White fuckery never takes a day off, does it?

A little while back, I made a flippant comment on Facebook about white supremacy taking a break for one day. You know, just get off the backs of People of Color for one fucking day. Man, a break like that would be nice. I could go to work and not hear casual  comments that reinforce white supremacy from co-workers or guests. I could  turn on the television and not see KellyAnne Conway spew her white supremacy apologetics (and I could turn on the tv and not worry about which apologist for racism a mainstream media outlet coughcoughCNNcoughcough gives a platform to).  I could turn on NPR on the drive to and from work without hearing the authoritarian fuckstain POS racist POTUS. This day could actually allow myself and other People of Color to exist for 24 hours without the constant reminder that socially, politically, and economically, we are viewed as inferior at best, and unworthy of existence at worst. The idea of having just a brief respite from the onslaught of white fuckery is sooooo appealing.

To be honest though, I wouldn’t really want racism to take 24 hours off. Aside from the damn near impossibility of such a thing ever occurring (though it might make for an interesting sci-fi series–kinda like The Purge–one day, every month, white supremacy takes a vacation, just don’t ask me how in the world that could happen–probably need some magical plot device), knowing that the next day would see a return to the same old, same old shit would be so frustrating that I’m not sure I could enjoy such a day (I imagine others could though).

As I thought about my flippant comment (which was tinged with frustration and a desire for PoC to just catch a break), I realized that 24 hours was being generous. Half a day is generous. 60 minutes is generous.  In fact, racism pervades the United States to such an extent that I imagine not even a minute passes between one example of racism and another. These incidents cover a broad range, from individual acts of microaggressive racial bigotry that act to reinforce white supremacy in subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways  to more extreme examples that not only reinforce white supremacy, but directly oppress PoC collectively. In the days since the inauguration of POTUS45, there has been a constant stream of infuriating incidents of racial hatred. These incidents have range from smaller, individual cases of racism that affect an isolated Person of Color (or a handful of PoC) to larger cases that affect mass numbers of PoC.

Now, before I go any further, I want to re-re-re-re-re-re-re-state the definition of racism I am operating under, which fits with the sociological definition (but not the definition many, many, many white folks–including some ostensibly progressive white folks–love to pull out of dictionaries):

Continue reading “White fuckery never takes a day off, does it?”

White fuckery never takes a day off, does it?
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This can all be traced back to the Civil War

We are going through some horrifying times right now. The presidential win by the incompetent, thin skinned rapist demagogue (I refuse to refer to him by his actual name, nor will I *EVER* call him “Mr. President” or “President [redacted]”) has led to a government that is very much not democratic, and is in fact, in danger of becoming an authoritarian police state (one run by white supremacists and Nazis at that). Chitler and those he brought on as part of his Cabinet have no respect for the people of this nation or the Constitution that all government employees are supposed to uphold. They have a complete disrespect for the rule of law  as well as disrespect for the basic standards of decency, transparency, and accountability expected from the leaders of this country. This disrespect and the trampling of the Constitutional and human rights of USAmerican citizens can be seen almost daily:

  • issuing an executive order that effectively bars Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States (no, the writing of the order does not literally say “ban on Muslims”, but that’s the end result) is an attack on people based on their religion and ethnicity
  • the imposition of a media blackout on multiple federal agenices such as the FDA and the EPA
  • criticizing the exercise of free speech rights of USAmerican civilians (the ‘Hamilton’ cast) and attacking celebrities who express disapproval of his actions
  • referring to his critics as enemies
  • openly displaying aggression to private companies
  • being extremely hostile to reporters and the media (signalling an opposition to the freedom of the press)
  • nominating a host of appointees for government positions who are not only supremely unqualified, but also (in most cases) want to gut the departments they are to be in charge of
  • continuing to associate with Russia, despite the successful cyberattacks carried out by that country

That’s just off the top of my head.  There’s been so much that the Tangerine Tyrant does on a daily basis that flies in the face of human decency or respect for the founding principles of this country. What many people may not realize though, is that our current slide towards an authoritarian or fascist state are directly connected to the demonization and enslavement of African-Americans for 245 years, which culminated with the Civil War.

Continue reading “This can all be traced back to the Civil War”

This can all be traced back to the Civil War

‘Power’ is an essential component of racism

Content Note: Racial slurs

I really need more hours in the day, days in the week, and weeks in the year. I am a wee bit behind on reading my ‘saved links’ on Facebook. The sidebar says I currently have 11 saved links, but I think that number might be a wee bit higher.

::goes off to check::

Oooooooooh yeah. Way more than 11.  That figure reflects what I’ve saved today and *part* of last week. I just scrolled down and I have at least 84 saved links to be read. I say at least bc I got to the bottom of the page and FB did that loading bit where it says ‘please wait while we load the five gajillion links you have saved and if you read these darn things in a timely manner, it might not take so long to load them all‘ (it really says that on my page; wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn or some swampland in Florida?).

