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Posts tagged: race

When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.

Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”

When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.

Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”

I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.

She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”

“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”

He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”

Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”

When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”

Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”

Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.

He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.

Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.

Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.

One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.

I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”

Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.

It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.

It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.

It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.

There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.

I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend.

By telling the oppressed that their anger is unjustified, you allow the oppression to continue. I know it’s hard to stay calm. I know it’s scary. But you’re coming from the safe place and they aren’t. Just please … Try to be more understanding. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)

medievalpoc:

femfreq:

Last month I was invited to speak at the XOXO conference & festival in Portland. I used the opportunity to talk about two forms of harassment that are commonly used to try and silence and discredit women but are not as easily identifiable as misogynist harassment: conspiracy theories and impersonation. (Note: trigger warning early on for examples of rape and death threats)

Dear Readers,

I am aware that there are some people who do not seem to like me or my blog very much. You might know that I’ve had to deal with overt threats and some pretty nasty business with being harassed online in the last year or so. While that’s bad enough, please don’t send me links to online content that involves long and drawn out conspiracy theories about me.

If you need to understand the “what” and “why” of things like that, if you see them, just watch this video from about 9:00 on. If this looks familiar:

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^ That’s because it’s the same old song and dance that happens when any woman, but especially a woman of color, engages in cultural criticism.

I am aware that there obsessive and disturbing bits of flotsam floating around how I am 1. lying about my racial identity; 2. fooling, manipulating or brainwashing people; 3. doing it all for that sweet, sweet blogging cash.

It might as well be a bingo card at this point.

If you don’t have the wherewithal to watch the video, here are two highlights:

14:25:

"For these detractors, it’s easier to believe that I am a skin-bleaching, mind-controlling, video game-hating scam artist involved in a masterful long con, than it is to believe that the tide is turning in gaming, and that larger numbers of developers and fans are challenging the sexist status quo and embracing the ideas expressed in my work and the work of many other women doing the same work in cultural criticism.”

15:30:

"What I’ve described to you today is not unique to me and my experience. Every day, many women voicing their opinions online deal with a similar flood of slander and defamation designed to undermine their careers, their credibility, their resolve, and their confidence.”

^^ No one is interested in doing anything about online harassment. Everything from the recent ————- debacle, to attacks on professionals like Anita Sarkeesian and/or women of color struggling to survive academia take pretty much the same exact form. And if you can’t keep in mind that people can literally say anything they want to about anyone for no reason with no consequences, then I guess I don’t know what to tell you.

Also relevant is the portion where she discusses how certain targeted misinformation is repeated over and over across social media platforms as accepted facts, and then more layers are piled on until you end up with a monstrous thing straight out of the sketchier tabloids.

In the words of Amanda Hess:

But making quick and sick threats has become so easy that many say the abuse has proliferated to the point of meaninglessness, and that expressing alarm is foolish.

[…]

So women who are harassed online are expected to either get over ourselves or feel flattered in response to the threats made against us. We have the choice to keep quiet or respond “gleefully.”

So I will leave you all with this screencap of the FAQ:

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Don’t, however, send me links to 10k-word count manifestos about how I am a secret Nazi medical experimenter. Thank you for reading, and have a nice day.

"We Need Diverse Books"

“We Need Diverse Books”

The Washington Post has a transcript of American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints creator Gene Luen Yang’s speech at the 2014 National Book Festival Gala.  “We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say. This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our…

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Advice On Writing People Different From You

Advice On Writing People Different From You

At Midnight Breakfast, Mari Naomi shares a question from a white friend “Aside from doing research in order to make a believable character, in addition to leaving one’s personal (and media-learned) biases at the door, I don’t know the right answer to my friend’s question. How can she infuse [People of Color] into her story in a believable manner, when her experience has only ever been as a white…

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"Cosplaying While Black: The Homicide of Darrien Hunt"

“Cosplaying While Black: The Homicide of Darrien Hunt”

At Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax writes a powerful piece about racism, cosplaying, police violence and the homicide of Darrien Hunt. “The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying.  We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for…

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"Blaxploitation Horror Films: Backlash and Concerns"

“Blaxploitation Horror Films: Backlash and Concerns”

At Graveyardshift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell writes about the complexity of Blaxploitation horror. “What is visceral, real to the fears of the oppressed, ignored, and patronized are often symbols of empowerment, showing true courage in the face of what’s on the screen and everyday circumstances to see a character figure who takes on the world. Whether that attempt is successful or not, Pandora’s…

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"Cinema’s Black Women Werewolves"

“Cinema’s Black Women Werewolves”

At Graveyard Shift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell looks at “Cinema’s Black Women Werewolves.”“At first viewed as monstrous, a deeper look would allow some semblance of compassion as horror films have originated in giving the monster character outside of its supposed and/or actual threat. Here, I wanted to look at two contrasts of the Black female as a werewolf to help us consider past attempts and…

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nowinexile:

The last words said by Black youth murdered by policemen. Rest in peace. 

Elves of Color

Cleopatra’s Weave draws some amazing Elves of color (and David J. Prokopetz shares a story trying to get more racial representation in a fantasy illustration project).

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