war zone, see. They’re certainly dying as if they are.

And you may be feeling helpless right now. You may have no idea what to do with your rage and sorrow and pain. If, like me, you’re white, you may not know what do to with the power invested in you by the color of your skin.

Are you ready to listen? Because people of color are telling us what they need. This is what we must do. Continue reading “What We Must Do”

What We Must Do

Islam’s Homophobic Teachings Cannot Be Ignored as a Factor in the Orlando Mass Shooting

Hiba Krisht posted a series on Facebook asking us not to ignore the part Islamic teachings on homosexuality played in the horrific shooting at the Pulse. LGBTQIA Muslims and ex-Muslims all too often get erased, their struggles ignored, as we try to counter Islamophobic bigotry. It’s important that we recognize the dangers and challenges they face, even as we rightly point out that Muslims at large shouldn’t be attacked for the actions of a few.

This is not impossible. We manage not to target Christians for bigotry even as we argue against toxic ideas and teachings within Christianity. Finding the way to thread this needle starts with listening to the voices of LGBTQIA Muslims and ex-Muslims.

Hiba has given me permssion to collect and post her series here. Please add her blog to your regular rotation. Continue reading “Islam’s Homophobic Teachings Cannot Be Ignored as a Factor in the Orlando Mass Shooting”

Islam’s Homophobic Teachings Cannot Be Ignored as a Factor in the Orlando Mass Shooting

Black History Month Extravaganza #4: The Long Journey Towards Equality

We give the shortest month of the year to black history, so please excuse me if I say “Fuck that” and extend our history into March.

In this edition, I’ll be introducing you to some incredible folks. These are people who survived slavery, and then thrived. These are folks who made the civil rights movement happen. Continue reading “Black History Month Extravaganza #4: The Long Journey Towards Equality”

Black History Month Extravaganza #4: The Long Journey Towards Equality

Representation Matters: Acting While Black Edition

Bear Bellinger explains what it’s like to be a black actor without the star power to push back against racism in the entertainment industry.

Listen:

So when we yell #OscarsSoWhite, I stand here thinking, “So is the rest of the industry.” The inequality starts from the bottom and works its way to the top until it becomes fully institutionalized. And at that bottom level, where it begins, we don’t even have the insulation of money to help withstand the burden. We have to worry about that next paycheck to eat.

I couldn’t teach that white director that his concept of how black people respond to slurs ran counter to the truth of my life experience for fear of losing out on a job. When a white actor then used a slur with me onstage, I couldn’t walk away or demand his job for fear of losing a necessary paycheck and future income. And when a cop physically assaulted me to teach me how to play a part, I couldn’t exclaim my displeasure, as this was my big break.

I was voiceless.

This is why it’s not enough to have a token black guy, to have “diversity” in only one small aspect of a huge enterprise. This is why representation on all levels is hugely important. And we white folk need to be listening and have people’s backs when shit happens, as it inevitably will. Same goes for any majority interacting with minority folk. Men: have women’s backs. Straight people: back up the queer folk. Cis people: stand with the trans folk. And all of us must demand more minority folk be represented. Demand marginalized people be treated with respect, even when they’re not there to advocate for themselves.

We can change this shit, but we have to pull our weight, and listen, and believe people when they talk about their experiences.

"The Empty Stage." Image courtesy Photo Cindy (CC BY 2.0)
“The Empty Stage.” Image courtesy Photo Cindy (CC BY 2.0)
Representation Matters: Acting While Black Edition

American Police Still Allowed to Murder Black Children Without Consequences

“He was a beautiful child playing our fucked-up national game. Now, he’ll never be anything else, and we’re supposed to think that’s right.”

Stephanie Zvan

Tamir Rice was murdered.

Image shows a young grinning black child.
Tamir Rice.

You may not have thought much about it, because a child with a realistic-looking gun being shot by police in America may not have tripped your alarm circuits. You saw the uniform on his killer, and didn’t think thug or criminal. You didn’t think of all the times you played with toy guns as a child, and when you did, you weren’t worried that a cop would roll up and shoot you for it. Your games of cops and robbers were never interrupted by cops arriving, stepping out of their car, and shooting your friends dead. So you figure there must have been some reason for it. After all, the killer wore blue. Continue reading “American Police Still Allowed to Murder Black Children Without Consequences”

American Police Still Allowed to Murder Black Children Without Consequences

“I Am Too Busy Scratching the Ribcage of a Monster That May Never Set Me Free”

I’d like you to take two minutes to listen to this poem by Ashlee Haze. Just two minutes.

There’s a rough transcript at the bottom of this post if you’re unable to watch videos, but please do watch if you can: no typed words can capture the intensity of her voice. Continue reading ““I Am Too Busy Scratching the Ribcage of a Monster That May Never Set Me Free””

“I Am Too Busy Scratching the Ribcage of a Monster That May Never Set Me Free”