Amid all those links are a host of articles that I have thoughts and opinions about. In more than a few cases, the content of those articles elicits strong opinions from me (and I’ve shared some brief thoughts about them on FB). Other pieces are logged away in a mental “to write about” file that is so huge it almost eclipses Donald Trump’s ego. While I was going through the links, one really stood out to me-a clip from the May 5 episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert featuring guest W. Kamau Bell:

Continue reading “‘Power’ is an essential component of racism”

‘Power’ is an essential component of racism

Two more of Hollywood’s racial problems

Whether it’s Hollywood awards shows that predominately recognize the accomplishments of white people while overlooking those of PoC or the film industry’s history of whitewashing, the lack of racial diversity and inclusivity has become a popular topic. Over at The Mary Sue, Jessica Lachenal writes about one aspect of Hollywood’s racism that may not be on the radar of many:

Continue reading “Two more of Hollywood’s racial problems”

Two more of Hollywood’s racial problems

White History Month, part 2

Earlier this year, I found myself feeling bad for white people. It was February, and of course, that’s the one whole month that Black people get to celebrate our achievements, our history, and our accomplishments. Indigenous people get an entire month too: November. Hispanic people also get a full thirty days to celebrate their heritage, from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. But white people? Where is the month set aside for white folks to celebrate their heritage and history? I mean ok, sure, students in the public school system in the U.S. are taught about white explorers, white chemists, white mathematicians, white playwrights, white colonists, white artists, white politicians, white physicists, white cosmonauts, white inventors, and more (throughout the entire year), but where is the one month for honoring the history of white people in the United States? There is no month set aside for that! Not wanting white folks to feel like their history wasn’t being honored, I dug around and came up with a list of subjects that might be taught in a White History Month (since I knew that public schools already teach about the achievements, exploits, and inventions of white folks, I thought it would be a good idea to find lesser known historical examples that deserve recognition). As I completed it, I recognized that it still really wasn’t fair to white people. After all, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Native American Heritage Month have been recognized for 40 years, 28 years, and 26 years respectively. Thinking it might be a good idea to double up on White History Month to try and make up for the decades white folks have been deprived of a month set aside just for them, I decided to dig around for more examples of white history.  And thus we have White History Month part 2 (I even gave white folks a specific month all their own):

Continue reading “White History Month, part 2”

White History Month, part 2

At last! White History Month is here!

It’s that time of year again-Black History Month. You know, that month of celebrations of the achievements, skills, accomplishments, and history of one of the largest ethnic groups in the United States. A group whose members do not typically learn of the historical accomplishments of their people in public schools or universities. A group comprised of people whose scientific and artistic achievements are not widely known by the general populace. A group that has traditionally experienced discrimination and marginalization in USAmerican culture. But I’m not here to talk about Black History Month. And why is that? Because it has come to my attention-again-that members of another racial group feel it is unfair that African-Americans get One Whole Month to discuss their history and accomplishments. Leave aside the fact that the history of this other racial group is taught in schools and colleges around the country as the default history. Never mind that the histories of African-Americans are considered ‘electives’, rather than part of the default discussion of U.S. history. None of that is important. What is important is that many members of this other group feel left out (marginalized, even) and believe they too, should get a month to honor their achievements. And who can tell them no? Not I. In fact, I feel kinda sad that white people don’t have an entire month to learn more about their history. It really isn’t fair. Therefore, in response to the calls for fairness that I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter year, after year, after year, I give you White History Month. Enjoy! Continue reading “At last! White History Month is here!”

At last! White History Month is here!

Vapid, ignorant opinions must run in the Palin family

right_wing_nut_design

Sigh. Bristol Palin said a thing:

In a blog post on Tuesday, Palin said she agreed with Fox News contributor Stacey Dash opinion that both Black History Month and the BET network should not exist as special privileges for the black community.

“Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards,” Dash told Fox News host Steve Doocy last week.

Well, I don’t much like the thing that she said. Soooooooooo…my turn to say a thing (two actually):

Continue reading “Vapid, ignorant opinions must run in the Palin family”

Vapid, ignorant opinions must run in the Palin family

So you don’t understand the hubbub around #OscarsSoWhite?

Ok, so I read this comment on the Facebook page of a Root article on the lack of diversity in the Academy award nominations:

I’m just curious as to why people freak out and scream “Racism!” just because no black films were chosen. Maybe the committee just didn’t think they were good enough. Maybe I’m kinda playing devil’s advocate here but I’m genuinely curious.

This person clearly doesn’t understand why people (largely, though not exclusively, black folks) are crying “Racism!” over the Oscar nominations. People like this do not understand what the big deal is bc to them, these are just awards. They can’t seem to see beyond the awards and see the deeper problems. Or maybe they haven’t tried to view the world outside the lens of their privileged experiences. In any case, even though people like this are being blatantly racist (I mean, come the fuck on with this “black people just weren’t good enough” bullshit. Because white people, by default *are* good enough?!), I’m going to give a response that treats such inquiries in good faith (don’t ask me why). The following is my response to the queries of the above commenter about why African-Americans take issue with #OscarsSoWhite:

Continue reading “So you don’t understand the hubbub around #OscarsSoWhite?”

So you don’t understand the hubbub around #OscarsSoWhite?

Oscars not so white after 2020?

“The award for Best Picture goes to Straight Outta Compton!”

“The Oscar for Best Actress goes to…Naomie Harris, Spectre!”

“The Best Actress award goes to Adepero Oduye, The Big Short!”

“And the award for Best Director goes to Ryan Coogler, for Creed!”

“And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to Michael B. Jordan, for Creed!”

“And the Best Actor award goes to Idris Elba, for Beasts of No Nation!”

“The best actress award goes to…Jada Pinkett Smitth, Magic Mike XXL!”

“The best actor award goes to John Boyega, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens!”

Were you hoping to hear any of the above at the 88th annual Academy Awards on February 28? I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but it’s not going to happen, bc no black actors or directors have been nominated for an Academy Award this year. Guess we have to dust off the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.

Continue reading “Oscars not so white after 2020?”

Oscars not so white after 2020?

White privilege example #20349

We can’t talk on our phones at an Ohio Wal-Mart while holding an air pellet rifle without being seen as suspicious, even if that rifle is classed as a toy, it’s aimed at the ground, and open/carry is legal in the state (John Crawford, III).

We can’t walk down a Utah street with a fake sword even though Utah is an open/carry state–and that applies to *real* swords too (Darrien Hunt),

Our kids can play in public with toy guns, but they’d better expect concerned citizens to freak the fuck out and call the cops. Once law enforcement officials arrive, we can expect them to open fire before assessing the situation (Tamir Rice).

If a loved one is shot by police and lays dying, we can’t be allowed to rush to their side. But we can be confident we’ll be treated horribly by police during our attempts to do so (Samaria Rice, sister of Tamir).

Our babies can’t be asleep in their cribs without flash grenades going off in front of them (Bounkham Phonesavanh).

Running from the police even if we are unarmed is out of the question bc apparently that’s grounds for being shot to death. In the back (Walter Scott).

We can’t walk outside in near-freezing temperatures with our hands in our pockets bc some “concerned citizens” are worried that a black person with their hands in their pocket must be guarding a nuclear weapon rather than warming their hands (Brandon McKean).

We can’t circumvent state tax laws on cigarettes bc OMG the world will end. And if we do, we can expect to be choked to death. Because violating state tax laws on cigarettes is totes grounds for being killed (Eric Garner).

As adults, we cannot have an attitude or be disrespectful to law enforcement officials during a traffic stop bc authoritarian thugs don’t like their authority questioned (Sandra Bland).

As children we must remember to always be respectful and deferential to law enforcement officials-even ones nicknamed ‘Officer Slam’-bc if we don’t, we deserve to be body-slammed or so I’m told by a lot of white people invested in upholding white supremacy (Spring Valley High School teen).

Our kids cannot be loud and unruly at a swimming pool. Not unless they want to be treated like an armed and dangerous felon, grabbed by the hair, thrown to the ground, and sat on by a really swell douchebag in uniform (Dajerria Becton).

If we are in the midst of a mental health crisis and the police are called, we have no guarantee they will assist us, but we can be confident they’ll make the situation worse (Tanisha Anderson).

We can expect our constitutional rights to be violated if we commit even low-level crimes, bc apparently the punishment for robbery is execution by cop (Shelly Frey).

We can’t expect our children to be able to sleep in the comforting presence of a grandparent without worrying about SWAT teams raiding the wrong house (Aiyana Stanley-Jones).

We don’t get to do any of these things, whether legal or not, without being harassed, detained, abused, brutalized, or murdered by police officers bc our existence is constantly under supervision by agents of the state. At every turn, black people across the United States are overpoliced. From everyday actions like getting an attitude with teachers, to not being thrilled at being pulled over for a bullshit reason, to yes, even committing a crime-black people are not allowed the luxury of any benefit of the doubt. At every turn we are treated to civil rights violations and a denial of basic human rights. For another group of USAmericans, this is not the case. Members of this group are accorded undeserved privilege, even in situations where one of them is a direct threat to the lives of police officers (Roger Hale), or situations where one of them point firearms at cops and children (Lance Tamayo), or even in cases where two of them show up at a Wal-Mart, remove BB-guns from their boxes and shoot up the store (two drunk guys). Even in these examples, when these people were a direct threat to others, no excessive force was used against them. In addition, none of them were killed, despite the danger they posed (which is why I find the “my life was in danger” line used by many cops to justify the murder of suspects to be, how shall we say, hollow-as-fuck). That’s all part of having DUM DUM DUUUUUUUM: White Privilege!

And for the latest example of ‘shit only white people can get away with’ (also known as DUM DUM DUUUUUUM: White Privilege) we have a story out of Akron, Ohio:

Continue reading “White privilege example #20349”

White privilege example #20349